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Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics Paperback – July 15, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0520245099 ISBN-10: 0520245091 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (July 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520245091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520245099
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,224,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a very well researched, thoughtful, and engagingly written study of some of the hottest areas of Japan's beauty industry. Always careful to avoid easy generalizations or cliches about Japanese culture, Miller shows both the diversity of Japanese beauty practices and perceptions, and their dramatic shifts in recent years. Her critical yet sensitive descriptions of Japan's consumers and her critiques of Euro-American understandings about them will leave the reader reflecting as much about the 'West' as about Japan." - Takashi Fujitani, author of Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan"

From the Inside Flap

"This is a very well researched, thoughtful, and engagingly written study of some of the hottest areas of Japan's beauty industry. Always careful to avoid easy generalizations or clichés about Japanese culture, Miller shows both the diversity of Japanese beauty practices and perceptions, and their dramatic shifts in recent years. Her critical yet sensitive descriptions of Japan's consumers and her critiques of Euro-American understandings about them will leave the reader reflecting as much about the 'West' as about Japan."—Takashi Fujitani, author of Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan

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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Sutter on July 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It seems to be de rigueur for the introduction or first chapter of any cultural studies book to be a catalogue of theoretical approaches, with the author strictly delineating which ones she or he will adopt in the remainder of the book, and gravely acknowledging some other academic for "bring[ing] to our attention the existence of multiple centers and peripheries," etc. The first chapter of this book follows the same formula, but the mood and interest level brighten up as soon as these preliminaries are out of the way. Even though the author makes a number of serious points about, among other things, the "construction" of gender in Japan, she does so with a light touch and a sense of fun.

The book's focus is on how Japanese, especially in the 20-30-y.o. generation, conceive of and modify their bodies, especially through "beauty work" and "esute" (aesthtic) salons. The author convincingly shows that certain beauty practices long interpreted (in the West) as attempts to look more Western or specifically American (e.g. adding a fold to the eyelids using tape or surgery, lightening the skin, and dying hair blond(ish)) actually have a more Japanese meaning.(She also makes a good point by asking why is it that when a Japanese dyes her hair blonde we assume she wants to look American, but when an American kid pierces his nose or wears dreadlocks we say he's showing creativity or multicultural tolerance?) The book also helped me to accept (though not necessarily to understand) that the rock-stars and other overly smooth, tousle-haired guys I'd perceived to be androgynous "girly-man" types are perceived as manly by many young Japanese women.
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Format: Paperback
im a huge fan of the anthropologist/author. (i'm also a anthro grad) this book is great for projects or just for something interesting to read. i like the fact that she went into these places (salons, etc) and got a first-person experience. she is also a great writer, its easy to read this book and lose track of time. very interesting!!
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