Love in Modern Japan: Its Estrangement from Self, Sex and Society, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Love in Modern Japan

Its Estrangement from Self, Sex and Society, 1st Edition

By Sonia Ryang


180 pages

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This compelling and controversial book places the concept of love in both a social and historical context. Taking an approach in which state formation and vicissitude of power are explicitly taken into account in the discussion of intimacy and love, the author demonstrates that love as idealization and love as sexuality must be kept analytically separate. Chapters include discussions on sexualized rituals and fertility festivals, the murder case of Abe Sada, pure love in Miko and Mako’s tragedy and the 1990s phenomenon of ‘enjokosai’ or aid-date. Combining ethnographic, theoretical and archival research, this text will appeal to scholars of Japanese anthropology, feminist anthropology and gender studies alike.

Table of Contents


About the Author

Sonia Ryang is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and the Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Scholar of Korean Studies at University of Iowa. Her previous publications include Koreans in Japan: Critical Voices from the Margin (Routledge, 2000) and Japan and National Anthropology: A Critique (Routledge, 2004).

About the Series

Anthropology of Asia

Asia today is one of the most dynamic regions of the world. The previously predominant image of ‘timeless peasants’ has given way to the image of fast-paced business people, mass consumerism and high-rise urban conglomerations. Yet much discourse remains entrenched in the polarities of East versus West’, ‘Tradition versus Change’. This series hopes to provide a forum for anthropological studies which break with such polarities. It will publish titles dealing with cosmopolitanism, cultural identity, representations, arts and performance. The complexities of urban Asia, its elites, its political rituals, and its families will also be explored.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies