Trans-cult-ural fandom: Desire, technology and the transformation of fan subjectivities in the Japanese female fandom of Hong Kong stars

Lori Hitchcock Morimoto


This essay examines the ways in which affective desire and new media technologies were mobilized by Japanese female fans of Hong Kong films and stars to produce a fan subjectivity that was at once cult and transcultural. The origins of this fandom, which flourished from around 1985 through the 1990s, lay in structural affinities of the Japanese and Hong Kong entertainment industries of the 1980s, as well as the ways in which popular stars of both places were expected to perform their stardom. In particular, a shared valuing of stars' relatability and approachability translated, for Japanese fans, into a seemingly paradoxical sense of intimacy with the stars of another culture, an intimacy that was fostered and heightened by women's pursuit of Hong Kong media outside the official distribution channels of the Japanese media industry. I examine the knowledges required by women to seek out favorite stars' films on VHS and VCD, as well as the sites of such consumption, which combined in the production of what I tentatively term a trans-cult-ural fan subjectivity that was at once cultish in its intensity and desire for ownership, as well as transcultural in its performance by fans.


Cult fandom; Dojinshi; Female fandom; Hong Kong cinema; Japan; Star fandom; Transcultural fandom; Video technology

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