mō ichido, shōjo. (70s, 80s & 90s shōjo manga retrospective)

Books & magazines about furoku

Books about furoku

Otome no furoku

Otome no furoku — Meiji Taishō Shōwa no shōjo zasshi

A small (bunko size) but thick and richly illustrated book collecting furoku of shōjo magazines from the Meiji, Taishō, and Shōwa eras — though chiefly from early Shōwa through the early post-war years (c. 1925-1950). This was the time before manga became the prominent content and style of magazines aimed at children and young adults, and when the most prominent artists for girls' magazines were men such as Nakahara Jun'ichi, Takehisa Yumeji, and Fujii Chiaki.

This is a fantastic book. It contains insightful historical commentary as well as contemporary excerpts explaining the intended use of the furoku featured, but the bulk of it is images: page after page of postcards, letter sets, karuta, fashion guides, board games, school calendars, song books, pencil cases, bookmarks... everything is beautifully preserved and photographed with great care and flair. Anyone interested in the history of Japanese girls' culture and aesthetic should pick this up, but it'll be of special interest to people who are curious about the early influences on shōjo manga.

Mutsu A-ko

Mutsu A-ko

  • Todate Keiko, ed.
  • Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2015
  • 159 pages
  • amazon.co.jp

Mutsu A-ko was the most prominent artist of the otome-tique movement, and this fan book collects color artwork, interviews with Mutsu as well as the people she influenced, lists of her manga work as well as her furoku work, articles, and more. It's very pretty book, great for anyone interested in 70s shōjo manga, Ribon, and furoku, but I think it's a shame that it doesn't feature more furoku art, and that what it does feature is often in black and while. Mutsu made an impact with her manga, of course, but furoku featuring her art was one of the driving forces behind the popularity of Ribon magazine in the late 70s and early 80s. But that's just my personal gripe, and this is a lovely book.

Ribon no furoku zenbu catalogue

Ribon no furoku zenbu catalogue — shōjo manga-shi 60-nen no rekishi

A complete history of Ribon furoku which was published to commemorate the magazine's 60th anniversary. Before its release people were very excited about it, and because the title is "catalogue", people had hoped for a book containing many color images of old furoku, but sadly, this wasn't the case (which accounts for the bad reviews on amazon). The vast majority of this book is a list — a complete list of all Ribon furoku ever created! That's a huge undertaking, and this book is invaluable for any furoku or shōjo manga researcher. I'm not sure how much appeal this book holds for anyone else, though; there are only four color pages, and while the articles and interviews are interesting, they might not be worth the cover price. I'm glad I picked this up, but if you're looking for a book with many color images of old furoku, Shōjo zasshi furoku collection (below) is the better pick.

Shōjo zasshi furoku collection

Shōjo zasshi furoku collection

  • Nakamura Keiko, Todate Keiko, Yayoi Bijutsukan, ed.
  • Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2007
  • A5, 127 pages
  • amazon.co.jp

This is a great, richly-illustrated book about the history of shōjo magazine furoku from the 50s through the 90s. Much of the focus is on Ribon magazine, particularly the otome-tique artists of the 70s (Mutsu A-ko, Tabuchi Yumiko, Tachikake Hideko) and Sakura Momoko's Chibimaruko-chan furoku from the late 80s and early 90s, which take up the first half and many of the book's color pages. There's also a short interview with Mutsu A-ko about her furoku art, and a very illuminating interview with a former Ribon editor and the head of a printing company that has handled furoku production for Ribon since 1968. The second half of the book is dedicated to an older generation of furoku from shōjo magazines (not limited to manga magazines) from the 1930s and up, and features furoku by such artists as Tamura Setsuko, Fujii Chiaki, and Mizumori Ado. This is a beautiful, fascinating book, and I very much recommend this to anyone interested in vintage shōjo!

Shōzo zasshi furoku collection

Tasogaredoki ni mitsuketa mono — Ribon no furoku to sono jidai new

  • Ōtsuka Eiji
  • Ohta Shuppan, 1991 (hardcover) / Chikuma Shobo, 1995 (paperback)
  • 236 pages
  • amazon.co.jp

This books features a dissertation on the emergence of consumer society in mid-70s Japan as seen through the development of shōjo manga magazine furoku, chiefly those of the otome-tique artists of Ribon. Ōtsuka argues that in a brief period in the 70s, Ribon prophesied the crazed consumerism that would overtake Japan during its bubble economy of the 80s, and that Ribon's furoku took on a symbolic value divorced from both its practical use and its manga contents which fulfilled the same niche for its audience that consumer items with brand-name recognition would do once Japan entered the 80s.

In order to do so, he relies heavily on the personal anecdotes of women who were consumers of both Ribon and its furoku during the 70s, and on examining the language Ribon used in its pages to describe and discuss its furoku, which makes this book very interesting reading for people interested in 70s shōjo manga and its contemporary readers. Ōtsuka also clearly loves the manga produced by the otome-tique artists, and his analysis of this style of shōjo compared to the other prominent 70s shōjo movements is interesting (if a bit one-sided, I think). Finally, this book is also worth reading for anyone interested in the place of women in Japanese society during the late 20th century.

Books & magazines featuring furoku

Otona no shōjo manga techō

Otona no shōjo manga techō

  • Kono manga ga sugoi! henshūbu, ed.
  • Takarajimasha, 2015
  • A4, 143 pages
  • amazon.co.jp

A magazine-style A4 publication about shōjo manga classic of the 70s and 80s. This book includes interviews with Ikeda Riyoko and Miuchi Suzue, so it should be of interest to anyone who enjoys titles such as The Rose of Versailles or Glass Mask. But what I enjoyed more was the second half of the book, which features a complete rundown of prominent shōjo manga magazines, including a few pages dedicated to Ribon and Nakayoshi furoku of the 70s.

80s girls daihyakka

80s girls daihyakka

A large-format, magazine-like publication about 80s girly culture from Japan, including shōjo manga. It contains six color pages featuring furoku from Ribon, Nakayoshi, and Ciao, as well as a one-page color comic by Hagiiwa Mutsumi about her adorable Ribon furoku. It's a must-see book for anyone who likes "kawaii" culture from Japan, since you'll also find a load of Sanrio, San-x, Sony Creative Products, and Osamu Goods merchandise in here, as well as merchandise made for anime such as Ohayō! Spank and Asari-chan. What's more, you also get a reprint of a 80s Sanrio karuta set when you buy this book, featuring old Sanrio characters which are not in production anymore.

Otona no shōjo manga techō

Aera magazine, issue 38, 2015

Aera is a weekly magazine about current events, culture, and politics, but for some reason, they decided to do a feature on Ribon and Nakayoshi's 60th anniversaries in 2015. The 10-page article includes an interview with the current editors in chief of Ribon and Nakayoshi discussing the history of entry-level shōjo manga magazines, a timeline of the history of both magazines, interviews with Ichijō Yukari and Takanashi Shizue, and a few other assorted things, with a scattering of images of old magazine issues and furoku. The magazine is only 390 yen and available digitally, so it's worth a look if you're interested in the history of shōjo manga.

Otona no shōjo manga techō

Da Vinci magazine, September 2014

Da Vinci is a popular monthly magazine about literature and manga. This issue has a large feature on shōjo manga of the 80s and 90s, and includes two pages of Ribon furoku.

Otona no shōjo manga techō

ROLa magazine, November 2013

ROLa is a monthly glossy magazine about fashion and entertainment. This issue includes a feature on girls' culture of 90s Japan, including shōjo manga and furoku. You can see some scans at WildMushroomLand.com

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Tokimeki Tonight Library

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