discussion about female idol/ singer in japan

Can you help me understand this Social Science question?

Read the article “J-Pop and performances of young female identity: Music, gender and urban space in Tokyo.”

Toth, C. (2008). J-Pop and performances of young female identity: Music, gender and urban space in Tokyo. YOUNG, 16(2), 111–129. https://doi.org/10.1177/110330880801600201.

Then, listen to these musical examples mentioned in the article and watch the music videos:

Ayumi Hamasaki – “Boys and Girls” (lyrics (Links to an external site.))

Ayumi Hamasaki – “Appears” (lyrics (Links to an external site.))

Shina Ringo – “Instinct” (lyrics (Links to an external site.))

Shina Ringo – Queen of Kabukicho (lyrics (Links to an external site.))

Shiina Ringo – Kabukicho no Jyoou PV (Links to an external site.) on Vimeo (Links to an external site.).

Misia – “Key of Love” (lyrics (Links to an external site.))

Misia – The Place that Gets Sunshine (lyrics (Links to an external site.))

When you are done, respond to at least one of the following prompts.

Indicate which prompt(s) you are responding to. Your post should be a minimum of 200 words long.

Your goal here is to make an argument and support it with examples from the article and/or the lesson.

1. On page 112, the author states “While major record labels often tend to sell their female stars by highlighting their sexual desirability, some female performers managed to carve out a representational space by highlighting girl themes that energized girl solidarity and held up the possibility for a re-articulation of young femininity.” Using at least one of the music video examples above and at least one example from Lesson 5: Japanese Popular Music, provide examples of both music that highlights sexual desirability and performers who have attempted to re-articulate what it means to be an empowered female performing artist. Consider the music, lyrics, and visuals of the music video. Be sure to reference the article to support your response.

2. The author describes Ayumi Hamasaki as a ‘white’ goddess and Misia as a ‘black’ music diva. What are the racial implications of this statement, and how do you personally feel about it? Provide examples in support of your argument.

3. On page 116, the author states that “Music video is the key to Hamasaki’s and other female performers’ success. Beyond serving as marketing tools, they produce gender discourses that, rather than reiterate gender norms, complicate them.” Using at least one of the music video examples above, explain how can be true.

4. Using the article as a reference, argue for or against this statement: Ayumi Hamasaki is a positive role model for Japanese women. Use at least one of the music videos to support your argument.

5. On page 123, the author states: “R&B is captured as a neo-Japanese sign in the sense that the singer’s message is that we (in Japan) are in possession of ‘blackness’; it is not an import, it is part of our own culture. Rejecting racial essentialism, one of Misia’s admirers has expressed this idea as ‘ … what makes us Japanese is getting more and more complex and diverse, and African American music is part of it. I guess Tokyo becomes much more internationalized and culturally chaotic.’ “

What is the author saying? Do you agree or disagree, and why? Use at least one of the music videos to support your argument.


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