Talk:Japanese idol

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I came to this page because I was watching a movie featuring a japanese idol group, and i didn't really understand what that was. after reading this page I got the impression they are manufactured pop acts a la Britney Spears, but then I clicked on Beppin mag and that is some sort of mens mag/Playboy/naked centerfold thing? I think this article may need some clarification as to how much of this scene is for teens and how much of it is a sex industry thing aimed at adults, as this seems to me to be an important distinction between the japanese idol scene and the manufactured pop scene in the west. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:10, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Were are they now?[edit]

What happens to the ones that go out of favor with the public?

Well they just return to anonimity and a normal social life, get a job, get married, etc... A few of them try to catch on their brief celebrity for a few months more by appearing as "guests" in TV programs, or even by selling "nude phoobooks" of them, a not-so-rare surprising move for these "innocent girls". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC)


I think this is an interesting article, but it also contains a huge flaw in that it gives the mistaken impression that idols are exclusively female. This is quite clearly false - the role of male idols such as SMAP, V6 and Shonentai is almost (if not equally) as important as those of their female counterparts in Japanese pop culture. Surely they need to be mentioned?

Whoops, forgot to sign Poltergeist 09:54, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I wrote "mostly female", I hope this is OK with you. Maikel (talk) 19:17, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
marker mostly for myself to come back and edit this: that's not really good enough, because there isn't even a single mention of males otherwise, and the article still gives the impression that idols are exclusively female. which isn't even remotely true. johnny & associates, the most powerful idol machine in japanese entertainment, only handles boys. there are a lot of male idols, and some make it just as big as some female ones -- just looking at the oricon charts bears that out. there is also no mention here of the companies that crank out these manufactured celebrities; should have at least links to those, because without them there would be no idols. piranha]] [[User talk:Piranha|(notify) (talk) 21:14, 3 March 2011 (UTC)


"Good examples of this are Ayumi Hamasaki, Noriko Sakai, Ryoko Hirosue and Namie Amuro."

This sentence is vague; what is "this" referring to?

Also, I suggest alphabetizing the list of idols at the end, unless there is some reason why it isn't already (which is why I haven't done it). Commander Nemet 20:31, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Utada Hikaru an idol?[edit]

I think she's more of a performance artist... But aside from that, if the definition of "idol" here is appearance-oriented, I would contend that Utada is NOT an "idol", as she is not marketed by her looks. --OneTopJob6 20:13, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Utada Hikaru is not an idol. Basically, to be an idol you need to sign an idol contract and follow idol rules. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

The list of idols[edit]

Seems too long and (as noted above) a bit vauge. I'd like to see it cut down to perhaps five. - brenneman{T}{L} 06:06, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Nor is Ayu, really, nor was she at the beginning of her career. The author is using the term rather broadly, as do many Westerners. Ayu, Utada, they are pop singers primarily. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree and I think that the inclusion criteria should be least one appearance on Kohaku (by themselves so groups that invite their sister groups to be a part of their performance wouldn't count) along with at least one number one on the Oricon charts with the exceptions being:

  • If the person in question changed the industry in some way. Onyanko Club would be and example of this with the introduction of sub groups that have been used in many Idols after them;
  • Oldest, youngest debut, biggest selling, most number ones ect If there is a notable source.

I saw Perfume included under "First j-electro group, first girl group to have 5 consecutive #1 dvd releases, 2nd electronic group to perform in the Tokyo dome, won mnet award for best asia pop artist" this is an example of someone not using judgement. First to have #5 DVD releases? Not really that important. DSQ (talk) 11:39, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Leaving out main idols[edit]

Possibly the two main artists who come to my mind when I think of AIDORU are Rie Miyazawa and Aya Ueto. I'm suprised that they are not mentioned at all.

And this was mainly prominent in the 1980s, where there was a big movement of idols who were popular, but I see mostly not-so-popular recent artists mentioned.

Also, from what I can see, the list is extremely unorganized and frankly too long. I think just the biggest idols should be listed. I wish I knew more about the subject on a larger scale because personally I think this page does need to be cleaned up a lot. Mizerunmei 14:58, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Namie Amuro[edit]

Her album SWEET 19 BLUES was never the best selling album of Japan with 3 million copies. globe with their first album sold 4 million copies only in Japan in 1996, so that's impossible, and only Utada 's album outsold it later. Clouded 22:04, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Verificable content?[edit]

If you read the Japanese version of this same article there are many important differences. In fact, the english version is poorly accurate about idol definition. For example, Namie Amuro wasn't an idol, but a "post-idol artist" (ISBN:0-674-01773-0) and Utada Hikaru is a Top Artist/composer but not an Idol. Even in Japan the common people can understand about these differences, since they call "aidoru" to just some kind of artists, for example, these with "buri-buri iso" costumes, “purehearted and pretty,” sweet, childlike, humble, and honest people. Same girls or boys, Idols MUST BE into this classification. All other artists are "Celebrities" or "Top Artist" or "Singers", or "Tarento" or anything else. I propose to search Verificable Sources (books, magazine articles, JAPANESE VERSION of this same article, etc) for improve or to accurate the content. --Cbpm 03:23, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I see, it's similar to "Boy Band", in that not every group involving multiple male performers is a "Boy Band", it's a specific type of group? (For example, the group Slipknot is made up of male performers, and is a band, but not a "Boy band", whereas Backstreet Boys is). Kuronue 04:39, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Slipknot were in their twenties when they started out, so they wouldn't be called a boy band for that reason alone. Maikel (talk) 19:28, 22 December 2007 (UTC)


In my mind Japanese idols owe their career to being heavily "produced and promoted" by agencies and the media industry, rather than owing their success to personal talent and ambition, and therefore this should be included in the introduction. I won't put it in there personally as I'm not really competent in this matter. What do you think? Maikel (talk) 19:16, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Wait What?[edit]

I just read "For a fuller understanding of both role play and the idealisation of youth in Japanese media and culture it is worth reading articles by Dr Sharon Kinsella, referenced below" could someone tell me why Wikipedia is telling people to read a book instead of going into detail about something. (talk) 23:00, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

A better definition and a rewrite[edit]

The article needs to be rewritten. The lead section is unclear to those without prior knowledge.

Since the article is largely unsourced anyway and it can't be made any worse (IMO), the solution for me would be to randomly rewrite it (randomly at random times).

