chapter  4
20 Pages

Gay men, masculinity and the media in Japan


The last decade of the twentieth century saw a sudden increase in interest in Japan’s sexual minorities both within English-language scholarship and within the Japanese media. Previously largely overlooked by the field of Japanese Studies, the study of homosexuality in Japan began to pick up pace with the translation of Edo-period author Ihara Saikaku’s Great Mirror of Male Love (1990), Gary Leupp’s (1995) and Gregory Pflugfelder’s (1999) studies of Tokugawa homosexuality, Stephen Miller’s anthology of Japanese gay fiction (1996), Jennifer Robertson’s (1998) analysis of lesbianism in the popular culture of the Taishô and Shôwa periods and my own (McLelland 2000a) monograph on male homosexuality. The publication of Wim Lunsing’s (2001) study of non-mainstream relationships and Sharon Chalmers’s (2002) monograph on lesbians in contemporary Japan suggests that the study of homosexuality is finally receiving the recognition it deserves.