戦国乙女[sengoku otome]

July 1, 2009 at 12:54 pm (BL, cosplay(コスプレ), doujin(同人), otaku word)


 Speaking of an otaku idol[オタクアイドル], I can think of 中川翔子[Shouko Nakagawa] who is called Shokotan. She loves anime, manga, or cosplay so thanks to her, otaku culture has been easier to understand for general people. By the way, there is a unique type of idol, that is 歴ドル[rekidol], which is an abbreviation of 歴史好きのアイドル[rekishizuki no idol], or an idol who loves Japanese history.

 As far as I know, there are two famous 歴ドル, 小日向えり[Eri Kohinata] and 美甘子[Mikako]. Eri loves Sangokushi[三国志, Three Kingdom Saga], and Mikako adores Ryouma Sakamoto[坂本竜馬] respectively. When I was a kid, I used to watch the anime Sangokushi a bit though I almost forgot how it was. The only thing I could still remember was that I respected 諸葛亮孔明[Koumei Shokatsuryou] because he was depicted as an intelligent person.

 I am not too sure if the girls also enjoyed the anime Sangokushi or the game 信長の野望[Nobunaga’s Ambition] by KOEI while we boys did so in our school days. It’s way long time ago! あの頃から女子も三国志やってたのかな…Anyway, like above mentioned rekidols, there has been a lot of female fans who love Japanese history 2007 onwards. Yes, those players who enjoy 三国志大戦[Sangokushi taisen], 戦国無双[Sengoku Musou], or 戦国BASARA[Sengoku Basara] are not only male but female. Particularly, we call those girls who love Japanese history, 歴女[rekijo] which is abbreviation of 歴史好きの女性[rekishizuki no josei]. There is even a genre of moe called 武将萌え[bushou-moe]. If you tend to love Japanese old warriors, you have a 武将萌え.



 It is said that female otakus are more intelligent and knowledgeable than male otakus. I didn’t know why, but now I think I figured it out; the three friends of mine are 歴女. One loves 幕末[Bakumatsu] or the nearly end of Edo Period[江戸時代, 1853-1869] so that she set up a blog for a certain Bakumastu anime only. I am not sure who she loved in the anime the most, but she investigated not only her favorite warriors, but any other trivia, or its background pretty well. I am not good at Japanese history so my score was in jeopady when I was a student. She is not Japanese, but I am sure I would be beaten if we two have a test.


 One loves 源義経[Minamoto no Yoshitsune], actually she had a crush on him when she played the otome game, Harukanaru toki no naka de 3. After she finished the game, she started to collect whatever comes up with his name. She couldn’t help but open her wallet everytime she saw Yoshitsune-related merchandise goods. She even loved the TV drama, 義経 who was portrayed by Hideaki Takizawa, and bought its official guidebook. Of course, she seemed to know about him well. When I was investigating ヲタ芸[otagei], I came across a word 義経. That is, to describe a person who leaps from seat to seat during the performance. I didn’t understand why it had something to do with Yoshitsune, so I asked her about this. She clearly explained the legend of 八艘跳び[hassou tobi]. She was not an otageishi, but she knew about it. One loves 三国志, and a big fan of 趙雲[Chou un]. Yes, she of course read the novels, the manga, watched the anime or played the games. She mustn’t have missed Red Cliff, I assume. She becomes eloquent when it comes to Chou un and answers whatever I ask.

 There is a unique bookstore named 時代屋[jidaiya] in Tokyo, which handles Japanese history-related books or miscellaneous goods. There is even a tea house so you can enjoy such a mood. The funny thing is that around 40% of the customers at this bookshop are women although almost all of them were elderly people at first.

Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi

Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi

 I assume female otakus tend to learn more about what they love. Even if it has directly nothing to do with a character they love, the fangirls try to investigate whatever invloves him. That explains why those fangirls come to such a bookstore. Same goes to a certain weapon shop in Akihabara. Here, more than 40% of the customers are women too. They sell the same models of swords those were possessed by 沖田総司[Souji Okita] or 土方歳三[Toshizou Hijikata]. Needless to say, they are very expensive!


 Come to think of it, there has been a lot of otome games which involves Japanese history as granting fujoshiotomes’ wish. Of course, this kind of game is really popular among cosplayers. Now the most popular one is 薄桜鬼[Hakuouki]. And there is a similar word to 歴女, that is 戦国乙女[sengoku otome] or feudal otome.

Wait, I am not familiar with Bakumastu, but a big fan of Mirage of Blaze[炎の蜃気楼] which focuses on 戦国時代[Warring State period, 1467-1573]. So I am a bit familiar with that kind of thing. OMG, can I say I am a 戦国乙男[sengoku otomen]? I got promoted from a normal otomen! わっはっはっは^^

Takaya-san, we are 戦国乙男...
Takaya-san, we are 戦国乙男…


  1. Leslie said,

    Wow, I would have never guessed a love of history would be a selling point for an idol. I was just thinking about Ryouma Sakamoto, actually, because I was just playing Live A Live (old SNES RPG) and he shows up as a side character in one of the scenarios.