Here a citation from myself. Someone asked what the article (in some other language) was about exactly. I can add random stuff like this:

The article is about a segment of the Japanese entertainment (entertainment industry). There are performers of certain style that are called "idols". You can say being a idol is a profession, like being a singer or a dancer. But you can only be an idol when you are young. When idols grow up, they leave the idol industry (it's called "they graduate") and either return to being normal people (e.g. go to college to get a normal profession) or become singers and actors.
An "idol" is like a "starlet". It's like if a being a starlet would be a separate profession. A profession for young people.
Everything I say will be mainly about the Japanese music industry ("idol singers"). Being an idol is not considered to be a serious profession, it's like "I can sing and dance a little bit and I'm too cute for words".
For example, this pop group (Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku) is actually marketed to have the image of a band of middleschoolers who can't really sing or dance (they actually can sing and dance, though): [1], [2].
Being an idol (idol singer) means they sing cute songs and are marketed in a certain way. They are targeted mainly to the fans of opposite sex and they are not allowed to have boyfriends/girlfriends. They must be cute and perfect. If they disbehave, they are excluded. (There have been some scandals like that. For example, a person can be banned from activites for a certain period of time for smoking.)
All idols have a fervent following (idol fans) who act in a certain crazy way. (It looks like if the fans would "worship" them.) At the concert, the fans do what is called "wotagei". You can say it's like cheerleading, they support their idols when they perform. They actually invent something like a chant (a sequence of shouts) for every song, so the concerts sound very impressive thanks to the fans' chants. Watch the videos: [3] (Momoiro Clover Z), [4] (Cute).
You can say being an idol fan is like a subculture. It's somewhat similar to being a metalhead. Only metal fans mosh at the concerts and idol fans do the wotagei.
There are many companies that specialize in idols or have a separate section for creating idols.
The other thing is that kids usually become idols through auditions. (So it's kind of similar to TV shows like "Americal idol". I'm not sure if the idea and the usage of the word "idol" in this context were stolen from the Japanese.)
so as I said, idols are a type of Japanese entertainers who are marketed as cute ordinary people who can sing and dance and model, but are not professional at either singing or dancing or modelling. They are ordinary "girls/boys next door". It's like an idea of an ordinary girl who is so cute and adorable that the whole Japan falls in love with her and everyone wants to marry her or be her boyfriend. (But she can't have a boyfriend cause if she does, people won't worship her anymore.)
I would like to explain all this in the article (starting with the English one), but it's too difficult...

Another citation from myself.
The question was about the definition. "Who decides they are cute? The fans or the employer?"

[Who decides they are cute? The fans or the employer?] — The employer. An employer employs a girl or a boy as an idol (usually through an audition).
"Idol" is like a profession. It's like if being a starlet were a profession. It's not considered a serious profession, though. It's like "I can sing and dance a little bit and I'm cute". But Japanese idols are marketed in a certain way. And all idols have a ferocious following that acts in a certain way. What idol fans do is called "wotagei", it's like an art. The fans learn how to shout at live concerts, how to wave lightsticks. To do it correctly, you need to learn chants for every song. The fans with their chants are practically part of the show, watch the videos: [5], [6].

Anyway, you see, no one understands. Something must be done.

I propose (since the article is largely unsourced anyway) to write what we have to write. To write a better definition and add many other stuff so that the readers could actually understand what the article was about. And we can find sources later. --Moscow Connection (talk) 10:51, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Rewriting has started[edit]

I have finally rewritten the lead. I must say that the more I edit it, the harder it is going to be to source it. I started with (almost) everything easily sourceable, but since have added much more. I basically have no other choice but to do it like that cause the topic is rather complicated.

I hope no one objects, cause there are basically two choices: 1. to return to equally unsourced previous version that was terrible, too; 2. to leave a version by someone who have been thoroughly thinking about it for, like, two years and after several years of being horrified by this article finally decided to rewrite it a little bit. :)

Since if I don't want to source it now and I would prefer to leave it like that for some time (cause the absence of references makes it easier to read and change), I will now post a few excepts from reliable sources that can prove that what I added is sourceable.

Here it is. I will post more here. Cause when I was writing I was thinking "I've heard this, I remember I've read this somewhere", so there is much more I can find sources for.

an attractive young actor, male or female, packaged and promoted as an adolescent role model .. The author explores how the idol-manufacturing industry absorbs young people into its system of production, molds them into marketable personalities, commercializes their images, and contributes to the construction of ideal images of the adolescent self.

A final musical genre is an idoru or "idol," largely a product of Japanese merchandising. Idol refers to the cute, girl-next-door singers who are designed, controlled, and marketed just like any other product. Talent agencies promote such starlets in advertising, music, television dramas, and performance tours.

'idols,' or heavily produced and promoted men and women who perform across media genres and platforms. They appear in magazines and advertisements, perform on TV and on stage, recorded and live.

In the Japanese context, though, The Alfee are not idols and should be seen as “serious” performers in the field

... rather than "manufactured stars" such as idols (Aoyagi 1999).

For major entertainment reporter Masaru Nashimoto, an idol must be young and have a frenzied following to the point of being a social phenomenon.

The 1980s is considered the golden age of idols, when devout fans formed "shineitai" cheering groups, taking in every concert and other public appearance of the target of their affections: usually a cute teen singer, with the latter being optional.

The 1990s saw attractive young singers snub the idol typecast, preferring to be viewed as artists who could sing, dance and perform, he said.

The concept of idol also evolved into subtypes: photogravure or magazine idols mainly pose as models, often in swimsuits, for magazines and DVDs; variety idols mainly appear on TV variety programs. Nashimoto meanwhile doubts magazine and variety idols actually qualify.

In the 1990s, singing programs began to lose viewers mainly because audiences grew tired of such programs, Nashimoto said. Young, good-looking singers were striving to become artists instead of idols.

"The definition of idols is blurry now. I'm not sure (photogravure and variety types) are idols, because they are very different from what idols were in the 1980s. But if they are, we could say there are numerous idols," Nashimoto said.

Idols do not belong to categories such as a singer, an actress, or a model. They are, just like Ellis, kawaii-cute-female-child-lolita-like persons in show business. Everyone adores the beauty and cuteness of the idols. They are not necessarily professional singers, but their CDs sell a lot, because their voices are kawaii, cute. They appear on TV programs and commercials, and even in the movies. Many people say that idols are just like "cute sisters next door", probably this is the main reason why idols were accepted by so many ordinary people in Japan.

—, This source is not reliable, though.

Большую часть певцов-идолов образуют представительницы прекрасного пола. Их типичный репертуар состоит из простеньких мелодий, следующих преобладающей в данный момент моде в популярной музыке. Музыкальные способности не играют особо большой роли, - достижения певцов-идолов основываются в значительной мере на привлекательности их публичного имиджа.

--Moscow Connection (talk) 05:11, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

This is due to the comparatively overrepresentation of "idol" singers in the Japanese music industry. Japanese idols are carefully manufactured consumer products who do well for a few years before they retire to make room for the next rising star.

Fans describe idols, and by extension their relationships with them, as "pure" (junsui).

This purity also implies a sort of chastity on the part of the idol, ...

For example, in their often uncoordinated and unpolished dances, idols seem to be having fun; this is a "performance of pleasure" or "show of enjoyment" that is "not directed towards mastery" (McDonald 1997, 288–293). They are imagined to be in a place where (and a time, "youth," when) excellence is not demanded.

...adolescent fans can easily empathize with idols who are embarking on their own growth journey: from inexperienced debutantes to experienced public figures and performers....

states that people "adore idols for their sweetness and purity, ...

Pop idols emerged in Japan as a commercial genre in the general category of kayōkyoku (popular music) during the late 1960s and early 1070s.

Two broad points emerge from the interview data. One is that Japanese idols constitute a sort of "brand," not just pop singers or actors, but a lifestyle of urban affluence...

This consists of a series of adolescent personalities — aidoru, or "pop idols" — who are commodified as public role models in adolescent fashions and lifestyles.

