Toward the Margins: Male-Male Sexuality in Meiji Popular Discourse

Gregory M. Pflugfelder

in Cartographies of Desire

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2000 | ISBN: 9780520209091
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940871 | DOI:
Toward the Margins: Male-Male Sexuality in Meiji Popular Discourse

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In a cultural environment, where knowledge spread faster and more authoritatively than ever through the medium of print, the effectiveness of a “civilized” regime of sexuality depended in no small measure upon its view becoming as much a part of popular as of official discourse. This chapter traces the marginalization process. Its starting point is the changing representation of male-male sexuality in the genre of senryū verse, in which the tempo of marginalization reveals itself clearly. Next to be considered are the ways in which popular discourse helped to marginalize the cultural status of male-male sexuality by associating its “civilization's” borders. Lastly and at greater length the chapter explores turn-of-the-century newspaper accounts of male-male sexual assaults by student “roughnecks.”

Keywords: marginalization; senryū; male-male sexuality; sexual assaults; roughnecks

Chapter.  18192 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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