Chapter

Introduction

Jennifer Robertson

in Takarazuka

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780520211506
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520920125 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520211506.003.0001
Introduction

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An exploration and analysis of the intricate relationships in the Takarazuka Revue forms one of the repeating, looping themes of this book, which is more than just a sustained piece of theater criticism. This chapter presents a brief history of the Revue, emphasizing those features central to the general subject of sexual politics and popular culture in modern Japan. Upon their successful application to the Takarazuka Music Academy, the student actors are assigned their “secondary” genders. Unlike “primary” gender, which is assigned at birth on the basis of an infant's genitalia, secondary gender is based on both physical (but not genital) and sociopsychological criteria and, to a certain extent, personal preference. The chapter also addresses a related issue about sex and gender terminology that challenges ostensibly well-meaning but relativistic and reductive notions of cultural encounter and exchange.

Keywords: theater criticism; Takarazuka Revue; modern Japan; secondary gender; sexuality; Takarazuka Music Academy

Chapter.  8066 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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