Karrie (Instagram @ tangled.larper) in Lolita fashion brand Mary Magdalene, by Kitkat Photography (Instagram @ kitkat_photog)

As part of the closing events of the physical exhibition in 2021, we invited cosplayers and lovers of Japanese fashion cultures, as well as photographers, to do a photoshoot at the Fryer Library at The University of Queensland.

A crystal ball on some weighty literary works.

Karrie (Instagram @ tangled.larper) in Lolita fashion brand Mary Magdalene, by Kitkat Photography (Instagram @ kitkat_photog)

As part of the closing events of the physical exhibition in 2021, we invited cosplayers and lovers of Japanese fashion cultures, as well as photographers, to do a photoshoot at the Fryer Library at The University of Queensland.

The first shots are in!

This photograph is particularly appealing for us. We can’t help but think of Beauty in the Beast’s library in the classic fairy tale.

One of our upcoming projects (a co-authored work by Masafumi Monden, Emerald King, and Lucy Fraser) will include a chapter of images of girl readers in retellings of “Beauty and the Beast”. In this chapter we’ll discuss how Japanese shōjo (girl) culture and academic shōjo studies offer insights into fictional imaginings of girls who love to read – not just in Japanese fiction but English-language works too.

Oscar’s Dress

Some of you may be familiar with Ikeda Riyoko’s Rose of Versailles and it’s cross dressing, swash buckling hero,  Oscar François de Jarjayes. Oscar is the youngest daughter of the Commander of the French Royal Guards. After 6 daughters, the Commander has all but given up on a son and heir and so he teaches Oscar everything a military son should know.

While Oscar has a number of military outfits as she rises through the ranks, she only ever wears one dress – the Robe l’Odalisque.

In 2012 I was writing my PhD and occaisionally attending cosplay events. I wanted to enter a ‘big’ competition and, at that time, noone from my state had entered the Madman National Cosplay Championships (an Australia wide cosplay championship that ran for 11 years from 2009). I allowed myself to sew only on Sunday evenings (as a treat) and eventually made the pink manga version of Oscar’s dress. You can find an interview and my skit here.

(I have spent far too many years obsessing over this dress – you can find out more in “La Robe à la Française et la Robe l’Odalisque: Wearing women’s clothing in The Rose of Versailles” in Studies in Costume & Performance, Volume 6, Number 1, 1 June 2021, pp. 29-4  https://doi.org/10.1386/scp_00034_1)

Emerald

Queenie Chan’s Borderless Shojo

Queenie Chan is a Hong Kong-born Australian comic artist. Her trilogy, The Dreaming, published by TOKYOPOP (2005) is held in the Fryer Library at UQ. It features shōjo manga elements such as the enclosed space of an all-girls’ boarding school, with notes of the Australian classic of girls in fluttering white, Picnic At Hanging Rock.

Takehisa Yumeji Bookplate

Bookplate featuring art by Takehisa Yumeji (1884-1934), whose paintings influenced shōjo (girls’) art and manga styles. This was found in the UQ Fryer library, part of a collection donated by the founder of the library, “Doc Robbie” (Box 16 of the Frederick Walter Robinson Papers, Fryer Library, UQ). It was taken from a publication of Japanese bookplates by Japan Ex Libris Society (1933).

Collectible tin featuring Tezuka Osamu’s Princess Knight / 手塚治虫「リボンの騎士」(Emily Wakeling)

Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service by Nadia. Photography by Tessu.

Cosplay images are displayed onscreen at the UQ Central Library exhibition.

This image of Nadia was taken at “Kiki’s Room” behind the Ross Bakery in Tasmania – a place long rumoured (rightly or not) to have been the insipiration for Kiki’s Delivery Service.

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