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Boys Love Manga and BeyondHistory, Culture, and Community in Japan$
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Mark McLelland, Kazumi Nagaike, Katsuhiko Suganuma, and James Welker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628461190

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628461190.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

What is Japanese “BL Studies?”

What is Japanese “BL Studies?”

A Historical and Analytical Overview

(p.119) What is Japanese “BL Studies?”
Boys Love Manga and Beyond

Kazumi Nagaike

Tomoko Aoyama

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines Boys Love (BL) studies in Japan, highlighting Nakajima Azusa's paper Communication Dysfunction Syndrome (Komyunikēshon fuzen shōkōgun). Published in 1991, this research paper is considered to be the first full-fledged critical analysis of Japanese BL. Nakajima's self-reflexive analysis evokes a number of important questions, including that of why significant numbers of Japanese women crave male homosexual narratives. Her study argues that women who are consistently exposed to a normative masculine gaze in the context of a partriarchal society attempt to elide their female bodies—and such socially imposed paradigms as female beauty, motherhood, and the reproductive function of sex—by taking refuge in the idealized sphere of male homosexual fantasies. The chapter also looks into the studies of Fujimoto Yukari, who asserts that, in BL works, the problematic aspects of female sexuality unquestionably involve an impulse to escape the pain associated with being passive in sexual acts.

Keywords:   BL studies, Japan, Nakajima Azusa, Communication Dysfunction Syndrome, male homosexual narratives, masculine gaze, partriarchal society, Fujimoto Yukari

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