The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

JASON G. KARLIN
The Gender of Nationalism:
Competing Masculinities in Meiji Japan

This essay examines gender symbolism in competing representations of nationalism in Meiji Japan. Through an analysis of contesting images of masculinity, it reveals how questions of national identity were articulated in the idiom of gender. In response to the perceived threat of the feminization of culture represented by the intensification of consumption, fashion, and artifice, a vigorous masculinity asserted itself that rejected Western materialism and instead extolled notions of primitivism, national spirit, and imperialism. These two opposing representations of masculinity, a “masculinized” and “feminized” masculinity, each constituted differing responses to the problem of modernity.

Volume 28, Number 1 (Winter 2002)
© 2002 Society for Japanese Studies


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