The answered by textual and thematic analyses that explore

The present study seeks to analyze the portrayal of
“moe” in the shojo manga The star of cottonland (Wata
no Kuni Hosh) by Yumiko ?shima
through Post-modernism aspects. It also discusses mentioned novel through the
lens of moe (subpart of Shojo manga) and the portrayal of moe is representative
to the changes that took place in the Japanese society. This research paper
aimed to explore shojo manga as a moe. 
The research was conducted under the theoretical framework of
Post-modernism. A qualitative research is used in this study. The procedures of
analyzing are thematic and textual in its essence. This analysis would help to
understand the elements of manga in the mentioned novel. The two research
questions are answered with the help of divided parts of critical discussion.
The first question is answered by the Japanese response towards cat girl heroiens
and second question is answered by textual and thematic analyses that explore
heroin performance in the novel. The result of the study shows that the
employment of historical shojo manga to transmit history is very influential
and popular among young people, who may gain interest in looking more deeply
into the past.Manga can be understood as equivalent to western
comics in Japan, but they follow a different aesthetic approach with black and
white frames, instead of being colorful that are read backwards (right to left)
due to the difference in the Japanese writing system. Each manga story is
featured in a magazine. After some time, the published chapters are collected
to form a volume. The amount of chapters that form a volume is not standard,
but usually each volume consists of 5-10 chapters, with each chapter containing
15-20 pages if it is renewed on a weekly basis or 30-60 pages if is it renewed
on monthly basis. The term manga is credited to woodblock artist Katsushika
Hokusai, who used the term back in 1814 in order to describe “whimsical
sketches”.  Although the term existed, it
was not until the 20th century that it obtained the notion it has today.       Manga not
only form a major part of Japanese culture but has also significant place in
the country’s publishing industry, accounting for over 21% of all publications
in Japan. Manga have gained world popularity and there are references from them
in films, music clips and art.  There are
a lot of types of manga genre according to the age and the gender of the
reader. The basic types of manga genres are: kodomo, shounen, shojo, seinen and
josei. Kodomo manga are manga of children under 10 years old. Shounen are manga
of young boys aged between 10-18 years old. Seinen are adult men manga over 18
years old. Shojo manga are of young girls, while josei target adult girls.             Manga is the backbone of
Japanese popular culture, influencing everything from television, movies, and
video games to novels, art, and theater. Shojo manga (girls’ comics) has been influential to the
genre as a whole and especially seminal for Japanese girls’ culture throughout
the postwar era. In Straight from
the Heart, Jennifer Prough examines the shojo manga industry as a site
of cultural storytelling, revealing the ways that issues of mass media, gender,
production, and consumption are involved in the process of creating shojo manga.  Manga reflect the reality of the Japanese way
of life and society as well as other social phenomena such as hierarchy,
sexism, racism. Associate Professor in the Department of Manga Production at
Kyoto Seika University’s Faculty of Manga in Japan, mentions that the nature of
shojo manga has changed over the passage of time, reflecting the historical
changes of the country. He also mentions that manga helped girls to identify
their individual identity. Contacting interviews with Japanese teen girls
regarding the gender, he realized that girls copy the reactions of manga
characters in real life. But at the same time he recognizes that the artists
themselves were previously readers who were influenced by that and thus a
circle of life influencing art is born.         There
are some manga characterizations that are used as jargon in order to show the
character of a heroine, based on specific qualities. The problem with these characterizations
is that they derive from manga readers and therefore not enough research has
been carried out for them. The ones they that they are used the most are:
Tsundere, Yandere, Kuudere and Dandere. Tsundere usually refers to female characters,
but sometimes it is used to characterize males as well. A tsundere is a
character who is seemingly cold and gets angry easily but she is loving and
caring in reality. A yandere is a female character who is usually mentally
unstable and violent but, on the other hand, she is loving and caring, and she
sacrifices everything in order to increase or not to lose her love interest,
even she will kill someone. A Kuudere is a seemingly cold and sarcastic person
who seems like she does not have feelings at all. She is different to the
tsundere because she is always like that. A Dandere is a character who is
silent and usually timid. Regarding manga and its relation to the Japanese society,
in Japan, manga are equal to other popular media like cinema, TV and books.
This study examines manga as a medium and as a carrier of cultural meaning and
representation. Manga do not depict reality necessarily, but the overall
Japanese aspiration and its cultural values. Reading manga is like tweeting
into the reality of the Japanese brains.  
Yumiko’s stories are always centered on teenage girls who have a difficulty
entering adulthood. Oshima Yumiko belongs to the 24 Group and her art is great. She
has a very slight, spare, and scribble style, with unique character designs.
She also makes excellent use of panels and composition. She has got some of the
most unique art of the Year 24 Group, which is probably one of the reasons never
seen her work in English. It can take some getting used to. But her unique
character designs really make the different cat characters memorable, and
scenes where Kitten is frolicking through nature, or coming to terms with
something, really pop due to both the art and composition. The Star of Cottonland was serialized by Hakusensha in LaLa magazine at irregular intervals from 1978 to 1987. The
series was collected in seven tank?bon volumes
under the Hana to Yume imprint, and
then reissued in 16 child-sized volumes. It was later reprinted in four bunkoban volumes
on 17 June 1994. Oshiyama emphasize the importance of
cross-dressed heroines in shojo manga and she demonstrates gender differences
by means of differently depicted chins, eyes, and eyelashes. Eyes are important
in shojo manga. Moe is sub type of Shojo manga, which involves
taking emotions that are among the most respectable a human can have the desire
to protect and cultivate those emotions and The Star of Cottonland is an
example of Moe.       One Manga that helped to popularize the cat
girl character was Yumiko Oshima’s 1978 story “The Star of Cottonland”, which