Hundreds of young people participate in contests each year, hoping to become idols.

Until the early 1990s, the most common feature embodied by pop idols to enhance the sense of companionship was cuteness. Kawaiko-chan, or "cute boys and boys," became a synonym for pop idols in 1970s and 1980s (Figure 7.2).

... according to Kuroyanagi Tetsuko, ..., people adore cute idols for their sweetness, which evokes the sense that "they should be protected carefully" ...

Modern Japanese music is dominated by “idols,” a term in Japan referring to youthful performers who for the most part exude a wholesome image and put an emphasis on connecting with fans through all sorts of promotions.
Groups such as AKB48, Arashi, Momoiro Clover Z and many more define Japan’s contemporary idol scene, ...

Yet the history of idol music hasn’t been so steady, and has gone through various periods en route to becoming the country’s dominant form of J-pop.

Performers like Amachi Mari pushed a pure image (her nickname was “Snow White”) while also seeming more girl-next-door, the sort of singer young women could picture becoming or young men could see dating. Smoking, drinking or dating in public were (and are still) huge no-nos. These idols weren’t necessarily polished performers – part of the appeal lied in watching them blossom over time, giving fans a personal stake in the singers.

--Moscow Connection (talk) 06:14, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

One impossible thing to ignore in Japanese society is the obsession of everything cute.

Examining Japan’s obsession with cuteness.

Japanese culture has an obsession with youth and innocence; 13-year-old girls, like Shinobu in Love Hina, are considered ...

Idol characters such as the "cute style" and the "life-sized" persona (above average, but not outstanding) are introduced, ...

We then examine how "idol" singers are cultivated and promoted, ...

Today kayōukyoku, broadly defined, includes enka as well as "idols songs", "new music", theme songs. and Japanese rock. Idols songs are Western-style made-in-Japan versions of light rock, ballads, folk songs, or standards; this is the genre most popular among Japanese teenagers and young adults today.

Depending on her talent and appearance — the budding starlet might become a new teenage idol singer — a young professional who, with some lack, would last past her twenty-first birthday.

The depth of feeling and range of emotion in idol songs typically does not venture much beyond the "girl meets boy and lives happily ever after" variety, though the inverse variant, "girl loses boy and will be miserable forever," is also occasionally found.

the simple boy-girl idol music

a long list of idols and idol group which have dominated Japan's popular culture since 1960s.

Idol songs are typically romantic fantasies, which dwell on the well-worn themes of being in love, hoping to win the heart of another, and physical desire.

Promotion agencies, of course, orchestrated the development and marketing of idols and idol groups.

There are many idols and idol magazines in Taiwan that imitate Japanese idols and magazines.

According to Keith Cahoon, youth, looks, and “sentimentality” are the only requirements for a Japanese idol. Musical talent is of little ...

The Japanese pronunciation of “idol,” came into use in the 1970s and 1980s

... their early teens and groomed by production companies. ... Idols did not only sing, but also worked as actors, models, talk show hosts, and commercial sports people, suggesting that time spent in front of ...

They were idols in the sense that media exposure was intense and many of his singers began performing in their early-to-mid teens, but their aesthetic was totally different: Komure repackaged the female idol as part of the worldwide trend in dance music.

In this decade, it would be the male idols who would become one of the most important genre in the music market, ...

... pop to folk, and then New Music, back to the industry created idol ...

--Moscow Connection (talk) 08:13, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

.. idols and celebrities. However, these celebrities are manufactured and promoted by the media, attaining their celebrity only as a consequence of their appearance in the media.

... for example, corporate press releases ... often involve formal, staged press events that;, in order to attract the media, employ idols ands celebrities as "image characters" (...) or spokepersons.

The value of idols does not necessarily lie in any distinctive singing ability. The main feature of what is called the Japanese aidoru (iodol) system is the production of an intimacy between stars and audiences and the blurring of the distance between professionals and amateurs...

--Moscow Connection (talk) 23:18, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

One more source we can use:
Timothy J. Craig (8 April 2015). Japan Pop: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture. Routledge. pp. 76–. ISBN 978-1-317-46721-2.  --Moscow Connection (talk) 09:10, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

There's more than just the "cute teenage girl" kind of idol[edit]

This article deals almost exclusively with female idol groups, when in fact male idol groups like the Johnny's ones (Arashi, NEWS etc.) are a big part of the industry too. None of them are even mentioned in the "Selective list of notable idols and idol groups" section of this article, and even though a few male idol groups are mentioned in other sections of the article, the overall focus on the "cute teenage girl" kind of idol creates a misleading picture.

The current definition, "a young manufactured star/starlet marketed as someone to be admired, usually for their cuteness", adds to this misleading picture. There's old idols and idols who are far from being stars or even starlets, who would be excluded by this definition, which is why I'm going to revert it to my earlier version, "an entertainment personality marketed as someone to be admired, usually for their cuteness or coolness". If you think this definition includes people that shouldn't be considered idols, let me know who they are.

