Taiwanese female microcelebrities in Japan: cross-cultural romance, Japanese tourism, and the post-3.11 Taiwan-Japan friendship

Kelly Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines how three Taiwanese women married to Japanese men and living in Japan became microcelebrities by producing social media content aimed primarily at Taiwanese audiences. It argues that the emergence of the three should be contextualized within the complicated historical, political, and cultural relations between Taiwan and Japan. Their self-branding strategies emphasize the authenticity of their transnational lived experiences, which they use to mobilize microcelebrity intimacy with online fans. Their cross-cultural romances and marriages in Japan have become capital to be maximized, turning personal stories and emotions into online portrayals of cross-cultural romance and promotional work for Japan’s local government and tourist industry. The typical East Asian prescriptions for femininity that emphasize perseverance and diligence have been remodeled in their neoliberal identities in terms of abilities, resilience and strength realized through work and family. Furthermore, they have played the role of grassroots intermediaries in the post-3.11 friendship between Taiwan and Japan that flowered as a consequence of Taiwan’s substantial donations to recovery efforts following Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami. This study also indicates that the economic, social and symbolic empowerment they have accrued as microcelebrities remains precarious as it is heavily dependent on their curated biographies fitting with the commercial logic of social media appealing to online audiences. This study of Taiwanese female microcelebrities aims to offer a look at how new mediascapes have been reshaped by transnational mobility/networks, social media, and the post-3.11 Taiwan-Japan dynamic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-348
Number of pages20
JournalInter-Asia Cultural Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Japanese tourism
  • Microcelebrity
  • cross-cultural romance
  • digital intimacy
  • self-branding
  • the post-3.11 friendship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Taiwanese female microcelebrities in Japan: cross-cultural romance, Japanese tourism, and the post-3.11 Taiwan-Japan friendship'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this