tells the story of a little, abandoned kitten. In the Manga, the cat, named
“Chibi-niko”, is tense as a little girl with cat ears. The reason is that
Chibi-niko thought she was a human being. 
In 1978 The
Star of Cottonland received the Kodansha Manga Award for shojo manga, and in 1979 it was voted the most
popular series in LaLa magazine.
It consists of 4 volumes. The covers of volumes 2 and 3 were analyzed.  The main protagonist is a cat named
Chibi-Neko which just means cat. Neko chan has the appearance of a young girl
and by reading the manga it becomes clear that there is a hidden symbolism
regarding reaching adulthood.    According to German manga scholar Jaqueline Berndt,
the portrayal of cats as young girls spread
to other manga series from The
Star of Cottonland. It is illustrated by Masanao Amano as not just
a simple animal fable but a story in which psychological and mental states are
highly differentiated. The Star of Cottonland was a Shojo Manga and  revolves around a young cat that the readers
sees having human characteristics, but in the manga world, everyone sees her as
a cat (Kitten) and the study of girls as kittens known as Moe ( a sub-field of
Shojo Manga). In Japan the cat ears are called “nikomimi”. Characters with cat
ears made a erratic appearance in Japanese popular culture, especially
throughout the last century.     
Postmodernism is a body of philosophy,
methodology, and critical review of contemporary society that covers a variety
of standpoints  (Crank, 2003). Post Modernism is
defined as an attitude towards the social world in its present state of
historical progress. It is described as more of a analysis, than a theory (Rosenau,
Creswell writes that part of applying this view when conducting research is the
need to “deconstruct texts” which include readings and writings to bring to the
surface concealed hierarchies, as well as dominations, oppositions,
inconsistencies, and negations (Creswell, 2013). Postmodernism describes a broad movement that
developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism which marked a
departure from modernism. Popular Postmodernists of
Post-modernism are Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Richard Rorty,
Fredric Jameson and Douglas Kellner. One of the most well-known postmodernist aspects is
“deconstruction,” a theory for philosophy, literary criticism, and
textual analysis developed by Jacques Derrida. The concept of a “deconstructive”
approach implies an analysis that questions the already apparent understanding
of a text in terms of assumptions, ideological under pinning, hierarchical
values, and edges of reference.                                             Literature Review           Manga
is a popular medium in contemporary Japan. Since its beginnings in
mid-nineteenth century Japan, manga has become increasingly ever-present, and
it appears that it will continue to be a foundation of postwar Japanese popular
culture in the years to come (Kinko, 2008). Shoujo is a form of
manga, means girl in Japanese, but it is not only that. It is a further
connotation which is related to the ways a girl in Japan should act (Shamoon, 2012). Shoujo was the girl
that should be free of any sexual desires and fantasies. In fact, the initial
use wasn’t gender related but age related. Even if it was sexual mature, the
shoujo was considered as sexually immature from the society,       In the early 20th century, shojo manga was a usual
feature in monthly magazines for young girls. It received limited exposure due
to the fact that there were only three monthly magazines for girls founded from
the beginning of the 20th century until 1945: Shojokai (Girls’ World;
1902-1912), Shojo no tomo (Girls’ Friend; 1908 -1955), and Shojo kurabu (Girls’
Club; 1923-1962). Since Shojokai was only published for ten years, it is worth
noting that for the majority of this period there were only two monthly
publications for girls (BROWN, 2008).     Shojo
manga is a form of entertainment for girls in Japan.  While manga refers to graphic novels in
general, the word “shojo” refers to a particular genre of manga that is aimed
at girls.  Shojo manga is just one feature
of the broad history of manga that can be traced back to graphic narratives
such as Chojugiga (Animal Scrolls), produced by Bishop Toba in beginning of the
12th century (Schodt, 1983). However, Futagami
Hirokazu states that it is hard to identify exactly where the history of shojo
manga itself begins.  He says that in the
beginning “there was no perception to divide manga into two genres, like boys’
novels and girls’ novels. Even on the side of the mangaka (manga writers),
there was nothing to differentiate what they wrote as shojo manga; they merely
felt like they did nothing more than supply the arrangement of essential tools
and stories that would delight girls (Hirokazu, 2005).      Manga in
general saw slow growth directly following the end of World War II, once Japan
entered the 1950s, there was a shojo manga explosion.  The establishment of new monthly publications
for young girls, such as Nakayoshi (Best Friends; 1955), Ribon (Ribbon; 1955),
and the now obsolete Shojo Bukku (Girl’s Book; 1951-1963), showed that girls
were recognized as consumers.  Eventually
the content in magazines like Nakayoshi and Ribbon came to consist of nothing
but shojo manga (Ibid).     Manga
have a massive impact on Japanese culture since they are accounting for more
than 21% of all the country’s publishing industry (Japan Book Publishers
Association, 2012) and have helped the country’s culture to spread globally (Wong, 2006). While studies about
manga and their relation to Japanese culture or to women have been conducted,
such as female subjectivity in shojo manga or female representation in shonen
manga, this study is different because it focuses on female representation in
shojo manga in particular. Shojo manga is a powerful
tool for media literacy. The English literature regarding shojo manga
studies in general is limited (Shamoon, Passionate friendship:
the aesthetics of girl’s culture in Japan, 2012). In addition, manga
is an interesting topic to study because they are not only popular in Japan but
their popularity is increasing also in Western countries, which has in a sense
undermined the Western / US dominance of global cultural industry.     When one is both a hero
and a woman, the job gets considerably harder. Not only is it necessary to
manage the expectations audiences have about heroes, but it is also important
to navigate gendered assumptions about the roles women occupy in society.
The changes in how women characters have been portrayed in twentieth-century
science fiction can be described as moving from housewife to hero. While the
fantastic shows over the course of several decades have changed in their
presentation of gender, to some extent they have done less to extend the focus
of race, class, and sexual orientation (Reid, 2009).                                             The problem statement

