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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

The Unmaking of a Diva

The Unmaking of a Diva

Kanehara Hitomi’s Comfortable Anonymity

(p.168) Chapter 9 The Unmaking of a Diva
Diva Nation

David Holloway

University of California Press

This chapter traces the life of author Kanehara Hitomi, whose Akutagawa Prize–winning Snakes and Earrings (2003) remains the author’s primary claim to fame. In the wake of her sudden success, and due in no small part to her bold taste in fashion, Kanehara was quickly branded a diva in the media. She has since slipped from the limelight and has cultivated a “comfortable anonymity.” This chapter paints in broad strokes Kanehara’s troubled teens as well as her recent attempts to shed the diva label. The chapter also argues that what made Kanehara a diva had less to do with her novella or fashion sense and more to do with her experiences growing up in recessionary Japan and the ways in which her celebrity illuminated fissures in Japanese social life.

Keywords:   Japan, literature, Kanehara Hitomi, fashion, celebrity, diva, recession, anonymity

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