MugiMafin (talk) 15:56, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

1. I'm sorry, but it's not done like this on Wikipedia. First, you need to find a source for the changes you want to make. (For "coolness", etc.) Then we will discuss it. I guess you need to find an article that gives a definition of a male idol. Find one and come back here.
2. If you think this definition includes people that shouldn't be considered idols, let me know who they are. — Basically, everyone. IMO, your definition doesn't actually define any limitations.
3. Now I will revert to the former version. --Moscow Connection (talk) 22:54, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
It should be almost impossible to find a specific definition for "male idol" because it's just common sense that it would be a combination of the definitions for "male" and "idol", and everybody already knows what "male" means. I'm pretty sure you would agree that part of what makes an idol an idol is that it's admired (or marketed as admirable at least), but obviously men are admired for different traits than girls, so I don't understand how one could leave the definition with the limitations "young" and "cute" while at the same time acknowledging that men in their 30s can be idols too (see Arashi). This combination makes the article inconsistent.
Saying my definition doesn't define limitations is incorrect (and preposterous even) because "entertainment personality" and "marketed as someone to be admired, usually for their cuteness or coolness" both are limitations. The definition also doesn't include "everyone", as you say, because (obviously) not everyone is an entertainment personality marketed as someone to be admired, usually for their cuteness or coolness. You were the one who asked me to create this talk section, so I would have expected you to be more cooperative, but this just proves that you're anything but.
Your reversion is further proof of that. It's clear that claims with sources are better than claims without sources, but in this case it would have been better style for you to simply add "citation needed" tags to the parts of the definition you think are questionable. Your repeated reversions aren't standard Wikipedia behavior, they're edit warring. So in both of our interests (I don't want to report you and you probably don't want to be reported) I'm going to change the definition to a tentative halfway-between version, "an often young entertainment personality of varying stardom, marketed as (and sometimes manufactured to be) someone to be admired for traits such as cuteness or coolness", which admittedly is kind of ugly but also seems like the fairest option at this point. If you think there's a prettier way of saying it that is at the same time just as close to the truth of the matter, let me know.
MugiMafin (talk) 11:55, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Once again, you need to find a source for the changes you want to make. If you don't have reliable sources to back up your version of the definition, don't change it again.
For example, do you have a source for "coolness"? If you don't, you can't add the word. Your edits violate the Wikipedia policies "Wikipedia:Verifiability" and "Wikipedia:No original research". Find reliable sources and come back. Right now your behaviour qualifies as "disruptive editing", see "Wikipedia:Disruptive editing#Examples of disruptive editing".
I'm sorry, I was prepared to talk to you and I thought you would make a research on the subject and come back with some reliable sources you found. But you decided to start an edit war and you are acting disruptively right now.
Again. Please do a reasearch on the subject. Find different definitions. copy-paste them here. We'll look at them and think how we can improve this article. --Moscow Connection (talk) 13:56, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
I was most certainly not the one who started this edit war. You made the first revert and gave as a reason that my definition was too inclusive, without actually saying why you thought it was too inclusive. Then, when I asked you to give me examples to justify your claim, you just said my definition included "everyone", which, as I've pointed out before, doesn't even make sense. And calling my edits disruptive is ridiculous. I've made it clear, right in this talk section, that my edits are meant to bring the definition closer to the truth of the matter, and my last edit was a perfectly sensible compromise too.
The coolness part isn't even original research, because it's no research at all. It's common sense that coolness is a trait admired in men (and often even women). This isn't the kind of information that should require a source. And by the way, you say "we'll look at [the sources]", but I don't think there is a "we", since so far you're the only person who has a problem with the inclusion of the word "coolness". I also want to remind you that WP:BURDEN says that "whether and how quickly material should be initially removed for not having an inline citation to a reliable source depends on the material" and to "consider adding a citation needed tag as an interim step". Adding a citation needed tag as an interim step is exactly what I recommended you to do, and I even did it myself to save you some work. But you chose to revert for the third time now, without budging even the slightest bit, even though I made some other changes to the definition that don't even have to do with the coolness part you're objecting to. You have to realize that you're the one doing most of the warring here, while I'm trying to find a good compromise.
Since the word "coolness" seems to be your only objection to my last edit (at the moment), I propose we change the definition to "an often young entertainment personality of varying stardom, marketed as (and sometimes manufactured to be) someone to be admired for traits such as cuteness" for now. Would you be fine with that?
I'm also going to file a report to the edit warring noticeboard, just in case.
MugiMafin (talk) 14:59, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Your version is not encyclopedic. "Often young", "varying stardom"? All idols are young when they start their entertainment careers. And it's natural that they become famous. "Such as cuteness" — the article already says "usually for their cuteness".
As I've already said, please look for reliable sources. The idea to explain that some people (Johnnys) continue to be marketed as idols when they are well into their 30s (and 40s) is very reasonable. I agree to add a note about this to the lead section. But could you please find some sources that we can use? We need some source. (And we probably can explain that idols don't stop to be idols when they become famous. But I don't really think it needs to be explained. It's obvious.)
The truth is that female idols are a widespread phenomenon in Japan, while male idols are (almost) exclusively Johnnys. It's natural that that the definition doesn't work for some Johnnys. It works quite well for most cases, that's what's important. Let's just add a note as I've proposed, okay? But please, please, do some research. Search Google Books, search reliable news sites. I'm sure something can be found. --Moscow Connection (talk) 00:17, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Idols are a pretty unscientific topic and you could find countless definitions from Google Books or news sites that would partly contradict each other. That's just how it is with topics like these. You yourself even said something on this talk page two years ago that's really similar to what I was trying to do: "I propose (since the article is largely unsourced anyway) to write what we have to write. To write a better definition and add many other stuff so that the readers could actually understand what the article was about. And we can find sources later." The article might have more sources now than it did back then, but there's no guarantee they're perfect ones, and I'm sure if someone searched long enough, they'd find sources that are just as reliable as yours but still say something different. What then? In the end, an encyclopedia is supposed to describe things as they are. "Often young" and "varying stardom" are attributes that can be applied to idols, even if they don't sound definite enough for your taste. Compare this random article that says "generally brownish birds". That's not very definite either, but it does the job. "Young" (they don't always stay young) and "star/starlet" (it's not natural they become famous and there's a lot of back-alley idols) on the other hand are attributes that would just leave out certain subsets of idols. The same goes for "manufactured" by the way. Definitions like that, which might work for most elements of a set but don't work for the set as a whole, are the ones that aren't encyclopedic.
Adding a note like you proposed is a good idea, but we'll still have to weaken the attributes "young", "star/starlet" and "manufactured" in the definition. This is what I propose: "[an idol is] a certain type of entertainment personality. They start their careers at a young age and are marketed as (and sometimes manufactured to be) someone to be admired, usually for their cuteness. Their careers emphasize the journey towards becoming a star, but only in rare cases are they still marketed as "idols" when they are in their 30s or older." A source for the last part can be found on this page of a book that's already listed as a source (currently number 7) for the entry paragraph. The rest of this definition should be close enough in meaning to the current one to not need any additional sources, and it also includes the subsets of idols that are left out by the current one. What do you think?
MugiMafin (talk) 20:47, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
This version is not bad, but it's not precise enough. And I don't like the "They start their careers at a young age" part. It should be made clear that idols are young, not just some people who "start their careers at a young age". (By the way, the word "they" doesn't fit there.) "Idols are young" would be better.
By the way, the book you linked actually says Johnnys are cute. --Moscow Connection (talk) 04:09, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
1. You will need to find a source that says something like "[an idol is] a certain type of entertainment personality". 2. Please re-read your version, it doesn't sound coherent. The part "but only in rare cases are they still" doesn't fit the first part of the sentence. 3. The part "and sometimes manufactured to be" doesn't fit there too: "as (and ...)". 4. Your version says "sometimes", "usually", and "but", that's too much rambling. Like, you say that the article you linked says "generally brownish birds". But it doesn't start with a definition saying, "... are generally brownish birds, sometimes also yellowish, usually cute, but in rare cases they aren't birds, but CGI constructs. Some people may call themselves woodcreepers, but they aren't the real ones who are discussed in this article."
The general idea is good though. --Moscow Connection (talk) 10:53, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Your version should be rewritten to be more concise. Like, if you change it to say "young entertainment personality" or "idols are young" and move the part about idols over 30 to a separate sentence or a paragraph somewhere lower in the lead section, the definition will still be correct and will become more readable. By the way, 30 is young. And "only in rare cases are ... in their 30s or older" sounds like a strict age limitation. Why would you add an age limitation to the definition when you yourself say there's no real limitation? --Moscow Connection (talk) 11:00, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
The last definition I proposed is more precise than all the ones before it, including the one currently used in the article. Including a sentence like "idols are young" would however render the whole definition imprecise, because not all idols stay young, as I've pointed out before. You'd have to say something like "idols are young, except when they aren't", which would be silly. "Generally young" would work though of course. Also, you might think "young" includes people in their thirties, but it's definitely borderline territory, and definitions are supposed to be as safe as possible.
I don't need a separate source for "entertainment personality" because the currently used word "star/starlet" is a subset of "entertainment personality". Everyone who is a star/starlet is by default also an entertainment personality, so if the former term is safe to use, the latter is too. Just one of the many benefits of vagueness.
What you call "rambling" is actually just vague vocabulary too. Vague vocabulary is necessary when you're dealing with vague concepts, and idols are a vague concept. "Only in rare cases are ... in their 30s or older" has just the right degree of vagueness too. Something like "never are ... at 35" is what a strict age limitation would look like.
But I'll think about your points and get back to you if I feel like I've come up with something that could satisfy both of us.
MugiMafin (talk) 18:07, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
I took a hint from the Japanese article, which plays it appropriately safe and doesn't say anything about "young", "manufactured" or "star" in the introduction. Instead it refers to this dictionary entry:
3 あこがれの的。熱狂的なファンをもつ人。
"Target of admiration. A person with enthusiastic fans."
I decided to use this as the definition for our article too and to degrade the current "young manufactured star/starlet" part from fact to opinion, because of the sources' questionable authority and in accordance with WP:ASSERT. I also moved the sentence mentioning the growth aspect further up and included the note about "borderline not-young" idols.
If you see a problem with this version, please discuss the matter in this talk section before reverting anything.
MugiMafin (talk) 13:17, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
1. Why did you change the definition again? See WP:CONSENSUS and WP:DISRUPTIVE.
2. So? The definition you provided is for the general term. And the Japanese article is also more general than the English one which deals specifically with the modern (1970s—now) phenomenon in Japan. (The Japanese Wikipedia definition actually says, "文化に応じて様々に定義される語である。")
3. I'm sorry, I'm not going to continue the discussion like this. Cause I don't see you wanting to do actual work on the article. The currect definition is okay. There's no consensus to change it. That's all I'm going to say. --Moscow Connection (talk) 16:45, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
There's no consensus to keep it like it is either. And if there's no consensus, we'll have to keep trying to find a good compromise. You're not making any attempts at that though. All you do is revert. And my last edit didn't even stand in conflict with any of your previously mentioned points, so I went ahead and boldly edited. Please be more specific in what exactly was wrong with my last edit and/or offer a new version yourself that takes my concerns about the non-universality of "young", "manufactured" and "star/starlet" into consideration. If you can't do that, I'll file another report to the edit warring noticeboard. And let me remind you that you won't be able to worm your way out with calling my edits unsourced this time. MugiMafin (talk) 18:35, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
The current version is consensual. More or less recently (in 2014–2015) the definition was tweaked and expanded by Anosola. And Robert II greatly improved the article by rewording the lead section. It is a work of multiple people.
You simply changed the definition, yet again. Now to a different version. Do you think that tomorrow you can change is to "An idol is a famous person" or something just because no one has specifically objected to that version? And the day after tomorrow to "An idol is a person popular among young people"? It looks like you want to change it to just anything, just because you don't like how it is now.
And look at a random version from 2008, it's basically the same cause it defines idols as young and "cute": [7]. Then in late 2015 you came and said that idols weren't all young and weren't all cute and changed it to something vague. And you continued attempting to change it to other vague definitions bacause you don't think they are young and cute... That's how it looks. --Moscow Connection (talk) 19:56, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