Related to the title and the background of the study, the problem
statement is Deconstruction through the lens of Post-modernism in the Shojo
manga “The Star of Cottonland” (1978). In order to have the clear understanding
of Post-modernism’s aspects depicted in novel, it is necessary to have clear
understanding of these aspects depicted in novel and it is necessary to have
the same topic in the novel.  The Star of
Cottonland is the literary work of Yumiko Oshima that seems beneficent to find
out Post-modernism aspects. Post-modernism emphasizes on the deconstruction of
culture, power and gender difference in society, and a change in the minds of
people. In analyzing
Yumiko Oshima’s The Star of Cottonland, the researcher uses qualitative method.
Dealing with research method, there are four points that need to be involved as
follows;  The
object of the study is Yumiko Oshima’s The Star of Cottonland.          In
doing the study, the researcher uses two sources of data namely;           The
primary data source is the novel of The Star of Cottonland itself written
by        Yumiko Oshima.            The secondary Data sources are some materials related to the data required
such as; the writer’s biography, related theories and history of Japan.  The method of data collection in this study is
internet and library research. The researcher collects a record, the data from
both primary and secondary data analysis.

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Reading the novel.

2)      Identifying
the topic of the novel.

3)      Looking
for the secondary data.

4)      Classifying,
researching and developing the selected materials into a good unity towards the
topic of the study


      The present study is
delimited to the major aspects of Post-modernism in the novel The Star of
Cottonland by Oshima Yumiko. Study is limited to the Theory of Post-modernism
in the novel.

Focus and Rationale

general endeavor of this study is to explore the essential themes of
Post-modernist’s theory in the novel The Star of Cottonland (1978). This is a need
to search and set up the notion of Post-modernism. Since a limited contribution
is emendated towards establishing aspects of Post-modernism along its literary
supremacy, therefore it is hoped that it will enhance the frontier of

  Critical Discussion

   This shojo manga is
unique because everything is from Kitten’s point of view, and to Kitten and all
other cats in the story, they are just small people. All the cats are drawn to
look like people, but how they act, the things they are interested in, and the
things they say are all extremely feline. Kitten is always a little girl in a
frilly dress and socks with cat ears. There are proper gentlemen
cats, cat queens, hobo cats, and all sorts of others. It seems like an exploration
of human nature and the world in general through the eyes of cats, which are
precisely cat-like enough for every pet owner to relate.

