Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan

Univ of California Press
1
Free sample

This provocative study of gender and sexuality in contemporary Japan investigates elements of Japanese popular culture including erotic comic books, stories of mother-son incest, lunchboxes—or obentos—that mothers ritualistically prepare for schoolchildren, and children's cartoons. Anne Allison brings recent feminist psychoanalytic and Marxist theory to bear on representations of sexuality, motherhood, and gender in these and other aspects of Japanese culture. Based on five years of fieldwork in a middle-class Tokyo neighborhood, this theoretically informed, accessible ethnographic study provides a provocative analysis of how sexuality, dominance, and desire are reproduced and enacted in late-capitalistic Japan.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Anne Allison is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Duke University, and author of Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club (1994).

Read more
Collapse
5.0
1 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Univ of California Press
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jan 14, 2000
Read more
Collapse
Pages
251
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780520923447
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Social Science / Gender Studies
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Today’s convergent media environment offers unprecedented opportunities for sourcing and disseminating previously obscure popular culture material from Japan. However, this presents concerns regarding copyright, ratings and exposure to potentially illegal content which are serious problems for those teaching and researching about Japan. Despite young people’s enthusiasm for Japanese popular culture, these concerns spark debate about whether it can be judged harmful for youth audiences and could therefore herald the end of ‘cool Japan’.

This collection brings together Japan specialists in order to identify key challenges in using Japanese popular culture materials in research and teaching. It addresses issues such as the availability of unofficially translated and distributed Japanese material; the emphasis on adult-themes, violence, sexual scenes and under-age characters; and the discrepancies in legislation and ratings systems across the world. Considering how these issues affect researchers, teachers, students and fans in the US, Canada, Australia, China, Japan and elsewhere in Asia, the contributors discuss the different ways in which academic and fan practices are challenged by local regulations. Illustrating from personal experience the sometimes fraught nature of teaching about ‘cool Japan’, they suggest ways in which Japanese Studies as a discipline needs to develop clearer guidelines for teaching and research, especially for new scholars entering the field.

As the first collection to identify some of the real problems faced by teachers and researchers of Japanese popular culture as well as the students over whom they have a duty of care, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of Japanese Studies and Cultural Studies.


Through window displays, newspapers, soap operas, gay bars, and other public culture venues, Chinese citizens are negotiating what it means to be cosmopolitan citizens of the world, with appropriate needs, aspirations, and longings. Lisa Rofel argues that the creation of such “desiring subjects” is at the core of China’s contingent, piece-by-piece reconfiguration of its relationship to a post-socialist world. In a study at once ethnographic, historical, and theoretical, she contends that neoliberal subjectivities are created through the production of various desires—material, sexual, and affective—and that it is largely through their engagements with public culture that people in China are imagining and practicing appropriate desires for the post-Mao era.

Drawing on her research over the past two decades among urban residents and rural migrants in Hangzhou and Beijing, Rofel analyzes the meanings that individuals attach to various public cultural phenomena and what their interpretations say about their understandings of post-socialist China and their roles within it. She locates the first broad-based public debate about post-Mao social changes in the passionate dialogues about the popular 1991 television soap opera Yearnings. She describes how the emergence of gay identities and practices in China reveals connections to a transnational network of lesbians and gay men at the same time that it brings urban/rural and class divisions to the fore. The 1999–2001 negotiations over China’s entry into the World Trade Organization; a controversial women’s museum; the ways that young single women portray their longings in relation to the privations they imagine their mothers experienced; adjudications of the limits of self-interest in court cases related to homoerotic desire, intellectual property, and consumer fraud—Rofel reveals all of these as sites where desiring subjects come into being.

In Nightwork, Anne Allison opens a window onto Japanese corporate culture and gender identities. Allison performed the ritualized tasks of a hostess in one of Tokyo's many "hostess clubs": pouring drinks, lighting cigarettes, and making flattering or titillating conversation with the businessmen who came there on company expense accounts. Her book critically examines how such establishments create bonds among white-collar men and forge a masculine identity that suits the needs of their corporations.

Allison describes in detail a typical company outing to such a club—what the men do, how they interact with the hostesses, the role the hostess is expected to play, and the extent to which all of this involves "play" rather than "work." Unlike previous books on Japanese nightlife, Allison's ethnography of one specific hostess club (here referred to as Bijo) views the general phenomenon from the eyes of a woman, hostess, and feminist anthropologist.

Observing that clubs like Bijo further a kind of masculinity dependent on the gestures and labors of women, Allison seeks to uncover connections between such behavior and other social, economic, sexual, and gendered relations. She argues that Japanese corporate nightlife enables and institutionalizes a particular form of ritualized male dominance: in paying for this entertainment, Japanese corporations not only give their male workers a self-image as phallic man, but also develop relationships to work that are unconditional and unbreakable. This is a book that will appeal to anyone interested in gender roles or in contemporary Japanese society.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.