Masculinity studies in Japan

Authored by: Emma E. Cook

The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138895201
eBook ISBN: 9781315179582
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter introduces some of the dominant trends in the discipline of masculinities studies (danseigaku) in Japan today, primarily covering the 2000s and 2010s, with a particular focus on the trend to explore “alternative” masculinities via labour, caring, intimacy, and sexuality. It analyses the pre-eminence of the salaryman as a hegemonic discourse of masculinity; links between labour, productivity, and masculinity; shifting trends towards a focus on more “caring” masculinities linked to ideals of “ikumen” and elder care provisioning; and continuing marriage ideals and their relevance to contemporary masculinities, as well as moral panics around young men’s masculinities through discourses of so-called “herbivorous men” (sōshokukei danshi). The final section explores work done on the entanglements of masculinities and sexualities. Finally, suggestions for future research are made.

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