I've asked for a third opinion. I just want to say that we shouldn't change the definition to a Japanese dictionary one for the word "アイドル" ("idol"). Cause this article is about a particular modern-days entertainment-industry phenomenon in Japan, not just a "あこがれの的", "熱狂的なファンをもつ人".
A note on the Japanese Wikipedia article. The corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia is called "アイドル" ("Idol") and provides a generalised definition, exactly the same as on the disambiguation page "アイドル (曖昧さ回避)". I don't think it is a good idea to do the same thing here cause our article is called "Japanese idol" and this is not the place to describe the general idea of "pop idols". (By the way, the Japanese Wikipedia doesn't have articles "Pop icon" and "Teen idol".)
Also, the definition in the "アイドル" article has changed several times. At one point, a Japanese user replaced the definition with the one he translated from the English Wikipedia article: [8], So, for some prolonged time the definitions here and in the Japanese Wikipedia were the same. --Moscow Connection (talk) 22:15, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

I don't understand why my behavior seems random to you. I've made it clear several times that the current definition is too restrictive. That's been my point from the start and it hasn't changed. I do realize that most idols are young etc., but that doesn't mean we have to pretend that they all are. My different edits have been attempts to show you different ways of making it less restrictive, in hopes you'd accept one of them. I personally think the last ones were good compromises, but I have yet to hear a proper explanation for why you think otherwise (or to see you offer a compromise yourself). You always come up with new objections, and they're starting to get pretty weird now. The Japanese article deals with what's called "idol" in Japan, and that's the exact same thing an English article called "Japanese idol" should be dealing with. You can see from the disambiguation page that it really is the same kind of idol this English article at least tries to talk about (日本の芸能界における「アイドル」とは、成長過程をファンと共有し、存在そのものの魅力で活躍する人物を指す). It says "Japanese show business", not "pop culture in general", and you have the growth process, the supporting fans, the admiration. The only thing that's missing is something about "young", "manufactured" or "star/starlet". Why? Probably because that would be too restrictive. In Japan, the concept of what an idol is has changed considerably in the past ten years or so, with long-running idol groups getting older, the Internet facilitating promotion and making things less manufactured and pretty much unknown people who are far from being starlets ending up falling under the category "idol" too. So it's understandable that the Japanese article would change too with time. But they ended up with their current version now, so that's probably the one that makes most sense today.
To really have consensus on the current version, the two of us will have to agree on something, or we'd have to have the people you mentioned take my points into consideration and then decide if they still consider the current version appropriate. As Nihonjoe has pointed out, what we have right now is no consensus at all.
MugiMafin (talk) 15:10, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Cause your behavior seems random. I don't get it. On April 19 I actually said that your version from 20:47 on 18 April 2016 wasn't bad, but I didn't like how it basically said that a 30-year old person wasn't young and how it had three words that expressed doubt: "sometimes", "usually", and "but". And I said that all these "buts" could be discussed in a second paragraph cause the current definition was correct for the case that was most widely discussed in reliable sources... And I also said that your version didn't seem grammatically correct and didn't quite sound encyclopedic. And I was expecting you to do some work, to improve on you version, to agree to just say "young" and to move a part about people above 30 to a second paragraph so that it didn't look like Wikipedia was saying that a 30-something-year-old person wasn't young. And I hoped that you would (finally) come back with links to some smart articles and books on Japanese idols. Cause this article needed improvement and more sources and every newfound book would be useful. Instead, when you returned you just changed the definition to something completely different that you had just came up with. (The dictionary definition of the word "idol" is nothing new, by the way. There has been half a year or so since you started, and you haven't found a single new source.)
You see, I do think it was random. And I do think that you just create walls of text on the talk page in which you simply express your own opinion instead of actually researching on the subject and finding something useful that we can use to improve this article.
Also, I think that the currect definition works very well for English-language readers. It can be improved, but your versions that say things like "an idol is an often young entertainment personality" look silly. "A rarely old entertanment personality"? Why don't you like the word "young"? --Moscow Connection (talk) 19:43, 30 April 2016 (UTC)
If all my behavior follows the same principle, i.e. "make the definition less restrictive", it's clearly not random. My problem with the word "young" is that a lot of people just don't see 30-year-olds as "young". For all those people the current definition would be false, and this could easily be fixed by just saying something like "generally young" instead, or use the version I provided in my last edit. There's the same problem with "manufactured" and "star/starlets" as I've mentioned before. There's idols who can't really be considered "manufactured" (independent net idols for example) and idols who can't really be considered "stars/starlets" (back-alley idols for example). That's a fact, not an opinion, and it's easy to see if you look at the idol culture as a whole, not just certain groups. The editors of the Japanese article seem to be aware of these (relatively recent) changes in the culture, and they have changed their article accordingly. My last change wasn't something I "came up with", it was taken from that Japanese article, and it included all the relevant sources. MugiMafin (talk) 18:25, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Response to third opinion request[edit]

