Transcending gender in pictorial representations of Miyazawa Kenji's "Marivuron and the girl"
Despite a growing body of scholarship on the girl in manga and anime, little has been written about representations of the shojo in picture books. This chapter examines contemporary illustrations of the girl that were produced to accompany the story of "Marivuron to shOjo" (henceforth "Marivuron") by the renowned Buddhist author, Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933). Although written in 1921, the narrative was not published until just after the writer's death in 1933, in the provincial women's journal, Josei Iwate (Women of Iwate). While the editors of Josei Iwate sought contributions from the local community of Iwate prefecture, the area in the north east of Japan in which Miyazawa (henceforth "Kenji") was born, its audience reached well beyond this locale (Hara 2000: 360-61).1 Kenji is not generally known as a writer of shOjo literature, but Amazawa (1988: 53) and Akieda (2005; 2006) have noted a shOjo sensibility in his work,2 and I will argue that "Marivuron" demonstrates elements of Takahara Eiri's concept of "girl consciousness" (1999; translation of the excerpts 2006b).