     Chibi-Neko is a young kitten who has been
abandoned. She doesn’t know she has been abandoned, and doesn’t know the
difference between cats and humans. Indeed, she imagines herself as a human
girl and believes she will become human someday.
 Chibi-neko falls in love with Tokio, who takes great care of her
and plays with her whenever she wants. In her own mind, Chibi-neko is a small human who speaks in human words;
although people only ever seem to hear her meow, and she believes that all
humans were once kittens like her. A stray cat tells Chibi-neko of a paradise
called Cottonland, where dreams can come true (Oshima, 1978-1987).

    The idea that women are somewhat physically or emotionally incapable of
something because they are girls or
should/should not be doing something or act in a certain way because they are girls. This is so subtly
engraved in modern shojo manga like Chibi-Neko
herself is quite strong-willed, which comes as a bit of a shock coming from a
character so closely resembling a 20-inch tall porcelain doll. She makes it
clear to Tokio that, despite her appearance, she is not an object and will
never belong to him, or anyone else for that matter. Clearly, the subservient fattish
objects of most modern shojo manga could take a lesson from this little cat.

idea that girls need to be protected. The male-female relationship is the prime
plot device in every shojo manga; you will rarely find one that does not
portray this interaction. The vision of a girl that wants to be protected and the
“strong” male character that protects her is one of the most used stereotypes
in modern shojo manga. Tokio protects Chibi-neko from everything and helps her
in every problem, she faces. This arrangement often leads to an excessively
dominant male partner.

     The Tokio is Problematic because – Reinforces the idea of a male that
will protect the main character as Chibi-neko from
anything. It is based on dated concepts of chivalry or romanticism. When the
Tokio has a twisted personality, it starts to act like the Devil in moe. He got failed in University entrance exam and left
his studies and spends all time with the Chibi-neko to play with her.

(related to Kawaii culture) is the essence of shojo manga that the girl protagonist is
cute and beautiful like the little character kitten Chibi-neko who is cute and
stylish with her big eyes, a small mouth, ears and tail and sometimes a bit silly cuteness which has brought Tokia’s
mother and Chibi-neko together. At the beginning of the story his mother was allergic to
cats and fears them of a little kitten and at the end she was not afraid of
her. The Star of
Cottonland represents a big conquer when it comes to female authorship, as
Kitten is the protagonist which shows women empowerment and place of women in
Japanese society even as a kitten and brings 
more female-centered self esteem.

     Shojo manga emphasize romance and being in the world, and
favor social relationships. Tokio makes a relationship with Chibi-neko and she has
adjusted herself in the world of humans. She falls in love with Tokio, which is
the main theme of shojo manga. Shojo manga “The Star of Cottonland” influences
children’s aesthetic development, and plays an active role in how they view the
world through the eyes of a cat girl Chibi-neko.

      The shojo character Kitten is an agent of
positive change. “She is now ubiquitous, transnational exchanged, and she has
begun to inject the feminine into culture. Gender roles changed with the help
of shojo manga, like Chibi-neko has changed gender role when she adjusted
herself in human’s world, in this shojo manga there was gender equality. Shojo
manga helps to make Japanese women strong, liberal and powerful.



In the Japanese
Shojo manga “The star of Cottonland” (1978) is described through the lens of
Post-modernism aspects. The results of research questions are
clearly stated in the present part. The character kitten plays important role
in shojo manga, which gives voice to the women empowerment. In Shojo manga
“The Star of Cottonland” Chibi-neko is portrayed as a kitten, who changed
presentation of gender. It gives voice to women empowerment and described women
place in society. A kitten has showed that woman is not fragile rather she is
powerful.  In her own mind, Chibi-nekko is a young human who speaks
the human language even though people only seem to hear her cat meows. She
believes that all humans were once kittens like her. When she realizes that
Tokio is in love with a human girl, Chibi-nekko wishes to grow up quickly into
a young woman. It is an example of moe, sub type of shojo manga, which is used
to entertain readers. The analysis of tracing the elements of
Post-modernism from The Star of Cottonland by Oshima Yumiko , it came to
manifesto the following aspects of Post-modernism, such as the deconstruction,
identity, and social status The philosophical aspect deconstruction describes
that text in terms of
presuppositions, ideological underpinnings, hierarchical values, and frames of