It's not really possible to provide a third opinion when there is no dispute. And there is no dispute here, just one person writing their opinion on the talk page, and another saying "Sure, but where are the sources". Moscow Connection is correct, you need reliable sources. That's it really. --OpenFuture (talk) 03:53, 2 May 2016 (UTC) OpenFuture (talk) 03:53, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

My last edit [9] actually was properly sourced. I guess I should have included a proper summary on the 3O page. Sorry about that. MugiMafin (talk) 18:25, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
OpenFuture repeated his third opinion standpoint on his user talk page: "Neither you, nor Moscow Connection are arguing from sources. You are arguing from WP:TRUTH and Moscow Connection are arguing that you lack sources and that the current version has a long standing consensus. Neither argument is good. Also, the version that Moscow Connection defends has terrible sourcing. You both needs to find reliable sources and work from there." MugiMafin (talk) 17:20, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

Since the late 1960s a ubiquitous feature of popular culture in Japan has been the "idol," an attractive young actor, male or female, packaged and promoted as an adolescent role model and exploited by the entertainment, fashion, cosmetic, and publishing industries to market trendy products. This book offers ethnographic case studies regarding the symbolic qualities of idols and how these qualities relate to the conceptualization of selfhood among adolescents in Japan and elsewhere in East Asia. The author explores how the idol-manufacturing industry absorbs young people into its system of production, molds them into marketable personalities, commercializes their images, and contributes to the construction of ideal images of the adolescent self.

This dissertation focuses on the production and development of a conspicuous, widespread culture phenomenon in contemporary Japan, which is characterized by numerous young, mediapromoted personalities, or pop-idols, who are groomed for public consumption. The research, based on eighteen months of in-depth fieldwork in the Japanese entertainment industry, aims to contribute to the understanding of the allegorical role played by pop-idols in the creation of youth culture. Pop-idols are analyzed as personified symbols that function as vehicles of cultural production. The principal issues suggested in this research include: the criteria of popidol production; the ways in which pop-idols are produced; the perceptions of pop-idol performances by producers, performers, and consumers; the ways in which idol personalities are differentiated from each other; the ways in which pop-idol performances are distinguished from other styles or genres; and the social, cultural, political, economic, and historical roots as well as consequences of pop-idols' popularity. These issues are explored through the examination of female pop-idols. The single, most important function of pop-idols is to represent young people's fashions, customs, and lifestyles. To this end, the pop-idol industry generates a variety of styles that can provide the young audience with pathways toward appropriate adulthood. They do this within their power structure as well as their commercial interest to capitalize on adolescence - which in Japan is considered the period in which individuals are expected to explore themselves in the adult social world. The stylized promotion, practiced differently by promotion agencies that strive to merchandise pop-idol images and win public recognition, constitutes a field of symbolic contestation. The stage is thus set for an investigation of the strategies, techniques, and processes of adolescent identity formation as reified in the construction of idol personalities. This dissertation offers a contextualized account of dialogue that occurs between capitalism, particular rhetoric of self-making, and the lifestyle of consumers, mediated by pop-idols and their manufacturing agencies that function together as the cultural apparatus. The analysis developed in this dissertation hopes to provide theoretical and methodological contributions to the study of celebrities in other social, cultural, and historical settings.

Kawaiko-chan, or "cute girls and boys," has become a synonym for idols in Japanese, representing carefully crafted public personae that try to appeal to viewers' compassion.

--Moscow Connection (talk) 20:02, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

--Moscow Connection (talk) 20:02, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

Going throught a difficult period of of physical and emotional development themselves, adolescent fans can easily empathize with idols who are embarking on their own growth journey: from inexperienced debutantes to experienced public figures and performers.

The sources are already used in the article. Case closed.
If you are really interested in improving this article, I suggest you add to the history section where you can discuss how Japanese idols have changed in the last 20 years or so. You can also start a new section where you can discuss the ambiguity of the term. When you finish with all this, we'll look at the new sources you have used and we will tweak the definition. But right now, I'm very sorry, I can't continue fighting about two sentences like this. I have other things to do. --Moscow Connection (talk) 20:02, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

The thing is both I and our third opinion contributor think that's terrible sourcing. So it would be nice if you could join me in my search for better sources. The "ambiguity of the term" section sounds like a pretty good idea though. I think I'll add something like that to the article when the protection expires. MugiMafin (talk) 18:59, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
I would like to know why OpenFuture thinks the sources are not acceptable. We have a book published at Harvard, a book published at the State University of New York, and one published by Routledge. All three of the books are either about idols specifically, or about Japanese pop culture in general (and therefore likely cover idols somewhere inside them). All three publishers are respected, academic publishers. I fail to see how they could possible be considered "terrible sourcing". Just curious, and not arguing one way or the other regarding the article. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 01:58, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
I can't really speak for him obviously, but the way I see it Books 1 and 2 are at least partly outdated. The first paragraph in the Book 1 quote draws a general picture starting from the 60s, so it's questionable if it can be used to form an accurate definition of the current state. The "actor" part is particularly telling, since by now the idol spectrum goes far wider than just to include actors. With the Book 2 quote (from 1999) the outdatedness is even more apparent. And that's the quote that's closest to our definition in the article. The Book 3 quote depicts the current state more accurately, and it talks about idols starting out as "inexperienced debutantes" rather than "starlets" and doesn't list anything like "manufacturedness" as a definite requirement. MugiMafin (talk) 19:35, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
So books discussing a phenomenon which covers more than half a century can't be used because they are "outdated"? That makes no sense. Use them to support the parts of the article covering the time periods covered by the books. They obviously can't be used for anything after they were published, but stating they are useless or unreliable (in so many words) is just plain incorrect. Certainly, newer books or articles should be found to support anything newer, but that doesn't invalidate the older stuff. If anything, we should be glad to have at least two books covering a non-English topic in such detail. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 01:20, 27 May 2016 (UTC)
I didn't say they can't be used at all. The books are certainly a good source for historical information, but when it comes to the definition of what an idol is today, which is the point at issue here, we should go with sources that take into account the recent changes the culture has seen. The Internet, in particular social media, has changed a lot, and definitions drawn from the state the concept "idol" and the culture around it were in 20 or even just 10 years ago don't really hold up anymore. MugiMafin (talk) 15:24, 27 May 2016 (UTC)
These are reliable sources. The definition in sourced.
In your search for better sources? — The sources are already good. You can search for more good sources, though.
Note that everything you add to the article must be reliably sourced. And please don't change the definition. (I have to say this just in case you are planning to change it again the moment the protection expires.) --Moscow Connection (talk) 19:22, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

