Gender Gymnastics

Performing and Consuming Japan's Takarazuka Revue

By Leonie Stickland

The artifice of gender performance - sometimes playful, mostly conscientious - has enthralled and entertained audiences of Japan's all-female Takarazuka Revue for more than 90 years. The dashing male-role players in its musical theatre productions enjoy the adulation of a predominantly female audience for whom these handsome idols represent ideal masculinity, while, at the same time, these 'men' in turn are reflected and magnified by the overwrought femininity of their female-role counterparts. This volume resounds with the voices of those closest to Takarazuka, the girls and women who have danced, sung, and acted in its limelight. Using exclusive interviews, historical records, autobiographies, and years of close-hand observations, former Revue translator and voice actor Leonie Stickland extensively explores the aspirations, endeavors, and experiences of Takarazuka's creators, performers, and adoring fans. Stickland's book simultaneously elucidates gender issues which have impacted upon the life-stages of women in Japan throughout the past century.

281 pages

Publication Date: 9/1/2008
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781876843519