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Diva NationFemale Icons from Japanese Cultural History$
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Laura Miller and Rebecca Copeland

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520297722

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520297722.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

From Child Star to Diva

From Child Star to Diva

Misora Hibari as Postwar Japan

Chapter:
(p.95) Chapter 5 From Child Star to Diva
Source:
Diva Nation
Author(s):

Christine R. Yano

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520297722.003.0007

This chapter problematizes Japan’s premiere diva of popular song, Misora Hibari (1937–1989), as a child star who grows up in postwar Japan to become a transgressive diva. I ask what defines this female child star, this singing shōjo (young female) on stage? What kinds of gendered negotiations between childhood and adulthood does the child star have to make, in what kinds of historical contexts, and to what effects? And finally, how does the shōjo—here, the child star–turned–diva—help define the period? The remnants of the child star give poignancy to her adult divahood as the Japanese public stood witness to her continual transformations. And in witnessing these transformations, I contend that Misora Hibari’s star-text enacted postwar Japan’s supra-text, with the complexities of an era and a nation.

Keywords:   postwar Japan, emotions, child star, cross-gendered performance

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