[LITERATURE] Novala Takemoto ("The Wild Rose") Japanese Author/Fashion Designer
- Novala Takemoto
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Novala Takemoto ([±¾Ò°¤Ð¤é, Takemoto Nobara?, born January 26, 1968) is
a Japanese author and fashion designer. He was born in Uji, near
Kyoto. His name is translatable as "The Wild Rose." In 2003 and 2004
he was nominated for the Mishima Literary Award. He designs a line
of clothing featuring his own logo for Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
and is consistently featured in the magazine Gothic & Lolita Bible.
Known as the "Lolita Bard," he has done a lot to promote the Gothic
A few of his favorite things are Alice and the Pirates, Vivienne
Westwood, MILK, rockinghorse shoes, Christian Dior perfume, robots,
science fiction, taxidermy, dolls, and Philip Glass. He also has
quite a fascination with the Rococo era, and sometimes claims to
have been born in the year 1745. It is said that he is a
heterosexual man with the charisma of a young maiden.
He received wide recognition for his collection of essays entitled
Soleilnuit: For Becoming a Proper Young Lady, which were originally
published in a Kansai free arts newspaper.
Novala is best known for Shimotsuma Monogatari, titled Kamikaze
Girls in English. The series was adapted to a manga and a film which
was directed by Nakashima Tetsuya.
2001 Soleilnuit: For Becoming a Proper Young Lady
2002 Shimotsuma Story
2003 Princess Scale
2003 Calps Alpis
2003 A Child Abandoned by Deus
2004 Missin' 2 and Casaco
2004 Alice's Adventures in Fantasyland
Sore Inu by Takemoto Novala - I Don't Need Any Friends!
Translated by ❧The Wild Rose
As spring passes, the problem that always comes about is, "I don't
have any friends. What should I do?" In April, the classes change
and it is a different environment, so with that oblivious look on
your face, before you know it, the people you haven't met have all
formed their own groups.
Without even realizing it, you end up alone. When summer comes along
you're almost released from this problem, because you've gotten
together with your friends for a fun summer vacation, but even
during this season there are those who cannot make any friends. Such
people can only give up.
Continue to live alone, with strength. Young ladies do not need
friends. Young ladies are sublime, isolated things. The typical
behavior of young boys' heroes is to form a group...Tom Sawyer and
Huckleberry, Getter Robo combined three people, even Jules Verne's
novel "Two Years Holiday" had to have fifteen boys in it, none of
But little girls are different. Alice had her Wonderland adventure
by herself. When Anju and Zushiou were kidnapped by Sansho Dayu,
Anzu stayed there, alone, and allowed for her little brother to
Then there's Meg-chan; "They say she is a person who can do
anything, the little witch Meg is alone" is how the song goes. Young
ladies have an "absolute existence." "Absolute" in this case means
they cannot be compared to anything else, since there is
this "uniqueness," they don't need any friends.
Just like Ken-san from a yakuza movie, young ladies are stylishly
alone. "But if I just opened my heart I could make friends," they
say, but you can't open your heart to strangers without it being
wasted on them.
A young lady is like a brilliant sparkling jewel, and it would be
reckless to allow people to see that. The easily broken if touched
glasswork has a hard shell covering it. Behind this cold disposition
and tightly braided hair, perhaps from far away someone will stare
and think, what a beautiful, pitiful young girl. But this type of
worldy, useless flattery is unnecessary. You should also be okay
with it if they say, "What an arrogant child" or "What a melancholy
If you want to make friends because you can't endure eating lunch by
yourself, realize how stupid that sounds. Just like the gorgeous
aristocrat "Butterfly Wife" Ryuzaki Reiko from "Ace wo Nerae!",
lonliness is always a queen's sidekick. As for me, my only close
friends are my TV and my houseplant.
A form of cuteness is a basic element of Lolita fashion, another
major trend represented in FRUiTS. Lolita style relies on a
childlike innocence but is differentiated from kawaii/cute style in
part in that it is not childish. Lolitas do not carry toys; instead
they dress in clothes that are simultaneously childlike (pinafores
and somewhat formless dresses such as a young girl of an earlier era
might wear, quite often in rather subdued colors or pastels) and
elegant in their delicate attention to detail. Novelist Novala
Takemoto, whose characters are often Lolitas themselves, describes
Lolita fashion as being ¡°as much a way of living as a fashion
statement,¡± going on to say, ¡°Lolita is a form of aestheticism. I
think Lolita is a condition in which two conflicting elements co-
exist without contradiction, for example, something grotesque as
well as cute¡± (Miyuke Kondo).
