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.
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).