Explore the History and Legacy of Sailor Moon from Academic and Professional Perspectives

Sailor Moon: How These Magical Girls Transformed Our World

Date: Thursday, January 28 at 8:00 p.m. EST

YouTube Live

Admission: Free

Can you believe that it’s been almost 30 years since Sailor Moon was first published in the weekly girls’ manga magazine Nakayoshi in 1992?! It and its animation adaptation quickly broke records and became a milestone of ’90s girls’ manga and anime.

Sailor Moon next turned into a social phenomenon by reaching far beyond the boundaries of its genre, gaining widespread popularity among adults as well as children, and appealing to all genders and sexual orientations. Then, as it started being exported to other parts of the world, it became many people’s first introduction to Japanese pop culture.

Why was Sailor Moon such a hit when it first appeared, and why is it still so popular today? What led to Sailor Moon‘s rise outside of Japan, and what impact did it have on the generation that grew up with it?

At this Japan Foundation, New York panel discussion, Kumiko Saito, Mari Morimoto, Samantha Close, and Kathryn Hemmann explore the history and legacy of Sailor Moon, as well as the fandom and fan culture it helped create in the U.S.

JFNY Wants to Hear from You

★ Who is your favorite Sailor Moon character? ★

When you register for this event on JFNY’s Eventbrite page, tell JFNY who your favorite Sailor Moon character is. JFNY will announce the results of the poll during the event and discuss them with the panelists.


A live Q&A discussion will follow the discussion. Along with the poll, the registration form will have a space where you can ask the experts a question about Sailor Moon! You can also participate in the Q&A session in the live commentary section on the YouTube stream.

To register, please visit JFNY’s Eventbrite Page. Registrants will receive the link to the stream via email.

About Dr. Kumiko Saito

Kumiko Saito is an Assistant Professor of Japanese at Clemson University. She teaches Japanese literature in English and Japanese, as well as advanced levels of Japanese language. Her research centers on modern Japanese literature and contemporary popular culture, fantasy and science fiction, and visual narratives including manga and video games. Her essays appear in edited volumes and journals such as The Journal of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature Studies.

About Mari Morimoto

Mari Morimoto has been a freelance translator of manga and Japanese subculture content for more than 25 years. Her translating bibliography includes many bestselling titles such as Sailor Moon, Naruto, Dragon Ball, and Inuyasha. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she regularly interpreted for Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership, Anime NYC, New York Comic Con, Otakon, and Anime Boston, among others. Highlights of her manga career include meeting and rubbing elbows with Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama in 2003, assisting shojo manga legend Moto Hagio at San Diego Comic Con in 2010, and interpreting for Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto at New York Comic Con in 2015.

About Dr. Samantha Close

Samantha Close is an Assistant Professor of Communication at DePaul University. Her work on English-language fandoms for Japanese anime and manga appear in the journals Transformative Works and Cultures and Participations: International Journal of Audience Research, as well as in the anthologies The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction: Essays on Power, Consent and the Body and Sampling Media. She often incorporates creative methods, such as video remix and comics, into her scholarship. Besides fan studies and Japanese media, she is at work on a book about handcrafting and digital platforms.

About Dr. Kathryn Hemmann

Kathryn Hemmann is the author of numerous essays on Japanese fiction, graphic novels, and video games. Their book Manga Cultures and the Female Gaze argues that an awareness of female and queer writers and readers can transform our understanding of media that is often assumed to take a straight male audience for granted. Hemmann also runs the blog Contemporary Japanese Literature, which features reviews of fiction in translation and short articles on gender, society, and popular culture.

About the Japan Foundation

Established in 1972, the Japan Foundation is Japan’s only institution dedicated to carrying out comprehensive international cultural exchange programs throughout the world. The mission of the Japan Foundation is to promote international cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and other countries.