In today’s Japanese culture, idols are most always female and generally young media personalities in their teens and early twenties that are considered very cute and attractive. For the most part during a period ranging from several months to a couple of years they will regularly appear in mass media as singers in pop groups, bit part TV actresses, models in photo magazines, advertisements and of course Japanese Idol DVDs!
The Idol phenomenon started in the early 1970s resulting from a boom in Japan. The term came to be applied to any cute female actress or singer usually between 14 & 16 years of age that began rising in popularity. One such Idol, Momoe Yamaguchi was a huge star until she got married and subsequently retired in 1980. Japanese Idols were a dominate factor in pop culture during the 1980s with this time period being known as the “Golden Age of Idols In Japan”. During a single year as many as 40 or 50 new Idols would appear then only to quickly disappear from the spotlight. There were a few Idols from that time period like Seiko Matsuda that are still very popular with a big following. During the 1990s the power of the female Japanese Idol started to dwindle as the music scene started gravitating towards the new Rock & Punk Scene which for the industry meant going where the money is. Japanese Idols did have a large impact on pop culture throughout Hong Kong & Taiwan as well.
Japanese Idol is perfection
It has long been said that a Female Japanese Idol personifies the perfect female form in Japanese culture. Being symbols of female sexuality they often dressed very erotically. So for this reason they were often idolized by both males and females alike. For the male audience their infatuation is with the Idol’s sexy looks fed with details regarding her measurements, favorite color, food, hobbies etc. Japanese females are interested in imitating their style, fashion, hair color etc.
Most Popular Idols
By far the most popular Japanese Idol in the late 1990s was Namie Amuro, she was actually promoted as being more sexier and mature than other idols. She began her rise to stardom in 1992 as a singer with the group Super Monkeys however they quickly flopped. Producers liked Amuro, still seeing dollar potential with her and in 1995 she started as a solo artist that brought her huge success. In 1997 she took a break due to her pregnancy and was quickly eclipsed by Maria Ozawa.
In past years an idol that managed to maintain her image could continue to work until she chose to leave the business or was simply to old to remain as a viable Idol, but in recent years there have been several ex-Idols that have successfully made the move from an Idol to become full-fledged actresses, singers and musicians that are revered for their accomplishments as opposed just being admired for their sexy looks.
Now there’s a growing popularity in Korean female Idol groups with Japanese audiences. This is interesting in that the majority of fans are young females, while those of most Japanese Idols are from the male
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