Islands of eight million smiles: idol performance and symbolic production in contemporary Japan
Harvard University Asia Center, 2005 - 290 ページ
Since the late 1960s a ubiquitous feature of popular culture in Japan has been the "idol," an attractive young actor, male or female, packaged and promoted as an adolescent role model and exploited by the entertainment, fashion, cosmetic, and publishing industries to market trendy products. This book offers ethnographic case studies regarding the symbolic qualities of idols and how these qualities relate to the conceptualization of selfhood among adolescents in Japan and elsewhere in East Asia. The author explores how the idol-manufacturing industry absorbs young people into its system of production, molds them into marketable personalities, commercializes their images, and contributes to the construction of ideal images of the adolescent self.
Since the relationship between the idols and their consumers is dynamic, the study focuses on the fans of idols as well. Ultimately, Aoyagi argues, idol performances substantiate capitalist values in the urban consumer society of contemporary Japan and East Asia. Regardless of how crude their performances may appear in the eyes of critics, the idols have helped establish the entertainment industry as an agent of public socialization by driving public desires toward the consumption of commoditized fantasies.
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Since the dawn of Japan's modernization, this metaphor profoundly influenced
the ways women were treated and portrayed in social, economic, and popular-
cultural sectors. FEMALE-LED YOUTH SUBCULTURE: ELEMENTS OF GENDER
cent examples of Japan's cultural dissemination in this area of the Asian region.
For example, a popular Japanese idol duo, Puffy, burst onto Japan's pop music
scene in 1996, using their debut song, Asian Purity, as the theme song in a
Japanese pop music, fashion, lifestyles, and all the hardware and software
products that they produce are outcomes of Japan's technological development
and economic prosperity. People here in Hong Kong want to show that they are
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The Making of Japanese Adolescent Role Models
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