Emerald King

UTAS Home Dr Emerald L King

Emerald L King

Lecturer in Humanities

Room 467 , Humanities Building

Interested in most things dark and twisty, Emerald L King is a lecturer in humanities and an award-winning cosplayer.
Her research is divided between Japanese women's writing, cosplay as fan translation, and shōjo (girls’) manga and culture.


Emerald L King studied in Australia and Japan before receiving her PhD in Japanese literature from the University of Tasmania in 2012. In 2009/2010 Emerald completed a Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellowship to conduct research at Ochanomizu University (Tokyo, Japan) for 11 months under Dr Satako Kan and Dr Kazuko Takemura.

Before returning to UTAS as a member of staff in 2021, she worked at Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) from 2013-2018 and was appointed head of Japanese in 2016. In 2017 she was a visiting researcher at UTAS before taking up a position at La Trobe University in Australia in 2018.

Emerald’s research is based in Japanese literature but includes gothic literature, popular culture, and costume.

As part of her cosplay research she has competed in and won a number of prizes, most notably winning the 2016 finals of the Madman National Cosplay Championship (MNCC) and placing second in 2018; and placing in the finals of Australian World Cosplay Summit (WCS) preliminaries in 2018 and 2019. She has worked as a volunteer translator and interpreter for the WCS finals in Japan from 2017 and in 2020 she was named a WCS Support Ambassador.

Career summary


DegreeTitle of ThesisUniversityCountryAwarded
PhDMore than skin deep : masochism in Japanese women's writing 1960-2005 University of TasmaniaAustralia2012
BA(Hons)What’s Eating Them?:Anthropophagy and Human Consumption in Kurahashi Yumiko no kaiki shôhen.University of TasmaniaAustralia2005
  • Japan Foundation Fellowship, Ochanomizu University, Japan 2009/2010.

Languages (other than English)



Professional practice

  • Japan Studies Association Australia (JSAA)
  • Australian Asian Studies Association Australia (ASAA)
  • Association for Asian Studies (ASA)
  • Popular Culture Research Centre AUT – advisory board
  • Gothic Association Australia New Zealand (GANZA)
  • New Zealand Asian Studies Association (NZ Asia)

Administrative expertise

  • Head of Japanese Programme (Victoria University of Wellington 2016-2018)
  • Co-convenor Women in Asia conference 2021 (with La Trobe University)
  • Japanese-English interpreter and translator for the World Cosplay Summit (2017 onwards)
  • Wellington Japan Festival organising committee (2014, 2016) and MC (2016)
  • Cosplay guest judge Madman Anime Festival – Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney - and Overload New Zealand (2017, 2019)


Teaching expertise

Emerald has taught courses in Japanese language (introductory to honours level), Japanese literature (intermediate to honours level, postgrad supervision), and East Asian popular culture (introductory to honours level, postgrad supervision). She has given guest lectures at universities around Australia, New Zealand and the UK on film, media studies and English literature (introductory to honours level) as well as Japanese and East Asian popular culture (all levels).

Research Invitations

Invited talks:

“Forms of the Body in Contemporary Japanese Society, Literature, and Culture” online symposium 29 May 2021

‘Gender, Fashion and Popular Culture in Japan and Korea’ Symposium, with Laura Miller (Missouri St-Louis U), Masafumi Monden (UWA) and Jo Elfving-Hwang (UWA) March 26-27 2020. Cancelled due to COVID-19.

‘“Making the supernatural” Cosplay demonstration at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 15 January 2020.

“Supernatural pop” Public talk with Adam Liaw on cosplay at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 15 January 2020.

Japan Film Festival 2019 – Public talk following screening of Tonde Saitama: Fly me to the Saitama

“OBJECTively: Connecting Australia and Japan”, Australian National Museum presented by ANU, March 8 2019.
“Tamamo’s robe: cosplay and kimono in Australia and Japan”

Kimono de asobo (Playing with Kimono) symposium, Tokai University, January 26 2019.

Japan Film Festival 2018 - ” Public talk following screening of Manji 卍: The Goddess of Mercy

“Tokyo FRUiTS Exhibition tour”- Melbourne October 2018-January 2019
Japan Foundation and La Trobe Asia Public Lecture, State Library of Victoria, November 1 2018
“How KAWAiI Invaded Downtown Tokyo”

“Unlocking the International Possibilities of Shōjo Studies”, University of Queensland, 6-7 February 2018.
“Shojo: Past, Present, Ever, and Never.”

