By Gary Leupp

ISBN-10: 0520209001

ISBN-13: 9780520209008

Tokugawa Japan ranks with historical Athens as a society that not just tolerated, yet celebrated, male gay habit. Few students have heavily studied the topic, and beforehand none have satisfactorily defined the origins of the culture or elucidated how its conventions mirrored classification constitution and gender roles. Gary P. Leupp fills the distance with a dynamic exam of the origins and nature of the culture. in response to a wealth of literary and ancient documentation, this learn locations Tokugawa homosexuality in an international context, exploring its implications for modern debates at the ancient development of sexual desire.
Combing via renowned fiction, legislation codes, non secular works, scientific treatises, biographical fabric, and inventive remedies, Leupp lines the origins of pre-Tokugawa gay traditions between clergymen and samurai, then describes the emergence of gay practices between commoners in Tokugawa towns. He argues that it was once "nurture" instead of "nature" that accounted for such conspicuous male/male sexuality and that bisexuality was once extra well-known than homosexuality. certain, thorough, and extremely readable, this examine is the 1st in English or jap to deal with so comprehensively probably the most complicated and interesting elements of jap historical past.

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Additional resources for Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan

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The mobilization of the aesthetic of cherry blossoms to encourage sacrifice reached its height with the tokko¯tai operation. A single cherry blossom was painted in pink on a white background on both sides of the tokko¯tai airplane, while various Japanese terms for cherry blossoms were used as the names of the special attack corps. Cherry trees were in full bloom in southern Kyu¯shu¯ in April 1945, and some pilots flew off with branches of blossoms on their helmets and uniforms (see photo 10). Others referred to cherry blossoms in their last poems and letters.

Freshmen found it impossible to understand this work, no matter how many times they reread it. The task was intended to make them realize how ignorant they were and how hard they must study. In the dormitory, the new students were told by their seniors to read the entirety of Iwanami Bunko, a well-known series of world classics in philosophy, literature, history, art, music, and religion (Irokawa 2003, 163). This “pocket book series” was inaugurated in 1927 by Iwanami Shigeo, founder of Iwanami Publishers, after the model of the Reclam Introduction series in Germany, which Iwanami had read with passionate engagement.

In Japan, as in Europe, Romanticism became part of the struggle to overcome modernity. The student pilots embodied the Japanese historical experience since the Meiji period: profoundly influenced by modernity, which initially wore a Western face, they tried to overcome modernity, including the colonialist designs with which the Western powers approached Japan, at one and the same time. Japanese intellectuals’ stance toward modernity was similar, but not entirely parallel, to that of European intellectuals during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan by Gary Leupp


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