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blog queen
The cover of a book version of Nakagawa Shoko's blog (Goma Books)
Female celebrities who write wildly popular blogs
The term blog queens refers to female celebrities who maintain blogs, or personal websites with diary-like entries, and have enhanced their popularity as a result.

In recent years, blogging has caught on like wildfire. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, about 8.68 million people in Japan have blog accounts (as of March 2006), and this figure is expected to continue rising fast. Some blogs get a particularly large number of visitors and are a frequent topic of conversation. Among the most popular are those written by female celebrities.

Japan's original "blog queen" is Manabe Kaori, who has transformed her image from that of a glamor model for magazines to that of a sharp, knowledgeable celebrity. Her website gets hundreds of thousands of hits per day.

Next comes Nakagawa Shoko, or Shokotan, as she is popularly known. A fan of anime, video games, and sci-fi movies and TV programs, Nagakawa has included articles on these subjects filled with enough trivia to delight even the most obsessive of otaku (young men and women who are fanatical about anime and manga). She also puts up photographs of herself dressed up as characters from manga and anime. The blog is updated dozens of times each day, and its popularity is rising rapidly, registering millions of hits every month.

A growing number of celebrities are turning to blogs as a way of reaching out to fans and expanding the sphere of their activities. (October 2, 2006)