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    Wakao Ayako and post-war Japanese studio system: celebrity and performer

    González-López, Irene (2014) Wakao Ayako and post-war Japanese studio system: celebrity and performer. Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema 6 (1), pp. 39-54. ISSN 1756-4905.

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    Wakao Ayako (1933–) is one of the most popular film stars of post-war Japanese cinema, yet there is little academic work, in Japan and elsewhere, devoted to her. Following upon Christine Geraghty’s classification of stardom, this article looks back to Wakao’s early career and focuses on the evolution of her star persona, from a celebrity as Daiei Studio’s new face, to a star-as-performer from the late 1950s onwards. I will argue that it is not a lineal evolution, but that Wakao has preserved until today a dual star image intended for different audiences and fulfilling different functions. Her vocal performance will be analysed as a significant feature in her star persona and its duality. Through the analysis of Wakao’s star image in different texts and media, I will explore the meaning as well as the form of stardom in post-war Japan and critically reflect on the application of the term ‘diva’ in this context.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Japanese cinema, stardom, gender, popular culture
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Irene Gonzalez Lopez
    Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2021 09:44
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:51


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