Title

Inside and Outside: Queer Identities in Japanese Culture

Presenter Information

Corinne TabscottFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Japanese

Minor

Studio Art

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Tanya Romero-Gonzalez, Ph.D; Yoko Hatakeyama

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

While studying Japanese language and culture, I noticed a lack of inclusion of the Japanese queer community when studying marginalized social groups in Japan. For my research project I examine the queer community in Japan and how cultural norms impact their everyday life. In this paper I examine firsthand accounts of Japanese queers, particularly the accounts of Satoru Ito and his partner Ryuta Yanase, and their experiences navigating Japanese society while both “closeted” and “out”, and re-examining Japanese social norms within this context. It is apparent that aspects of Japanese social behavior originally intended to preserve community unity and harmony indirectly encourage labeling of the queer community negatively as “other” and therefore make it difficult for Japanese Queers to live authentically. Additionally, this paper explores ways Japanese queers are challenging these attitudes and creating dialogues from within their culture, as it is important to have a respect for culture and native social systems, and not impose western ideals on other cultures while challenging hetero- and cis-normative behavior, as queer identities and lives are as prevalent and valid as non- queer identities.

Fall Scholars Week 2018 Event

GLT 400

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Inside and Outside: Queer Identities in Japanese Culture

While studying Japanese language and culture, I noticed a lack of inclusion of the Japanese queer community when studying marginalized social groups in Japan. For my research project I examine the queer community in Japan and how cultural norms impact their everyday life. In this paper I examine firsthand accounts of Japanese queers, particularly the accounts of Satoru Ito and his partner Ryuta Yanase, and their experiences navigating Japanese society while both “closeted” and “out”, and re-examining Japanese social norms within this context. It is apparent that aspects of Japanese social behavior originally intended to preserve community unity and harmony indirectly encourage labeling of the queer community negatively as “other” and therefore make it difficult for Japanese Queers to live authentically. Additionally, this paper explores ways Japanese queers are challenging these attitudes and creating dialogues from within their culture, as it is important to have a respect for culture and native social systems, and not impose western ideals on other cultures while challenging hetero- and cis-normative behavior, as queer identities and lives are as prevalent and valid as non- queer identities.