Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/171820
Title: A Tale of Two Stars: Understanding the Establishment of Femininity in Enka Through Misora Hibari and Fuji Keiko
Authors: Tong Koon Fung 
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2015
Citation: Tong Koon Fung (2015-03-31). A Tale of Two Stars: Understanding the Establishment of Femininity in Enka Through Misora Hibari and Fuji Keiko. Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context 8 : 23-44. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: To date, most female portrayals and performances in the Japanese popular music genre of enka have been understood in terms of the homogenous ideal of the subservient, outdated image of “the traditional Japanese woman.” Yet, two of enka’s most important female singers, the “queen of enka” Misora Hibari and “the girl destined to carry enka’sstar” Fuji Keiko, possess starkly contrasting images in the public imagination—something that tends to question the adequacy of homogenous understandings of enka’s femininity, based allegedly on Japanese tradition. In this paper, I examine the careers of Hibari and Fuji with a focus on the conditions of musical production and promotion, utilizing biographical accounts and critiques of these two singers. Through this analysis, I argue that dominant representations of female “subservience,” “outdatedness” and of the “Japanese-ness” in enka emerged out of contingent decisions that particular musical producers and singers made within the context of the Japanese music industry in the 1960s and 1970s. The argument offers a more recent historical origin for the stereotypical femininity of enka, highlighting the dialectical relationship between individual-level musical praxis and certain Japanese social discourses in those decades. These complex forces condemned Fuji in her late career to obscurity, while ultimately securing Hibari’s status as a national symbol of perseverance.
Source Title: Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/171820
ISSN: 2288-7822
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications
Elements

Show full item record
Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormatAccess SettingsVersion 
Situations_8-1_2._Tong_Koon_Fung_Benny.pdfPublished version207.68 kBAdobe PDF

OPEN

PublishedView/Download

Page view(s)

71
checked on Apr 9, 2021

Download(s)

4
checked on Apr 9, 2021

Google ScholarTM

Check


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.