Maidens Sans Frontiers: Japanese Girl Culture in Australia is an exhibition that both celebrates and investigates contemporary Japanese girl culture as it manifests in Australia. Showcasing cosplay costumes, fashion items, photographs, video, postcards, books, manga, collectibles, Maidens Sans Frontiers is a collection of artefacts that inspired our co-authored academic book Maidens Sans Frontiers: Girl Culture in Japan and Beyond (Routledge 2022). In addition to the artefacts themselves, this exhibition features expert commentary.

maidens sans frontiers logo

Advising curator:

Emily Wakeling (she/her/hers)

Emily Wakeling – curating | art writing | museum learning

Emily Wakeling has a Masters in Art History from The University of Queensland, based on research into shōjo culture and feminism in contemporary Japanese art. She is a practicing curator at Artspace Mackay and was part of the curatorium for Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art’s 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Her independent curatorial projects are spread across Japan and Australia, including Australian artist projects in Tokyo art spaces and Japanese group exhibitions including 2021’s Compassionate Grounds: Ten Years on in Tohoku held in Melbourne. She is also a long-serving freelance writer who has been Editor of the arts website Tokyo Art Beat, and contributor to Artforum, ArtAsiaPacific, Japan Times, Art Review Asia, Real Tokyo, Eyeline and Art Monthly Australia.


Dr Lucy Fraser (she/her/hers)

Lecturer in Japanese, The University of Queensland

Dr Lucy Fraser – UQ Researchers

Lucy Fraser is a Lecturer in Japanese at The University of Queensland. She researches girl studies, fantasy genres, fairy tale studies, popular culture studies, and literature in Japanese and English. She is the author of The Pleasures of Metamorphosis: Japanese and English Fairy Tale Transformations of ‘The Little Mermaid’ (Wayne State University Press Series in Fairy-Tale Studies, 2017) and the co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture (Routledge, 2020). She has translated the work of important contemporary authors such as Kawakami Hiromi and Hoshino Tomoyuki, and translated and co-translated the work of leading girl studies scholars including Honda Masuko, Fujimoto Yukari, and Ogi Fusami.

Dr Emerald L King (she/her/hers)

Lecturer in Humanities, The University of Tasmania

Emerald King – Profiles | University of Tasmania (

Interested in most things dark and twisty, Emerald is an award-winning cosplayer, and a lecturer in Japanese. Her research is divided between Japanese women’s writing, violence in text, and cosplay as fan translation. She also publishes on shōjo mangaand culture. Emerald has recently taken up a position at the University of Tasmania. Prior to this, she was at La Trobe University, and Victoria University of Wellington where she was head of Japanese. You can follow Emerald’s work on @emeraldlking on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Dr Megan Catherine Rose (she/her/hers)

Associate Researcher, Vitalities Lab, UNSW Sydney

Megan Catherine Rose | The University of New South Wales –

Megan Catherine Rose is an associated researcher at the Vitalities Lab, UNSW Sydney and a researcher at the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. Megan completed a PhD on alternative kawaii fashion communities in Tokyo in 2019. With the support of The Japan Foundation, Sydney’s New Voices in Japanese Studies journal, UNSW Sydney, the University of Tokyo, and the National Library of Australia, she is publishing a portfolio of research that explores kawaii in a variety of contexts including fashion, doll-making, and video games including Animal Crossing.


We have a curated selection of merchandise with our Falling Girl logo available on Redbubble.