skip to Main Content





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 Shōnagon 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)

Back To Top