ScreenHunter_126 Mar. 15 11.30

I think we can all agree that it doesn’t take much to convince people that Japanese swords are all-around pretty cool. The sweet, curved blade of the katana just has a natural artistic beauty, plus we hear they’re pretty good at slicing fruit.

But apparently Japanese teen and 20-something boys these days just aren’t that into it. Girls, on the other hand, seem to be driving a renewed interest in the historical weapons, if sales of a new series of books are any indication.

The Takarajima Publishing book series, Nihon-ken (lit. Japanese Swords), announced it reached 320,000 sales in early March, a pretty good start seeing as so far there are only two books released. Well, each book is actually a “Visual Mook” (a combination book/magazine that’s popular in Japan and elsewhere), so fret not: there are plenty of awesome pictures of badass swords and not just a bunch of boring words.

Takarajima says it anticipated sales to be strongest among men in their 40s to 60s, since, worldwide, that’s the demographic that tends to get all misty-eyed about historic military hardware.

But then the company was thrown for a loop when the second book in the series showed its strongest sales among women in their 20s, who far outpaced the traditional demographic.

So, what’s going on? The rise of the “rekijo” – girl history buffs. They’re Japan’s latest hip subgroup: girls that are more into history (specifically, the stuff about war and fighting) than your average Japanese girl, who probably came about because of hit manga like Naruto and One Piece, plus other media featuring lots of swords and history, such as this hit online game called Touken Ranbu that revolves around – bear with us, this is a little confusing – girls collecting swords that have been personified to look like cute boys. 

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It’s not just the Takarajima books, manga and games that rekijo are clamoring for either. Museums and exhibitions featuring real-life Japanese swords are apparently recording spikes in attendance by teen-and-20s girl visitors, too.

We presume this trend can only spiral out of control until it eventually culminates in a popular manga about rekijo and 60-something Japanese male history buffs doing fierce battle with historical weaponry.

Source: PR Times