One is not born a man, but becomes one. Simon de Beauvoir's famous dictum certainly holds true not exclusively for the female sex but for all genders and their respective representations in discourse. Our joint presentation on masculinities in Japan explores how past and present masculinities are discursively constructed, circulated, negotiated and lived by means of three different approaches:
Biru David Binder historically examines the reinvention and revitalization of the bushidō masculine ideal within publications of the ultranationalist pan-Asian Kokuryūkai (Amur Society).
Emma Cook ethnographically explores how male freeters take up, negotiate, resist, and at times reject normative ideals of contemporary masculinity situated in the discourse of the salaryman. Furthermore, she explores why this particular discourse of masculinity continues to exert a strong normative force in the lives of many male freeters.
Ronald Saladin takes a closer look at Japanese fashion magazines for young men. Singling out one specific category of these magazines – those aiming at the so called gyaru-o – he examines what kind of gender construction they produce and thus what kind of masculinity they communicate.
Biru David Binder is a research assistant at the Department of Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University, and currently a Ph.D. student at the DIJ. Emma Cook is a JSPS Post-Doctoral Fellow affiliated with Waseda University. Ronald Saladin is a Ph.D. student at Trier University, and currently on a MEXT scholarship at Musashi University.