Asia Institute Tasmania Public Lecture, University of Tasmania, 14 November 2017.
“Tailored Translations: Translating and Transporting Cosplay Costumes Across Texts, Cultures, and Dimensions.”

View more on Dr Emerald King in WARP


  • Japanese literature
    Japanese popular culture
  • Shōjo manga
  • Girls studies
  • Cosplay
  • Popular culture
  • English Literature
  • Anime and manga


Emerald is currently working on a co-authored volume on shōjo/girls culture with Dr Lucy Fraser (UQ) and Dr Masafumi Monden (UWA) (Routledge 2022).

She is also working with Fraser and Ms Emily Wakeling on a Japan Foundation supported travelling exhibition (see )

Emerald is also partnering with Dr Wendy Mee (LTU), Ass Prof Kerstin Steiner (LTU) and Ass Prof to convene the 2021 ASAA Women in Asia Conference (see


  • World Cosplay Summit Support Ambassador 2020
  • 2009-2010. Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellowship Program for 11 months study at Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan.
  • 17th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia in Melbourne, “Is this the Asian Century?” Prize for Best Abstract for “Hot Young Things: Rewriting Young Japanese Women for the New Century.” December 2008

Current projects

In addition to the work on Japanese girls’ culture in Australia that Emerald is working on with Fraser and Monden, Emerald is also working on a monograph on cosplay.

With a number of seemingly disparate research interests, Emerald also has smaller research projects on reading costume as text that looks at kimono in Japanese literature and anime; masochism in Japanese literature; and applying historically plausible techniques to cosplay costume construction.

Fields of Research

  • Asian cultural studies (470202)
  • Literature in Japanese (470519)
  • Media studies (470107)
  • Gender relations (440504)
  • British and Irish literature (470504)

Research Objectives

  • Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture (280116)
  • Communication across languages and culture (130201)
  • Literature (130203)
  • Other culture and society (139999)
  • Languages and linguistics (130202)
  • Arts (130199)


Emerald publishes across a wide range of topics related to her key research areas of Japanese literature, cosplay and East Asian popular culture, and shōjo/girls studies. She has published on masochism in Japanese women’s literature, horror films, gothic literature, cosplay in Australia and Japan, girls and women’s fashion, gender, and comics.

Emerald is a journal article reviewer for Us Japan Women’s Journal, Japanese Studies, Intersections, New Voices, Aeternum, M/C, and Intellect Journals.

Total publications


Journal Article

(13 outputs)
2021King E, 'La Robe à la Francaise et la Robe l'Odalisque: wearing women's clothing in The Rose of Versailles', Studies in Costume & Performance, 6, (1) Article 19. ISSN 2052-4021 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1386/scp_00034_1 [eCite] [Details]


2021King EL, 'Top Model: cosplaying Ito Junji's Tomie', Refractory, 35, (October) pp. 1-16. ISSN 1447-4905 (2021) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2020Piatti-Farnell L, King EL, 'Dream', 23, (1) ISSN 1441-2616 (2020) [Edited Journal]

[eCite] [Details]


2020Piatti-Farnell L, King EL, 'Editorial: Dream Cultures', M/C Journal, 23, (1) ISSN 1441-2616 (2020) [Letter or Note in Journal]

DOI: 10.5204/mcj.1647 [eCite] [Details]


2017King E, 'Absent mothers, constructed families and Rabbit Babies', Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in The Asian Context, 40 pp. 1-8. ISSN 1440-9151 (2017) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2016King E, 'Tailored Translations Translating and Transporting Cosplay Costumes', Signata: Annales des semiotiques/Annals of Semiotics, 7 pp. 361-376. ISSN 2032-9806 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.4000/signata.1243 [eCite] [Details]


2015King EL, Rall DN, 'Re-imagining the Empire of Japan through Japanese schoolboy uniforms', MC Journal, 18, (6) ISSN 1069-6792 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5204/mcj.1041 [eCite] [Details]


2013King Emerald, 'Girls Who are Boys Who like Girls to be Boys: BL and the Australian Cosplay Community', Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, (32) pp. 1-11. ISSN 1440-9151 (2013) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2011King E, 'Mazohizumu no mon: Masochistic and Sadistic Representations of Women in Japanese Exploitation Films and Reidissu komikku', Image & Narrative, 12, (1) pp. 19-31. ISSN 1780-678X (2011) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2011King EL, 'Delicate women's fancies', Asian Currents, 2011, (March) pp. 11-13. ISSN 1449-4418 (2011) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2010King EL, Fraser L, 'An Interview with Sakumi Yoshino', U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, 38, (2010) pp. 113-132. ISSN 1059-9770 (2010) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

