NOTE: This website is currently under construction! While certain pages are already up, others may take more time (in adition to general updates as more sources and such are found).
What is "shoujo"?
Shoujo (少女) simply means “young girl” in Japanese; in English, however, this word tends to refer to media aimed at this demographic, such as manga (漫画, comics), anime (アニメ, animation), literature, etc. At its core, shoujo is not a genre of literature, but a simple marketing tool: the only thing which truly makes a work “shoujo” is that it is aimed towards a demographic of older girls to young adult women, and nothing more. In practice, however, over time certain traits and tropes have become so associated with the shoujo demographic, many people do indeed treat it as a genre.
Shoujo arose as a demographic during the early 20th century. Since then it has played a fascinating role in Japanese history, and has had an incredibly large (yet often underrated) impact on Japanese and global pop culture.
About Shoujo Bouquet
Shoujo Bouquet is part history project, and part vintage shoujo fan site. It seeks to gather English resources on the development of the shoujo “genre” over the course of the 20th century, with most attention paid to the origins of "shoujo" and the early art and literature made especially for this demographic; however, there will be resources relating to the development of shoujo over the course of the 20th century. This website contains lists of academic works about this subject, official English releases of old shoujo works, images of old shoujo magazines, among other things. In addition to this, there are also some other sources on interrelated topics.
There are a few important things to note about the webmaster of this site: for one, he is not a professional academic or anything remotely of the sort; and for two, his Japanese ability is roughly equivalent to a three year old, on a good day. In other words, there is extremely little information on this website that you cannot find elsewhere, and please do not take the webmaster as an authority on this subject by any means. (Think of this more like a fancy Wikipedia page, where you peruse the text but ultimately check the sources for yourself). Also, while opinion and original pieces may eventually be included, this site isn’t specifically about the opinions of its creator. The goal of this website is primarily to gather resources and spread knowledge on a strange little subject.
CONTENT WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: Please note that much of the focus of this site is during Japan's imperial period. It's important not to underplay the horrors of Japanese imperialism, or pretend shoujo media is pure and completely disconnected from the cultural context surrounding it. Sometimes it is uncomfortably complicit, or even supportive of Japanese imperialism―a fact which is clearly shown within certain articles and art. Please be warned that this can be very disturbing, but the past shouldn't continue to be hidden.
As can probably be gathered from the last warning, please note that the inclusion of anything on this site does not equal a recomendation or endorsement. Fictional works may be of varying quality, and academic works are written from a myriad of perspectives that the webmaster may agree or disagree with for varying reasons (although some base level of quality is to be sustained). The ultimate goal of this website isn't to present a particular narrative (as much as such neutrality is possible), but to simply present what more or less credible sources exist in English. And as mentioned, while there may eventually be an original writing section, the webmaster is not an expert and you're highly encouraged to do your own research if you're interested. The webmaster is running on the presumption that you may discern for yourself what you like and dislike, agree and disagree with, etc.
About the Webmaster
This website is run by James Henry Rose, a storyteller from the rural United States. His interest in shoujo media began in early 2013 from, of all places, a Right Stuf anime catalogue which bore an image from The Rose of Versailles on the cover. The art enamored him enough to watch the show, which in turn he loved even more. How exactly this morphed from liking a miniscule handful of 1970s shoujo anime and manga to a deep obsession with books he can’t read and people he barely knows about is anyone’s guess.
If you wish to find him elsewhere, he can be found writing and illustrating an unconventional shoujo novel series at [beloved.moe]. If you wish to contact him with any questions, suggestions, etc, he can be reached by email at [firstname.lastname@example.org.]