This Companion is a comprehensive examination of the varied ways in which gender issues manifest throughout culture in Japan, using a range of international perspectives to examine private and public constructions of identity, as well as gender- and sexuality-inflected cultural production.

The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture features both new work and updated accounts of classic scholarship, providing a go-to reference work for contemporary scholarship on gender in Japanese culture. The volume is interdisciplinary in scope, with chapters drawing from a range of perspectives, fields, and disciplines, including anthropology, art history, history, law, linguistics, literature, media and cultural studies, politics, and sociology. This reflects the fundamentally interdisciplinary nature of the dual focal points of this volume—gender and culture—and the ways in which these themes infuse a range of disciplines and subfields.

In this volume, Jennifer Coates, Lucy Fraser, and Mark Pendleton have brought together an essential guide to experiences of gender in Japanese culture today—perfect for students, scholars, and anyone else interested in Japan, culture, gender studies, and beyond.

chapter |7 pages


Gender and culture in Japan today

part I|71 pages

Theorizing and historicizing gender and Japanese culture

chapter 1|11 pages

Gendering modern Japanese history

A historiographical update

chapter 2|9 pages

Gender in pre-modern Japan

chapter 3|9 pages

Debates in Japanese feminism

chapter 4|10 pages

Gender and language

chapter 5|10 pages

Masculinity studies in Japan

chapter 7|11 pages

Gender and ethnicity in urban Japan

part II|74 pages

Home, family, and the “private sphere”

part III|73 pages

Work, politics, and the “public sphere”

chapter 15|11 pages

Gender and the law

Progress and remaining problems

chapter 16|11 pages

Gender and the workplace

chapter 17|10 pages

Sex Work

chapter 19|11 pages

Women in electoral politics

chapter 20|9 pages

Demanding publics

Women and activism

chapter 21|9 pages

Lesbians and queer women in Japan

part IV|60 pages

Cultures of play

chapter 27|10 pages

Performing gender

Cosplay and otaku cultures and spaces

part V|81 pages

Cultural production

chapter 29|9 pages

Gender and poetry

chapter 30|9 pages

Gender, manga, and anime

chapter 31|11 pages

Cuteness studies and Japan

chapter 32|9 pages

Gender and visual culture

chapter 35|9 pages

Gendered desires

Pornography and consumption

part VI|47 pages

Texts and contexts

chapter 36|9 pages

Gendered high and low culture in Japan

The transgressing flesh in Kawabata’s dance writing

chapter 37|9 pages

Genre and gender

Romantic friendships and the homosocial imperative in the ninkyō (chivalrous) genre film

chapter 38|8 pages

Girls with arms and girls as arms in anime

The use of girls for “soft” militarism

chapter 39|9 pages

Beyond the “Parasite Single”

chapter 40|10 pages

Japanese gay men’s experiences of gender

Negotiating the hetero system