Degree Name

Master of Arts - Research


University of Wollongong. School of Art and Design


Manga (Japanese comic books), Anime (Japanese animation) and Superflat (the contemporary art by movement created Takashi Murakami) all share a common ancestry in the woodblock prints of the Edo period, which were once mass-produced as a form of entertainment. This thesis, The Popular Image of Japanese Femininity Inside the Anime and Manga Culture of Japan and Sydney, will examine female creators and consumers of Japanese popular culture. In doing so the investigation will highlight representations of women and girls in Anime and Manga cultures, as well as the way in which female fans and participants in associated activities have chosen to represent themselves.

The significant focus in this study is the examination of the changing role of women in Japanese society to the present day. Social change for women in Japan is accompanied by their changing visual presence in comic book culture. Over time, women became active in the culture and created new genres of Anime and Manga for their own consumption.

In Sydney, the increased access to Japanese popular culture has encouraged female fans to create their own art and fashion from Japanese influences. Like the female Japanese fans, the Sydney female Anime and Manga community is selective in their influences with the aim of creating a vision of how they see themselves. Exploration of the Sydney Manga scene necessitated field research conducted through Anime clubs and conventions, as well as interviews via internet forums, the importance of which informs this study.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.