Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sexy Samurai ❁


When culture, history and consumption fits Zipango marketing... "Japanese women are attracted to the masculinity of the Samurai and warlords, compared to the more passive modern men that they know."

Back to the future?

"... On weekends, Jidai Shobo, a bookstore specializing in historical books in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, is packed with groups of young women. Most of the shop's customers were men when it first opened in February 2006, but by last year, half were women, of which around 90 percent are in their 20s and 30s.

Stationery and mobile phone accessories with family crests of feudal lords line the shelves, with figurines of Sanada Yukimura, the most popular of the warlords, and others also for sale. "I like Kato Kiyomasa," says customer Izumi Sekine, 34, of a warlord who served the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. "There's an almost picture-perfect masculinity about him."

"Monthly magazine "Rekishi kaido" ("History way") had a circulation of less than 70,000 copies five years ago; now it sees sales of 120,000 copies. "The proportion of female readers has gone up from 15 percent of total readers to 40 percent," says editor-in-chief Kiyotaka Tatsumoto. The magazine's publisher, PHP Institute, revived publication of the biographies of warlords Date Masamune (1567-1636) and Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578) in late March this year, and plans to revive publication of the biographies of Hosokawa Tadaoki (1563-1646) and Gamo Ujisato (1556-1595) due to popular demand."


"Interest in the civil wars of the 15th and 16th centuries is always high in Japan and a latest craze is capitalizing on this trend. Rogin, a Tokyo apparel company has 10 kinds of Samurai underwear including those that resemble the designs worn by leaders Oda Nobunaga and Takeda Shingen."

Excuse me...?

"... unorthodox products have seen a boost in sales as well. There is a constant shortage in stock of Sido brand underwear or men's "armor" underwear, which cost a considerable 9,240 a pair. According to Tokyo-based manufacturer Rogin, about 80 percent of buyers are women."

Also the TV.

"The Samurai tights are hot at a time when many women are fascinated with samurai-related TV programs. The game ‘‘Sengoku Basara’’ features fictitious good-looking samurai warriors which can't hurt."

✍ This is the Kitty chan world after all. The mirror is distorted. Japanese young women much prefer the vision of young handsome TV drama actors instead of studying their real historical figure. Even in "JapanLand Manga Inc" world I have not yet encountered one woman who asked to the French man to behave or get dressed like Louis XIV, the Count de Chantilly or the Chevalier d'Éon downtown. What they mostly desire is to have diner in a posh French restaurant 3 *** Michelin awarded. They also like to watch Takarazuka theatre shows, interpreted exclusively by severe female actresses, playing such drama as the "Rose of Versailles" or stories of the same vintage for a public of martial middle-aged women. Therefore, this new media fantasia seems well constructed by marketing agencies to boost sales, whatever irrelevant illustrious or farcical strategies it might be...

To read all about it, here is the Mainichi Shimbun story (English version)

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