1. About this tag: [10]. It doesn't apply here cause the statement is sourced.
2. The only sentence you added to the article so far is (technically) partly unsourced and partly an original research.
"Although idols are often defined as something like "young manufactured stars/starlets", there are idols who push the boundaries of such a definition, like members of the groups SMAP and Arashi, who range in age from around 30 to over 40."
Yes, I know there are sources that say all or almost all of this elsewhere in the article, but where are they? Why didn't you take time to add proper references?
And yes, I know that I've asked you to do it already and that you've added a reference. But the reference is for the ages of the members of SMAP: [11]. It's simply their profile on the official site, how can this be used for anything but "Four SMAP members are over 40"? The sentence you added is still unsourced.
3. You said how bad the article was.. Yes, it is bad. But by adding more unreferenced sentences and more original research you are just making it worse.
4. In short, I don't see you wanting to do any work on the article. I was hoping that you do something useful and constructive, but instead you added more unreferenced stuff and "attacked" the definition yet again.
5. If you want more people to look at this discussion, I can suggest you to post a message at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Japan. But if you remember, I've already posted there and the only person who came was Nihonjoe.
5. The definition can be improved, yes. But we need more sources. More articles and books on the subject. Go and find them. You won't succeed in changing the definition like this, by force. --Moscow Connection (talk) 00:50, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

In response to 1: It's not a "citation needed" tag, it's a "dubious" tag. One of its purposes is "to question the veracity, accuracy, or methodology employed by a given source". Another one "to express concerns that the source may have been misinterpreted".[12] At least one of the two should be applicable here.
In response to 2: It's just logic. If the source says "four members are over 40", then that can also be used to justify the claim "members range in age to over 40".
In response to 5: That only one person followed the request in the WikiProject Japan is part of the reason why it would be wise to use other means of getting people to help, like adding the tag I added.
MugiMafin (talk) 19:35, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

I decided to start looking for some better sources after all, and it turned out the source needed to improve our definition has been right in front of our eyes this whole time. It's this book, and it's already listed in the references. It starts with a foreword from Aoyagi, who's been dealing with the topic for over a decade now and who even happens to have two of his books (old ones though) listed in our sources. In this foreword (from 2012), he says the following: "Idol performance has demonstrated new turns since I introduced its symbolic significance to the world, and changed in ways I would have never expected: instances are the growing popularity of Japanese pop idols alongside cutesy phenomena, manga and anime, as well as centers of “Cool Japan,” such as Shibuya and Akihabara, among European and American audiences in a form that may be called neo-Orientalism; the influx of Korean idols, such as BoA, Jinki, Kara, and Shōjo Jidai, into Japan’s pop idol scene; the transformation of idol imagery from cutesy to more sexy, classy, and/or hip personal configurations alongside emergent hybrid buzzwords, such as erokawa (sexy-cutesy), kirekawa (classy-cutesy), and kawakakoii (cutesy-trendy)". The last part justifies expanding the object of admiration in our definition from "usually cuteness" to "cuteness, sexiness, classiness and/or hipness".

The foreword is followed by an introduction from the editors in which they describe idols in the following way: "Such is the power of “idols,” a word used in Japan to refer to highly produced and promoted singers, models, and media personalities. Idols can be male or female, and tend to be young, or present themselves as such". "Highly produced" is preferable to "manufactured" because it's more neutral and more easily allows for the inclusion of self-produced net-idols. "Singers, models and media personalities" is preferable to "stars/starlets" because it's less open to (mis)interpretation and more easily allows for the inclusion of idols with little stardom. Finally, the attribute "young" is weakened. Idols aren't necessarily young, they only "tend to be young".

MugiMafin (talk) 12:21, 28 May 2016 (UTC)

  • 1. Why did you do this again: [13]? I thought there was an ongoing discussion between you and Nihonjoe.
    2. Your version is not bad, but... The quote you cited actually says "cutesy-something", "cutesy-something", and you wrote just "classiness", etc. Why? The quote doesn't say idols stopped being cute, they still are. And where did you find the word "hipness"?
    3. And I, yet again, don't like the way you're adding all these "typically", "or", "and/or". "A typically young", "and/or hipness". I think it just doesn't sound encyclopedic.
    4. I think it would have been polite if you came here and said, like, "I wrote a new definition. Here's my version. How do you find it?" (I'm sorry that I posted a new warning on your talk page, but I had to. You again came and just changed the definition. How many times did you do it already, five?) --Moscow Connection (talk) 21:55, 28 May 2016 (UTC)
This new (well, kind of new) source is more reliable and less problematic as I explained above. With a clear explanation like the one I provided, there shouldn't be any further questions about whether the change is justified or not. This is the relevant part you seem to have misread by the way: "the transformation of idol imagery from cutesy to more sexy, classy, and/or hip personal configurations alongside emergent hybrid buzzwords, such as erokawa (sexy-cutesy), kirekawa (classy-cutesy), and kawakakoii (cutesy-trendy)". It does actually say "classy" and "hip", the "cutesy/something"'s are just listed as additional buzzwords. But now that I re-read my version, it really does kind of sound like idols stopped being cute. That's something I'm definitely going to have to fix. I know you don't like words like "typically", but those are the kind of words needed to describe the current state of the concept "idol". Even the academics dealing with the topic do it. I'm taking your concerns into consideration when they make sense, but I'm afraid I can't do it here. I don't know if this helps, but I guess I can go with the "tend to" used in the source rather than "typically" at least. MugiMafin (talk) 11:09, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
1. Okay, I didn't notice the word "hip".
2. [T]there shouldn't be any further questions about whether the change is justified or not — Why? The current definition is sourced. It is okay, it works very well for the most common case. It is much better than any of your versions. (The definition is not the whole article and it doesn't have to be mathematically correct.)
3. I've asked you several times already to expand this article so that everyone could see how the concept of idols has changed. Then we will look at it and we will think if we should tweak the definition and how we can do it. Also, I hoped that you'll add more sources that we can use. So far you've added only a couple of unsourced sentences. Why? It may look like you don't care about this article in the least, you just don't like the first sentence.
4. That's something I'm definitely going to have to fix. — Don't "fix" it in the article. Propose your changes to the definition here. If you "fix" anything in the first paragraph again, I personally think that this is exactly the case when a block is justified. Cause it will prevent you from making non-consensual changes to the definition, at least for some time. I'm tired of checking the article every day, I think it will profit from a couple of months of peace. --Moscow Connection (talk) 19:43, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
The current version is sourced, but I already explained why the sources aren't good enough for a modern definition. That Aoyagi guy, who seems to be one of the biggest authorities on the topic, says exactly what I am saying, "idol performance has [...] changed in ways I would have never expected". We need sources that acknowledge those changes, not just any sources, and we need to change the definition to say the right thing. You say it yourself, the definition works "for the most common case". That's exactly what words like "typically" and "generally" mean. They're made for cases like these and they're commonplace in encyclopedia articles, even if you don't like them. Not acknowledging counter-examples isn't just "mathematically" incorrect as you call it, it's incorrect. A block would only be justified if I ignored sensible concerns, but I'm not planning on doing that. MugiMafin (talk) 14:29, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
You did it again: [14]... Why? I wonder if continuing the discussion makes any sense... --15:18, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
Because the definition is still in need of improvement. And I took your concerns about my last version (that it kind of sounded like idols stopped being cute and that it included the word "typically") into account, so there shouldn't have been a problem with this edit. The only things I added where things you didn't object to after all. I'm totally willing to continue the discussion, but you'll have to give proper reasons for your reverts. Can you elaborate on what you think was wrong with my edit? MugiMafin (talk) 15:49, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
What is wrong? I'm sure, you know it already (see above), but: 1. You don't have consensus to change the definition. (You've been told about WP:CONSENSUS.) 2. The source doesn't say "or", it says idols are still cute. (You've been told that and agreed.) 3. The current definition is simply better (see #1).
Okay, I 've explained everything now... I don't really think it's a good idea for me to continue this discussion. (What for? If you just come and do what you like. It's not like Wikipedia works.) --Moscow Connection (talk) 16:27, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
The source literally says "the transformation of idol imagery from cutesy to more sexy, classy, and/or hip personal configurations". You complained about the "and/or" earlier, so I respected that and went for "or" this time. And my last edit does in no way imply that there aren't any cute idols anymore. How would you phrase it, incorporating the "sexy, classy, and/or hip" part? (By the way, you could have just edited it to use your preferred phrasing instead of reverting.) MugiMafin (talk) 16:37, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
1. It says "more", it doesn't say idols stopped being cute. 2. My preferred phrasing is the current one. The current definition is better than anything you've ever proposed. Re-read WP:CONSENSUS.
(To anyone who will read this. I've told the user many times to incorporate his ideas into other sections of the article. And I've told him that we will then be able to look at what he wrote and we will think if we should change the definition and how. And I hoped he will find new useful sources. But he didn't find one. He comes and just changes the definition over and over. He changes the first sentence, he doesn't seem to care about anything else. It's WP:DISRUPTIVE. I've wasted enough time on this.) --Moscow Connection (talk) 17:00, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
I meant a phrasing that incorporates the changes Aoyagi mentions in the source when he says "Idol performance has demonstrated new turns since I introduced its symbolic significance to the world, and changed in ways I would have never expected: instances are [...] the transformation of idol imagery from cutesy to more sexy, classy, and/or hip personal configurations". These changes are clearly worthy of being mentioned, especially because the current definition used in the article seems to draw from Aoyagi's previous (now superseded?) account. And since you didn't like my phrasings, I thought I'd let you decide how to incorporate the changes. MugiMafin (talk) 18:07, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

