- マス・コミュニケーション研究 (ISSN:13411306)
- vol.88, pp.77-96, 2016
The aim of this paper is to align Kyo Machiko's performance style as a vamp actress with the history of Japanese cinema, and explore postwar public consciousness and desire through her star persona. The voluptuous Kyo Machiko made her film debut in 1949 and went on to become one of the leading actresses of the postwar generation. Her rise to stardom was closely related to many of her roles that embodied social phenomenon amid a trend for kasutori culture, in the sexually liberated climate following the Second World War. In contrast to the intense characters on screen, she portrayed herself as modest and graceful, which enabled her to convey multiple messages within the context of her fame. She depicted a dual-star persona as a result of the contrast between her vamp characters in films and her modest, feminine personality in fan magazines; accordingly, she gained fame as a star across generations. Through the 1950s, she appeared in works by some of the greatest Japanese filmmakers, which catapulted her to international stardom. She was sometimes referred to as "the Grand Prix actress." Following the success of Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950), a growing tendency to promote Japanese cinema overseas emerged, eliciting the gaze of Orientalism from Western spectators. International stardom led to an even more complicated gaze on Kyo Machiko's body. Star/Celebrity studies have developed certain methodological frameworks since Richard Dyer's Stars. From a theoretical perspective, this paper focuses on the film star Kyo Machiko as a cultural text, and analyzes how fans or critics viewed both her cinematic persona, performing acts of violence on screen, and her own persona, which represented traditional Japanese imagery in fan magazines. This research concludes that Kyo Machiko's cinematic body became a national body and functioned as an esthetic vehicle, reflecting both the desire of a trans/national identity and the desire to localize her star image for Japanese spectators.