[eCite] [Details]

2009King EL, ''She's Got Tears in Her Eyes': The Language of Masochistic Violence and Power in the Work of Kono Taeko ', Crossroads, 3, (2) pp. 69-76. ISSN 1833-878X (2009) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2008King EL, 'The Mountain Witch at the Train Station: the Yamamba and the Shojo in Aoyama Nanae's Hitori Biyori', Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, 6, (1) pp. 82-98. ISSN 1176-2152 (2008) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


Chapter in Book

(8 outputs)
2022King EL, Rose M, 'An Empress's Wardrobe Unlock'd: Empress Masako and Japan's Imperial Fashions', Fashion, Women and Power: The Politics of Dress, Intellect Ltd, .'. (ed), Bristol, UK, pp. 59-78. ISBN 9781789384611 (2022) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1386/9781789384611_3 [eCite] [Details]


2020King EL, 'Pricking Pain Surrounds Us: Restraining, Shaping, and Taming the Body in Hebi ni Piasu', Forms of the Body in Contemporary Japanese Society, Literature, and Culture, Lexington Books, I Holca and C Sapunaru Tamas (ed), USA, pp. 157-174. ISBN 9781793623874 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]


2019King E, 'Performing Gender: Cosplay and Otaku Cultures and Spaces', Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture, Routledge, L Fraser, M Pendleton and J Coates (ed), UK, pp. 279-288. ISBN 9781032082264 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.4324/9781315179582 [eCite] [Details]


2019King EL, 'A brief history of cosplay at Australasian popular culture conventions', Australian Fandom: Online, Offline and Transcultural Spaces, University of Iowa Press, C Lam and J Raphael (ed), USA, pp. 233-260. ISBN 9781138303584 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2019King EL, 'Tangled Hair and Broken Bodies: Remaking Women and Technology in Japanese Gothic Horror Tradition from The Tale of Genji to Ringu', Gothic Afterlives: Reincarnations of Horror in Film and Popular Media, Lexington Books, L Piatti-Farnell (ed), UK, pp. 199-212. ISBN 9781498578226 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]


2019King EL, 'Sakura ga meijiru: Unlocking the Shōjo Wardrobe: Cosplay, Manga, 2.5D Space', Shojo Across Media: Exploring 'Girl' Practices in Contemporary Japan, Palgrave Macmillan, J Berndt, K Nagaike and F Ogi (ed), USA, pp. 233-260. ISBN 9783030014858 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2018King EL, 'Meishi kuwanu nyōbō: Women Who Don't Eat in Modern Japanese Literature', The Routledge Companion to Literature and Food, Routledge, L Piatti-Farnell and DL Brian (ed), UK, pp. 76-83. ISBN 9781138048430 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.4324/9781351216029 [eCite] [Details]


2017King EL, Fraser L, 'Girls in Lace Dresses: The Intersections of Gothic in Japanese Youth Fiction and Fashion', New Directions in Children's Gothic: Debatable Lands, Routledge, A Jackson (ed), UK, pp. 102-118. ISBN 9780367346317 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.4324/9781315695877 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2



(9 outputs)
2020King EL, 'Han, Yaya, Yaya Han's World of Cosplay: A Guide to Fandom Costume Culture', The Popular Culture Studies Journal, 8, (2) pp. 249. (2020) [Review Single Work]

[eCite] [Details]


2019King EL, 'Winge M Theresa, Costuming Cosplay: Dressing The Imagination, Dress Body Culture Series', Studies in Costume & Performance, 4, (2) pp. 268. ISSN 2052-4021 (2019) [Review Single Work]

[eCite] [Details]

2018King EL, 'Sheila Cliffe, The Social Life of Kimono: Japanese Fashion Past and Present', H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences, (January) pp. 1-3. ISSN 1538-0661 (2018) [Review Single Work]

[eCite] [Details]


2016King EL, 'Mark McLelland, Kazumi Nagaike, Katsuhiko Suganuma, and Jamese Welker (eds), Boys Love Manga and Beyond: History, Culture, and Community in Japan', Japanese Studies, 36, (2) pp. 275-276. ISSN 1037-1397 (2016) [Review Single Work]

