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Feb 8, 2018: As V-Day approaches, we wanted to celebrate all things love in the best way we know how. We can’t send you roses, but we can give you a selection of articles exploring love and sexuality in Japan, from past to present and in various convention-breaking guises.

1. Anne Lee: “A Centaur in Salaryman’s Clothing: Parody and Play in est em’s Centaur Manga”

From a Barthesian “pleasure of the text” standpoint, Lee presents an intriguing case study of “women writing male-male romance” in manga, looking at how the interplay between the readers and characters subverts hegemonic discourses of sexuality and gender.

#manga #yaoi #BL #gender (and incidentally, one of our #NVJSTop10 for 2017)

2. Mina Qiao: “Sexuality and Space: Tokyo and Karuizawa in Mariko Koike’s Koi

Qiao unpacks “the plot paradigm of ‘sexual deviance/transgression during periods of social turbulence” in a contemporary Japanese novel, and shows how relationships between characters’ physical and political environments either feed or inhibit expressions of sexuality.

#literature #menageatrois #incest #sexanddeath (ok, maybe not the best for Valentine’s Day, but it takes all sorts…)

3. April Sprague: “Writing the irogonomi: Sexual politics, Heian-style”

Through readings of three literary texts, Sprague questions contemporary assumptions about the all-powerful, polygamous masculine archetype of Heian aristocracy, arguing that male sexuality was not “monolithic” but was influenced “materially and ideologically” by women.

#literature #heian #women #powerandinfluence

4. Matthew Grubits: “Things That are Near Though Distant: Extramarital Affairs in Heian-Period Japan”

Grubits draws from a range of Heian-period literary works, including Tale of Genji and intimate texts such as The Pillowbook of Sei Shōnagon and other diaries, to argue that aesthetics were the main driver of infidelity among courtly nobles of the time.

#society #heian #infidelity #poetics #theunaestheticaestheticaffair

 

Thanks for reading, and keep sharing!

(Photo by Will O via Unsplash)

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