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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

Ice Princess

Ice Princess

Asada Mao the Demure Diva

(p.185) Chapter 10 Ice Princess
Diva Nation

Masafumi Monden

University of California Press

Asada Mao’s life recounts a dramatic narrative of suffering and triumph. It follows a girl considered beautiful during her meteoric rise to skating stardom, a period of hardships she confronts tacitly, and the performance of her life at the 2014 Olympics that touched many around the world. This chapter reconsiders Asada’s public persona as a diligent athlete and as the good girl-next-door who speaks with a smile. Asada seems to embody an ideal Japanese young womanhood. Behind this innocent persona, however, is a strong woman with a fierce commitment to her professional performance and audiences and with a skillful way of concealing her personal life from the public eye. This chapter argues that Asada is a diva who captures the heart of people with her extraordinary looks, artistry, and athletic talents—a diva whose spectacular performances and risk-taking behaviors always excite audiences and whose good-girl persona may be her greatest performance of all.

Keywords:   Asada Mao, Japanese girlhood, ice skating, artistry, athleticism, woman athlete, risk-taking, national icon, demureness, gender in sports

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