    Anyways, I understand this entry very well, I was really into the Heian period and the Tale of Genji when I was in college, because I loved learning about that world and its beauty. Not that Genji himself is my type, though…

    • bangin said,

      Such a great warrior or a commander in Japanese history is attractive for women, and in such a Warring period, there is a sad love story…That’s why we have a lot of otome games those are based on Japanese history, I guess.

  2. wa-chan said,


    **bl-ness rocks! XDDDDD**
    omg i just dunno what to say.. wake me up plz lol XDDD
    anyway nice! do more bl-cosplay and show it to me again XDDD

    • bangin said,

      Ahaha, thank you. lawlz
      I would possibly do again~.^^

  3. goodyfun said,

    I can understand what those girls are like when they try to read everything they can about history… But I’m a huge nerd; so learning excites me, anyway! ^^

    Though, there are times when I see something that makes me want to learn more. Like the Sondheim musical “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” got me into researching Victorian England (That era was so gruesome and fascinating.).

    • bangin said,

      I am quite impressed to see how enthusiastic rekijos are when they try to learn. They learn not only a character himself but whatever invloves him. All in all, they do this because of love.

  4. 子犬 said,

    I love the Jazz Age that way. So I know a lot about this period. It seems so cool, and the clothing trends were so sexy! XD Does the clothing from those periods in Japan have to do with why some are 歴女, or is it just the character?

    So, are there other times from other places that you like? Or other times, that you know people are interested in? Just wondering. 🙂

    • bangin said,

      Of course, traditional clothes are one of the reasons why they are so into Japanese history. Those clothes found in Bakumatsu or Heian Period are different, but both of them have beauty in particular.

      Well, if I mention other times, I am interested in the middle of 18th century when Chevalier d’Éon lived. I am Japanese, so I want to try such a noble European clothes.

  5. 子犬 said,

    This would be the same kind of clothes that are also in the musical goodyfun mentioned. I like these elegant costumes, too.

  6. Marie said,

    I think many Asians, especially “females”, tend to romanticize the Chinese history of three kingdoms. I know I did ^^! Ah~ *Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei*

    When it comes to historically related subject, I personally like TV drama over anime.

    • bangin said,

      Now, the TV drama based on Warring state period is on the air, it is 天地人[tenchijin]. And the hero is Naoe who I love! I don’t watch this kind of thing, but this time, I couldn’t bring myself to ignore! Because I am a big fan of Naoe in Mirage of Blaze.

  7. charmian said,

    Wow… I found out what I am! XD (I’m female and into Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and the Sengoku era, with a slight fascination with the Heian and Asuka era periods)

    • bangin said,

      Good for you, so you can call yourself sengoku otome! I haven’t seen any Asuka era fans. Mostly, they love Heian, Sengoku or Bakumastu.

  8. goodyfun said,

    It’s good to see how TV dramas in Japan are based on history. TV shows in other countries don’t have the same focus on their cultures history. People are forgetting how much fun history can be.

    On that subject, although shows based on history are rarely very accurate (Like I heard the anime based on d’Éon made her a man!) it’s fantastic that interest in a character gets people to study. It’s accidentally educational! d^_^b

    • bangin said,

      If I had been a big fan of such an anime when I was a student, my score on Japanese history would have been a bit better.

  9. j0yce gabriel said,

    s0…it’s so kawaii..i l0ve this…dai joobu!!!

  10. j0yce gabriel said,

    it d0esn’t matter whether you are an otaku,right…it’s just because of em0ti0n…l0ve of animes!!!

  11. RAiTo said,

    yay, it’s sengoku!! \^o^/ -> eventhough i only know Bakumatsu lol

    thanks for making this article!! especially because you mentioned Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi that had turned me into a Bakumatsu-otome. i know it’s weird but eventhough the game is about Shinsengumi, but my favorite character is Sakamoto Ryouma ^o^ he rocks! even in NHK’s Taiga Drama he’s also great!

    Oh i also want to say your Himuro Reiichi cosplay is awesome. i really like it!! show me more and more megane cosplay please~! \^o^/ <- looking for latest posts just want to say this lol

  12. sommeille said,

    Sorry to be late to the party, but I just saw this post and it deeply reminded me of my own shameful, squandered youth. Japanese history is fascinating, but I mostly study Showa-era Japanese literature — to the extent that I’m probably going to be an academic. But the only real reason I ever became interested in the first place was because of the series Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei.(糸色先生は太宰治に基づいているものだ。そして太宰の全集をだんだん読んできた。私は、情けないんじゃないのか?!)

    So what does this make me, 文学乙女?I just hope I’m not the only one…

    • bangin said,

      It is not shameful at all. Whatever the reason is, there are a lot of people like you, I mean, because of something they follow, fans start to learn more by reading documents or whatever.

      But women are more likely to do this rather than men.

  13. Kingrun Anison Kouhaku 2009 « k1y0 ~suki yo~ said,

    […] World Big News 1 (hosted by Katō Emiri and Sugita Tomokazu) 1. 歴女ブーム [rekijo Boom] – Is that supposed to be an increase in the number of girls who like Japanese history? But I […]

  14. Palavra do Dia – Rekijo | Blyme said,

    […] Fontes: MangaJet e  Japanese Words […]

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