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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsMost of you, who are interested in taking this course, are already familiar with Otaku? what kind of people they are, what kind of proclivities they have, or what kind of cultural interests they have. You may have also heard of "fujoshi", literally translated as "a rotten girl," referring to female fans of subculture, especially, those who fantasize and envision male homoerotic relationships in manga, anime and other subcultural works. Fujoshi call themselves as such, sometimes, in a self-abusive way. In Japan, we often witness homoerotic relationships between male characters in commercial girls' comics such as "The Heart of Thomas" by Moto Hagio or "The Poem of Wind and Trees" by Keiko Takemiya.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsThere are also tons of independent magazines dealing with manga or stories with homoerotic relationships written mainly by female writers. Now some of you might remember a similar genre in Western fandom called "slash fiction" in which fans create alternative fiction recreating characters of commercial works with homoerotic tendencies. Now you may wonder why do female fujoshi need and want that kind of fantasy? Is there any explicable theory behind this fantasy? Well, it is difficult to give a general answer to this question. In this activity we will partially explore the world of fujoshi, and hopefully you will understand the social situation of women in Japan as well.

Love and Sexuality in Manga

In this activity, we will look into Sexuality in Manga. What is it about? Prof. Ogushi will provide examples and background.

Keywords introduced in this video

  • Fujoshi : literal meaning is ‘rotten girls’
  • BL : Boy’s Love

Additional Readings

Here are two famous examples Prof. Ogushi picked up in the video. They are very popular in Japan and translated to other languages. If you know those manga and like them, please share the summary and what fascinated you with other learners !

  • “The Heart of Thomas” by Moto Hagio, Shogakkan, 1974
    萩尾望都『トーマの心臓』(Tōma no Shinzō) 小学館 1974
  • “The Poem of Wind and Trees” by Keiko Takemiya, Shogakkan, 1976
    竹宮恵子『風と木の詩』(Kaze to Ki no Uta) 小学館 1976

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This video is from the free online course:

An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures

Keio University

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