Another quote.

For major entertainment reporter Masaru Nashimoto, an idol must be young and have a frenzied following to the point of being a social phenomenon.

Arbitrary break 1[edit]

@Nihonjoe:, @Oshwah:, @EdJohnston:, @MugiMafin: Can we close the discussion about ages now at least? My opinion is as follows: "young" — ok, "manufactured" — ok (net celebrities don't count, they along with gravure idols, which is more or less simply another word for "model", and other "something idols" can be discussed in a separate section), "cute" — add that they are not only cute, but since 1990s also cool, hip, whatever. It should be understood from the definition that cuteness in the main or common characteristic, but that idols have become cooler or whatever. In short, the first two thirds of the definition stay as they are now, the part after comma (about cuteness) is expanded.

And I have an idea of a quick fix. (I'm just afraid that it is not usually done on Wikipedia.) We can create a section titled "Definition of the term idol" or something like this and put there five or so definitions or opinions about who idols are. Just choose from the ones that are already cited on this talk page. --Moscow Connection (talk) 21:14, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

Moscow Connection - So long as all parties that are involved in the dispute agree to close this, then it's perfectly fine by me. I am concerned that you two may not have your disputes worked out nor do you have the full definition of "idol" taking into account all viewpoints, but the important key here is consensus and dispute resolution. So long as those are met, then we've achieved our first priority. We can always come back and add more to the article later. ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 22:28, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Moscow Connection, I just read in one of the noticeboard threads that you're accepting my "a term typically used to refer to" suggestion. That actually helps a lot. If we add that to the first sentence, I don't think we'd need any other definitions or additions at all and could keep the rest of the lead as it is. So "In Japanese pop culture, "idol" [...] is a term typically used to refer to young manufactured stars/starlets marketed to be admired for their cuteness" it is? Can I implement it like this? (I dropped the "usually" before "cuteness" because the "typically" already takes care of exceptions.) MugiMafin (talk) 14:49, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Moscow Connection seems to have vanished, but we have his word here [15]. MugiMafin (talk) 20:28, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Page protected[edit]

To stop the silly disruptive reverting, I have protected this page to prevent editing by anyone other than an admin. Please come to a consensus about the definition and whatever else you're discussing in the above TL;DR wall of text, and then ask for the change to be made using {{edit protected}}. Thank you. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 21:51, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Combining sections[edit]

The sections "History" and "Culture" have a pretty big overlap, which is why I'd like to merge them into one. The content of the "Modern idols" section is historical too, so that could go into the merger too. Same with "Net idols". The new merged section would have subsections though of course.

"Virtual idols" and "Photo idols" could go in one separate section like "Other types of idols". Actually, "Photo idols" can be removed completely since it's already covered by the link to the article "Gravure idol" in the "See also" section.

Any thoughts about or objections to any of this? MugiMafin (talk) 11:32, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

  • Okay, no objections.
    1. But please, source you additions. Here you added a new paragraph (the one mentioning Arashi and SMAP and their ages) but no source [16]. If you continue doing it like this, the article will have complete sections that are unsourced (and will therefore look like an originall research).
    (You removed this reliably-sourced sentence as an original research [17], but in the next edits you added your own original research without any sources. At least, the "to over 40" part was an original research cause the source we've discussed earlier didn't say "40". I don't really object, but can you please add references cause otherwise the paragraph does look as an original research?)
    2. Actually, I think that gravure idols should be mentioned in prose. Maybe in the "ambiguity of the term section".
    3. Could you please not change the lead section anymore for now? (It can reiterate what's already written below, no problem. See WP:LEAD. So you can reuse parts from the lead section elsewhere in the article if you need them, it's completely okay, some repetition is okay.)
    In short, you can do what you like, you can merge sections, add new sections, whatever, but please don't change the definition. And don't delete anything more from the lead section, you can just copy it instead. We can return to the definition later if you want, now just expand the article, could you please? I mean you will add lots of clever explanations about who idols are, what their ages are, etc., and we will look at it together (and hopefully other people from WikiProject Japan will come). And all together we will tweak the definition using the new data and new sources that will be available in other sections.) --Moscow Connection (talk) 10:50, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Alright, got it. I'm not sure if the "to over 40" part can be considered original research though, since the members' birthdates are already listed in the members' respective articles. I guess I can put a link to one member's official profile though, just to play it safe. As for the lead section, it seems more or less acceptable to me now that it's followed up by the ambiguity section, so I don't see much of a reason to change it for now. But if I come across some newer more reliable source dealing with stuff from the lead section that contradicts the current version in some way, I might consider changing it. I'm not really actively looking for any sources like that though, so it's probably not going to happen. MugiMafin (talk) 18:08, 23 May 2016 (UTC)