Reki-Jo, the “History Girls” of Japan.

April 14th, 2010 in Archive by 0 Comments

We heard Anthony Kuhn’s latest story on NPR last night. Talk about the hidden world of girls.

In Japan, the number of female visitors to shogun castles, samurai battle re-enactments and history bookstores has recently increased. Observers attribute this to the rise of the “history girls” — a new urban subculture that some believe signals a kind of empowerment for female Japanese hobbyists.

One of the more public faces of the history girls, or reki-jo, is a fashion model named Anne. She’s the daughter of actor Ken Watanabe, and she goes by one name. She’s carved out a niche for herself writing and speaking about history and history buffs.

Reki-jo all have their favorite historical periods and characters. Speaking in a Tokyo cafe, Anne says hers is the Shinsengumi, the elite swordsmen of Japan’s last shogun, or military ruler.

Read more and listen to the story here.

Illustration by Natsumi Narasaki

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