CJS Research Webinar – The reluctance to use sexual orientation categories in contemporary Japan: the new refusers

Thursday 27 April
14:00 – 15:00 BST
C.HALL 0.17, UEA, Norwich and online via Zoom

About the Talk

Ethnographic work around young men involved as otoko no ko in new wave female-dress and cute self-presentations reveals that they perceive a gap between themselves and both the old-school gay / straight / cross-dressing culture in post-war Japan and the new incoming transgender category arriving from the Anglo-phone world. This paper will look more closely at their no-sexual-identity stance and the preference for a cute and ambiguous sexuality embedded in male performance in Japan (and China) in the contemporary period. This paper will also consider a series of quantitative statistical surveys into sexual identity carried out in Osaka-city in the late 2010s which appear to detect that a preference for non-engagement with any sexual identity category is the largest newly emergent minority!  

About the Speaker

Sharon Kinsella is a researcher and theorist of gendered subcultures and cultural production in Japan, who has worked on the politics, history and social relations of kawaii, otakuism, seinen manga zasshi, shukkanshi, gyaru, and enjo kōsai. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Japanese Visual Culture, in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Culture, University of Manchester (September 2008 to the present); author of two books: Schoolgirls, Money and Rebellion in Japan, Abingdon: Routledge, 2014; and Adult Manga: Culture and power in postwar Japanese society, Curzon Press & Hawaii University Press, (now T&F) 2000. A recent article related to this talk that you can find online is “Male Subculture in Japan in the 2010s: otoko no ko, josō and hard work”, Japan Forum, November 2019.

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