One common misperception on the part of outsiders looking in at this
subculture is that it is somehow related to Vladimir Nabokov¡¯s
Lolita in theme. The name and the style¡¯s simultaneous emphasis on
childlike innocence and adultlike elegance makes such comparisons
tempting and virtually inevitable. However, one Lolita writes about
the misperception that Lolita fashion has anything to do with
sexuality, saying, ¡°in an era where we are terminally rushed, over
schedualed [sic] and pressured to be prefect [sic] at all times, the
Lolita culture makes us take time to be polite, kind, and graceful.
who wouldn¡¯t [sic] want to go back in time to a simpler, slower
youth, where innocence and beauty are safe and not shunned or
threatened?¡± (response to Pinckard). Lolitas themselves do not see
what they are doing as at all sexual or a reflection upon Japanese
men¡¯s sexual desires. In fact, it is repeatedly pointed out by both
men and women that Lolita fashion is not generally found sexually
attractive. In fact, Lolitas often find themselves shunned socially
or even dumped by boyfriends because of their adherence to this
Another points out that the association with Nabokov¡¯s Lolita is
diminished and resignified by creating a new spelling for the word
in Japanese. She writes, ¡°By creating an alternate spelling for
Lolita, they could create a world for themselves. Not only does it
keep the perverts out, but it allows Lolitas to find pages by other
Lolitas without having to wade through a bunch of kiddy porn. . . .
Yes, the term comes from Nabokov¡¯s book. Lolitas know this. But
the Japanese have a tendency of taking terms and reshaping their
meanings for their own purposes. Sometimes they even make up new
meanings¡± (response to Pinckard). The original term is emptied of
its original meaning and given an entirely new, more positive and
affirmative meaning by the Lolitas who take part in this subculture.
Once the potential sexual reason for dressing in this way has been
eliminated, what reasons remain? Some see Lolita fashion as a
result of cultural anxieties regarding economic insecurities of the
1990s: ¡®¡°They live in a society that doesn¡¯t feel very hopeful
about its future,¡¯ says Rika Kayama, a psychiatrist. By dressing up
like babies, the Lolitas are attempting to hang on to the carefree
days of childhood, she says¡± (Parker). For others, Lolita style is
a way of connecting with the past, specifically an innocent,
beautiful version of the past. ¡°¡®I¡¯d like to go back in time, like
to the era of Marie Antoinette,¡¯ says Yoko Oguchi, a 24-year-old
nurse who attended a pop concert in Tokyo wearing a red pinafore, a
gigantic white bow in her hair and white high-heeled Mary Janes. ¡®I
wish the whole world were like this¡¯¡± (Parker). This nostalgia,
whether personal or cultural, seems to be an inescapable element of
Lolita fashion, one that experts find disturbing but the Lolitas
themselves seem to find comfort in.
Others see Lolita fashion as merely a way to get
noticed: ¡°¡®Dressing up like this and having people stare at them
makes them feel their existence is worth something,¡¯ says Yo Yahata,
a clinical psychologist who has done case studies and written
articles about aspects of Lolita culture¡± (Parker).
For many Lolitas themselves, though, Lolita fashion is empowering, a
much more positive experience than the experts¡¯ analyses allows
for. For instance, ¡°Atsuko Takagi, 23, who recently visited Tokyo
from northern Japan, walked around in a ruffle-covered, black-and-
white dress and says that the Lolita style gives her a sense of
power. ¡®I normally look down at my feet, but when I¡¯m wearing my
Lolita outfit, I¡¯m more confident,¡¯ she says. ¡®This is the real me¡¯¡±
¡°Kamikaze Girls¡± Creator and Lolita Fashion Icon Novala Takemoto
Visits Los Angeles
Novala Takemoto, Japanese cult author and fashion icon, will make
his first U.S. appearance as a Guest of Honor at Pacific Media Expo
(PMX) on Oct. 28 and 29. Internationally acclaimed, award-winning
film Kamikaze Girls (Shimotsuma Monogatari, 2004), based on
Takemoto¡¯s signature novel, will screen at PMX.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 15, 2006 -- Novala Takemoto,
Japanese cult author and fashion icon, will make his first U.S.
appearance as a Guest of Honor at Pacific Media Expo (PMX) on Oct.
28 and 29. Internationally acclaimed, award-winning film Kamikaze
Girls (Shimotsuma Monogatari, 2004), based on Takemoto¡¯s signature
novel, will screen at PMX.
¡°Pacific Media Expo has been looking for guests who represent the
convergence of all aspects of Pacific Rim media and culture. Mr.
Takemoto¡¯s accomplishments as a fashion designer, novelist and now
the creator of a hit film in both Japan and the U.S. makes him the
perfect Renaissance man to represent these trends to the United
States,¡± said Mike Tatsugawa, PMX Event Chair. ¡°With the growing
popularity of the sweet Lolita fashion trend in Japan and the United
States we felt that Halloween weekend was the perfect time to bring
all his fans together.¡±
Takemoto¡¯s debut novel, Sewing Machine (Mishin, 2000) sold 500,000
copies. Later works Emily (2002) and Lolita (2004) were nominated
for the prestigious Yukio Mishima Literary Prize. Kamikaze Girls
(Shimotsuma Monogatari, 2004) depicts the seemingly odd friendship
between a frustrated and bored country girl fixated on the lifestyle
of 18th-century frilly French dress, and a spunky member of an all-
female biker gang. The film pays homage to fellow cultural
luminaries Tank Girl, The Outsiders and Kill Bill while
incorporating homegrown Japanese eccentricities.
Once labeled the ¡°Lolita Bard¡± by overseas newspapers, Takemoto
passionately supports the Lolita fashion style, which emphasizes
Victorian-style and Edwardian fashion girl's dress and often aims to
imitate the look of porcelain dolls. He created his own clothing and
product line, Pour Lolita, in collaboration with Baby, The Stars
Shine Bright, a leading boutique chain created in 1988.
About Pacific Media Expo:
America¡¯s first major trade show dedicated to Asian-Pacific popular
culture and entertainment media, Pacific Media Expo (PMX) is an
industry event sponsored by the Pacific Media Association. Pacific
Media Expo will be held Oct. 28 and 29 at the Hilton Los Angeles
Airport. The show will feature honored guests, live performances,
panel discussions, autograph sessions, Asian cinema and animation
video rooms, art exhibitions and one of the country¡¯s only exhibit
halls dedicated to Asian media and pop culture.
About Pacific Media Association:
Pacific Media Association is dedicated to promoting the Pacific
Rim¡¯s entertainment media industries. PMA specializes in Asia¡¯s
cultural exports, such as anime and manga, music and live
entertainment, live-action television and films, and diverse
cultural lifestyles, while building creative communities and
promoting Asian awareness within the United States. PMA is the
parent of Pacific Media Expo. The Pacific Media Association is
located in Los Angeles, Calif., USA.
For more information about Pacific Media Expo, please visit
http://www.PacificMediaExpo.com or e-mail.
Business inquiries please write to:
Pacific Media Expo
914 Westwood Blvd, Suite 586
Los Angeles, CA 90024-2905
¡°Britney Spears was NEVER a Lolita!¡±*
Japanese novelist Novala Takemoto writes ¡°Lolita¡± novels. Lolita in
Japan ¡ª like Lolita here ¡ª has taken on a different meaning than the
traditional Nabokovian one. As this Asahi Shimbun story explains, in
Japan, Takemoto is worshipped by the Lolita crowd, ¡°girls and women
who favor lace and bonnets and ribbons and frills.¡±
The piece goes on and on about his outlandish apartment and person,
but finally talks about his work. (It¡¯s not unlike pieces about
horror writers are usually set up, only the focus here is on how
outrageous he is, not how normal.)
Dressed in a mixed Vivian Westwood, Comme des Garcons outfit, he
serves iced tea in Alice in Wonderland glasses, setting the
beverages on strawberry-patterned coasters.
Takemoto, who will not reveal his age-a ploy to keep his mysterious
aura intact-joined the literary crowd with his first novel ¡°Mishin'¡¯
in 2000. It is the tale of beautiful Lolita punk band vocalist,
Mishin, and the high school girl who adores her.
Though Takemoto was nominated for the Yukio Mishima Literary Prize
for ¡°Emily'¡¯ and ¡°Lolita'¡¯ in 2003 and 2004 respectively, it
was ¡°Shimotsuma Monogatari'¡¯ (Shimotsuma story) that made him a
celebrity. A movie based on the book was a huge hit in Japan this
year. It is scheduled for release as ¡°Kamikaze Girls'¡¯ in seven
countries including the United States, Italy and Spain.
Known as a novelist with the heart of an otome (maiden), Takemoto
says the Lolita sense of beauty is the most important aspect of his
writing and his life. In Japan the word ¡°Lolita'¡¯ conjures up images
of girls decked out in outlandishly frilly garb, but he says it is
as much a way of living as a fashion statement.
¡°Lolita is a form of aestheticism. I think Lolita is a condition in
which two conflicting elements co-exist without contradiction, for
example, something grotesque as well as cute,'¡¯ he says. ¡°A Lolita
loves Alice in Wonderland because the chaotic situation in
Wonderland is very Lolitalike.'¡¯
I do like the idea that boys can be Lolitas, too. It only seems fair.