DOI: 10.1080/10371397.2016.1224028 [eCite] [Details]


2015King EL, 'Christine R. Yano, Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific', The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 16, (2) pp. 194-196. ISSN 1444-2213 (2015) [Review Single Work]

DOI: 10.1080/14442213.2015.1006112 [eCite] [Details]


2013King EL, 'Jeffrey Angles, Writing the love of boys: Origins of bishōnen culture in modernist Japanese literature', Organization for Transformative Work, (12) ISSN 1941-2258 (2013) [Review Single Work]

DOI: 10.3983/twc.2013.0483 [eCite] [Details]


2011King EL, 'Ayelet Zohar (ed), PostGender: Gender, Sexuality and Perfomativity in Japanese Culture', Intersections, (26) ISSN 1440-9151 (2011) [Review Single Work]

[eCite] [Details]


2008King EL, 'The girl, the body, and the nation in Japan and the Pacific Rim', Asian Studies Review, 32, (3) pp. 425. ISSN 1035-7823 (2008) [Other Review]

DOI: 10.1080/10357820802294206 [eCite] [Details]


2008King EL, 'Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale', Asian Studies Review, 32, (3) pp. 442-443. ISSN 1035-7823 (2008) [Review Single Work]

DOI: 10.1080/10357820802302520 [eCite] [Details]


Conference Publication

(2 outputs)
2019King EL, 'Creating Fox Sprit Cosplay', OBJECTively-Connecting Australia and Japan: objects, cultural stories, people, 8 March 2019, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, ACT, pp. 68-71. (2019) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]


2008King EL, 'Hot Young Things: Re-Writing Young Japanese Women for the New Century', Proceedings of the 17th Biennial Conference of the ASAA, Melbourne, Australia, 1-3 July 2008, Melbourne, pp. 1-11. ISBN 9781876924676 (2008) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Other Public Output

(4 outputs)
2022King E, ''The Maidens Sans Frontiers Exhibition', Interview with Mel Bush', ABC Radio Hobart -Evening with Mel Bush, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Hobart, Tasmania, 24 February 2022 (2022) [Media Interview]

[eCite] [Details]

2022King E, ''Cosplay' Interview with Sirine Demachkie', ABC Radio Hobart -Evening with Sirine Demachkie, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Hobart, Australia, 04 March 2022 (2022) [Media Interview]

[eCite] [Details]

2022King EL, 'Was an Evil Spirit Released When Japan's 'Killing Stone' Split in Half? by Tara Yarlagadda', Howstuffworks, iHeartMedia, United States, 28 June 2022, pp. 1-8. (2022) [Media Interview]

[eCite] [Details]


2021King E, ''A Black TikToker was Accused of Appropriating a Japanese Character. Then She was Banned' by Hanako Montgomery', Vice world News, Vice Media, New York, United States, 04 November 2021 (2021) [Media Interview]

[eCite] [Details]


Grants & Funding

Selected grants:

  • 2021-2022. Japan Foundation small grant – Maidens Sans Frontiers travelling exhibition
  • 2019-2020. La Trobe University ASSC Research Start Up Grant
  • 2018. La Trobe Asia Research Grant Cosplay (costume play) in any language - interrogating language usage at the World Cosplay Summit
  • 2009-2010. Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellowship Program for 11 months study at Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan.

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Maidens Sans Frontiers Japanese Girl Culture (2021)$2,497
Maidens Sans Frontiers: Japanese Girl Culture in Australia is an exhibition that both celebrates and investigates contemporary Japanese girl culture as it manifests in Australia. Showcasing cosplay costumes, fashion items, photographs, video, postcards, books, manga, collectibles, Maidens Sans Frontiers is a collection of artefacts that inspired our co-authored academic book Maidens Sans Frontiers: Girl Culture in Japan and Beyond (Routledge 2022). In addition to the artefacts themselves, this exhibition will feature expert commentary.Maidens Sans Frontiers: Japanese Girl Culture in Australia is a touring exhibition that is designed for general public consumption teamed with several targeted events enabling audiences to engage with the exhibition and research in more depth. The exhibition will have both online and in-person components.
Japan Foundation ($2,497)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
King EL

Research Supervision

Emerald has supervised theses on Japanese literature, translation, game and manga localization, anime and manga, Japanese food, and cosplay.




MastersHateful Selves and Criminal Minds; The Subversion of Gender Norms in the Crime Fiction Work of Japanese Author, Natsuo Kirino2021