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Contribution to Book
Reading Lolita in Japan
in T. Aoyama & B. Hartley (eds), Girl Reading Girl in Japan
  • Vera C Mackie, University of Wollongong
Document Type
Book Chapter
Publication Date
... my mother had gone into labor, was wheeled into the delivery room and set on the delivery table, and found herself alone with the doctor for a moment. As she shrieked, "Doctor, doctor!," and her face twisted with pain, the doctor stifled her cries by placing his lips over hers. My mother, suppressing her agony, wrapped her arms around the doctor's shoulders and sought a more passionate kiss. And ever since, the two of them had, with some misgivings, raced down the path of adultery. (Takemoto 2004a: 8) This extraordinary scene is narrated by the main character in Takemoto Novala's novel, Shimotsuma monogatari (2002), also known in English as Kamikaze Girls (2004a). The narrator has the persona of a high-school girl who is infatuated with the "Lolita" fashion subculture. The passage above illustrates the young woman's horror of the adult woman's body. This horror is directed at both the sexuality of the adult woman, and the potential for her body to become a maternal body. The agony of labor is fused with the ecstasy of sexual excitement, an image that brilliantly fuses the two elements of the young girl's - the shOjo's - fear of becoming an adult woman. To add to the complexity of the scenario, it is her own birth scene that the narrator is imaginatively reconstructing. Her mother had waited till her daughter entered primary school before leaving her husband for the gynecologist. The narrator is thus not quite an orphan, but lives in a non-traditional family unit with her "useless" father (dame oyaji, known in the English translation as "the Loser") and her grandmother.
Citation Information
Vera C Mackie. "Reading Lolita in Japan" in T. Aoyama & B. Hartley (eds), Girl Reading Girl in Japan Vol. Routledge, London (2010) p. 187 - 201
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