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The essays in this groundbreaking book explore the meanings of manhood in Japan from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries. Recreating Japanese Men examines a broad range of attitudes regarding properly masculine pursuits and modes of behavior. It charts breakdowns in traditional and conventional societal roles and the resulting crises of masculinity. Contributors address key questions about Japanese manhood ranging from icons such as the samurai to marginal men including hermaphrodites, robots, techno-geeks, rock climbers, shop clerks, soldiers, shoguns, and more. In addition to bringing historical evidence to bear on definitions of masculinity, contributors provide fresh analyses on the ways contemporary modes and styles of masculinity have affected Japanese men’s sense of gender as authentic and stable.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Interrogating Men and Masculinities
Sabine Fru¨hstu¨ck and Anne Walthall
Part I. Legacies of the Samurai
1. Do Guns Have Gender? Technology and Status in Early Modern Japan
2. Name and Honor: A Merchant’s Seventeenth-Century Memoir
3. Empowering the Would-be Warrior: Bushido¨ and the Gendered Bodies of the Japanese Nation
Michele M. Mason
4. After Heroism: Must Real Soldiers Die?
Part II. Marginal Men
5. Perpetual Dependency: The Life Course of Male Workers in a Merchant House
6. Losing the Union Man: Class and Gender in the Postwar Labor Movement
7. Where Have All the Salarymen Gone? Masculinity, Masochism, and Technomobility in Densha Otoko
8. Failed Manhood on the Streets of Urban Japan: The Meanings of Self-Reliance for Homeless Men
Part III. Bodies and Boundaries
9. Collective Maturation: The Construction of Masculinity in Early Modern Villages
10. Climbing Walls: Dismantling Hegemonic Masculinity in a Japanese Sport Subculture
11. Not Suitable as a Man? Conscription, Masculinity, and Hermaphroditism in Early Twentieth-Century Japan
Teresa A. Algoso
12. Love Revolution: Anime, Masculinity, and the Future
13. Gendering Robots: Posthuman Traditionalism in Japan
Sabine Frühstück is Professor of Modern Japanese Culture at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Uneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory, and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army and Colonizing Sex: Sexology and Social Control in Modern Japan, both from UC Press. Anne Walthall is Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. She is the editor of Servants of the Dynasty: Palace Women in World History (UC Press) and author of The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration, among others.
"A complex, engaging, and nuanced discussion of expressions of Japanese masculinity."—Mark McLelland Journal of Japanese Studies (JAS)
"A well-realized collection of essays on early-modern and contemporary masculinities in Japan . . . A very satisfying voyage."—Jack David Eller Anthropology Review Database
“Recreating Japanese Men
is a wonderful and invaluable book. Its interdisciplinary mix of essays opens the door to a new world of scholarship on masculinity in Japan." —David L. Howell, Harvard University
“By considering a wide variety of alternative masculinities throughout Japanese history, these essays reveal the tensions, conflicts and overlapping between competing masculine and feminine ideals and practices in surprising ways.” —Robert A. Nye, Oregon State University
“This gallery of striking but also subtle images of Japanese masculinity both reinforces old and reveals new historical understandings of Japanese political and military institutions, social divisions, and cultural anxieties. Essential reading in both Japan and masculinity studies.“ --Gary Cross, author of Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity.