In the 1980s a number of stories about mother-son incest were reported in the popular press in Japan. The elements of each were remarkably consistent: An adolescent male entering the period of intense study leading up to entrance exams is distracted by sexual desire. His mother, who has assumed the role of a Kyoiku mama, notices the distraction and worries that it will obstruct the boy’s work. The stories of mother-son incest that appeared between the end of the 1970s and the early 1980s range in tone from condemnatory to sympathetic and almost celebratory. Fantasies of mother-son incest became faddish at a moment in Japanese history thirty-five years after Japan’s humiliating defeat in World War II and a decade following the first signs of its remarkable recovery, the economic growth spurt of the late 1960s. The nationalistic self-confidence that has emerged more fully was quite tentative then and had been preceded by postwar debates regarding Japan’s reconfiguration.