Bodies in Pain, Pleasure, and Flux: Transgressive Femininity in Japanese Media and Literature

Marianne Tarcov, Fareed Ben-Youssef
2019 Japanese Language and Literature  
Across a diverse set of texts from Japanese media and literature, including professional wrestling, avant-garde writing, and Zainichi Korean literature, this special section explores the fluid relationship between femininity and the body, where one is neither defined nor determined by the other. At the crossroads of Asian studies, gender studies, media, and literature, this collection offers an interdisciplinary and transnational lens to consider this relationship in a Japanese context. To
more » ... w from Lee's deployment of Gloria Anzaldúa's "Border Women," transgression provides these papers with a theoretical framework of inherent ambiguity that lingers between worlds—between the sanctioned and the unsanctioned, between performer and persona, between the reader and text. The papers presented here all treat femininity, not as an essentialized category of gendered experience, but as a liminal border zone in which conventional notions of gender, sexuality, and media become fluid and ambiguous. Whether it is the border between perfume advertising and avant-garde poetry, literary criticism and butoh dance, autobiographical writing and oral forms of nonverbal performance, or professional wrestling and documentary film, the papers featured here all transgress disciplinary borders of media and genre while interrogating and disrupting conventional notions of femininity.
doi:10.5195/jll.2019.78 fatcat:cwi63csaprgn7ov5o7nf75xjry