Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

Male colors [electronic resource] : the construction of homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan /
Gary P. Leupp.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1995.
description
viii, 310 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520086279 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1995.
isbn
0520086279 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
9544200
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 227-302) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"An invaluable resource for anyone seeking a history of the representation of homosexuality in Japan."--Sandra Buckley, author ofBroken Silence: Voices of Japanese Feminism "Opens a window on the complex and varied patterns of sexual relations between males in early modern Japan. Imperative reading for anyone concerned with human sexual expression in social context."--David F. Greenberg, author ofThe Construction of Homosexuality "Nanshoku--male colors--as male same-sex eroticism and sexuality were known in early modern Japan, enjoyed an honored place in the life and mythology of the age, celebrated in art and literature with as much energy and enthusiasm as male-female eroticism. Unfettered by the moral opporbium that constrained--or concealed--male-male eroticism in Europe, male colors flew brightly in the public culture of urban Japan. Gary Leupp explores the practices and the cultural celebration of the Edo-era nanshoku tradition in this exuberant, sensitive, and yet dispassionate social and cultural history of male homoeroticism, the best modern scholarly study in English to date. Leupp ranges widely in a vast array of original literary, dramatic, and visual sources, which he brings to life with a finely textured use of comparative material from other traditions of male-male love both in East Asia and across the premodern world. Highly original and insightful, it will be standard reading for years to come."--Ronald P. Toby, author ofState and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu
Flap Copy
"An invaluable resource for anyone seeking a history of the representation of homosexuality in Japan."--Sandra Buckley, author of Broken Silence: Voices of Japanese Feminism "Opens a window on the complex and varied patterns of sexual relations between males in early modern Japan. Imperative reading for anyone concerned with human sexual expression in social context."--David F. Greenberg, author of The Construction of Homosexuality " Nanshoku --male colors--as male same-sex eroticism and sexuality were known in early modern Japan, enjoyed an honored place in the life and mythology of the age, celebrated in art and literature with as much energy and enthusiasm as male-female eroticism. Unfettered by the moral opporbium that constrained--or concealed--male-male eroticism in Europe, male colors flew brightly in the public culture of urban Japan. Gary Leupp explores the practices and the cultural celebration of the Edo-era nanshoku tradition in this exuberant, sensitive, and yet dispassionate social and cultural history of male homoeroticism, the best modern scholarly study in English to date. Leupp ranges widely in a vast array of original literary, dramatic, and visual sources, which he brings to life with a finely textured use of comparative material from other traditions of male-male love both in East Asia and across the premodern world. Highly original and insightful, it will be standard reading for years to come."--Ronald P. Toby, author of State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-06-01:
Leupp's writing style is easy enough for lower-division undergraduates, but his documentation will satisfy the most punctilious researcher of social history. In this interesting but detailed survey, Leupp covers the various kinds of male homosexuality in Japan from before the Tokugawa regime until after its demise (that is, between 1603 and 1868, according to the Gregorian calendar). During this time, male-male sex acts (called nanshoku) were apparently both common and accepted in a variety of contexts: in Buddhist monasteries, among Samurai warriors who had "brotherhood bonds," among patrons of teahouses and theaters, and among customers of licensed prostitutes. After Japan allowed itself to be Westernized, nanshoku declined and harsher Euramerican attitudes extinguished earlier tolerance. Includes explicit prints from the period. All levels. R. W. Smith California State University, Northridge
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 1996
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Tokugawa Japan ranks with ancient Athens as a society that not only tolerated, but celebrated, male homosexual behavior. Few scholars have seriously studied the subject, and until now none have satisfactorily explained the origins of the tradition or elucidated how its conventions reflected class structure and gender roles. Gary P. Leupp fills the gap with a dynamic examination of the origins and nature of the tradition. Based on a wealth of literary and historical documentation, this study places Tokugawa homosexuality in a global context, exploring its implications for contemporary debates on the historical construction of sexual desire. Combing through popular fiction, law codes, religious works, medical treatises, biographical material, and artistic treatments, Leupp traces the origins of pre-Tokugawa homosexual traditions among monks and samurai, then describes the emergence of homosexual practices among commoners in Tokugawa cities. He argues that it was "nurture" rather than "nature" that accounted for such conspicuous male/male sexuality and that bisexuality was more prevalent than homosexuality. Detailed, thorough, and very readable, this study is the first in English or Japanese to address so comprehensively one of the most complex and intriguing aspects of Japanese history.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introductionp. 1
The Pre-Tokugawa Homosexual Traditionp. 11
The Continental Traditions: China and Koreap. 11
Earliest Japanese References: Male-Male Sex at Courtp. 22
Monastic Homosexualityp. 27
Homosexuality Among the Samurai: The Influence of Feudalismp. 47
Homosexuality Among the Samurai: The Influence of Monastic Pederastyp. 51
The Character of Pre-Tokugawa Nanshokup. 55
The Commercialization of Nanshokup. 58
The New Order and the Rise of a Culture of Prostitutionp. 58
Homosexuality and Bourgeois Culturep. 78
Tokugawa Homosexual Culturep. 94
The Prevalence of Bisexualityp. 95
The Active-Passive Dichotomyp. 109
The Object of Desirep. 122
Egalitarian Homosexual Relationshipsp. 137
Social Status and Sexual Rolesp. 142
Social Tolerancep. 145
Acceptance and Criticismp. 146
Nanshoku and the Lawp. 156
Nanshoku and Violencep. 164
Nanshoku and the Construction of Genderp. 171
Three Distinctive Features of Nanshokup. 171
The Fascination with Androgynyp. 172
The Acceptance of Male Sexual Passivityp. 178
Women's Roles and the Insertee's Rolep. 182
Women's Irop. 187
The Taboo Against Male-Male Fellationp. 191
Nanshoku and Heterosexual Romancep. 194
Conclusions and Speculationsp. 198
Appendix: A Boor's Talep. 205
List of Charactersp. 219
Notesp. 227
Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 303
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem