History girls and women's war-related contents tourism [chapter]

Akiko Sugawa-Shimada
2022 War as Entertainment and Contents Tourism in Japan  
Rekijo ('history girls') refers to young female (joshi) fans of history (rekishi). Since the early 2000s, several anime, manga, and videogames have featured handsome young male characters modelled on actual historical figures/events. Consuming this history for women has become equivalent to consuming history-based popular culture. The Japanese media described such women's perceived 'gender crossover' into a formerly 'male' interest using the catchy term rekijo. Pop culture works have prompted
more » ... ung female fans to visit related sites such as birthplaces and graves of actual historical figures, battlefields, festivals, and museums in a phenomenon that clearly meets the criteria of contents tourism (Sugawa-Shimada 2015: 39). This chapter discusses history-based popular culture, especially about the Warring States (Sengoku) period, 1467-1590, and contents tourism by rekijo by examining Kuwabara Mizuna's light novel Mirage of Blaze series (1990-2004; spin-off works 2007-2017) and Capcom's video game Sengoku BASARA series (2005-present). The rekijo phenomenon became relatively visible in the 2000s because Internet blogs and social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Japanese social media platform mixi) enabled online interaction among anonymous users. However, female history fans existed before the term rekijo was coined. One representative example is fans of the Mirage of Blaze series, a psychic action fantasy novel for young readers featuring handsome young male characters based on samurai feudal lords (daimyō) of the Warring States period. The series was adapted into multiple formats: CD dramas (1992( -1997( ), TV anime (2002( ), original animation video (2004( ), manga comics (2001;; remake 2021), and theatre performances (2014-2018). Fans have travelled sites related to the stories since the 1990s. They were dubbed 'mirajennu' 1 and their tourism was called the 'mirage tour' (Hashimoto 2006) . The story is set in 1990s Japan. The protagonist, Ōgi Takaya, is an ordinary but disobedient high school boy in Matsumoto city, Nagano.
doi:10.4324/9781003239970-6 fatcat:ymvzkaocmbedlahpiwbxvcxvwu