Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,

Nippon 2007: Sexual Japan: SF/SM

The description of this in the program appears to have been cut off, but is:

"'Although some of them seem unordinary and even bizarre, they successfully provide interesting insights of Japanese culture and imagination throughout the modern and postwar history of Japanese society.'"

Panelists: CJ (Shige) Suzuki; Koutaro Nkagaki.

Someone commented at the panel, as people were filing in, that there had been one woman but she'd left. He missed one, besides me and a few more came in later, but it was a very male-dominated space considering that I thought--naively?--that it was a feminist topic. There was also a lot of laughter that was probably nervous/embarrassed but which made me uncomfortable, especially when it was directed at objectification of women. I did not laugh--nor, I noticed, did any of the men--when it was a *man* being tentacle-raped.

Also, the room was packed to overflowing and had basically no airflow.

This was structured as two half-hour talks, except the first went over. The panelists appeared to be delivering pre-written remarks and I hope that they will put them online, because I missed a lot.

Suzuki went first. He started w/1820 woodblock print, octopus + woman in sexual situation, by Katushika Hokusai, called "Tako and Ama".

Quotes Susan Napier (?) anime & manga scholar, noting that this reminds of modern tentacle rape portrayals.

Maeda Toshio, _Urotsukidôji_ (1986). If I understood properly, artist realized that tentacle acceptable (in that could be displayed) substitute for penis. (Suggestion that this was the start of modern portrayals?)

Maeda Toshio, _Injyu gakuen_ (1989): another example.

Agrees w/Napier's connection btwn pre-modern art & modern. Japan has strong undercurrent of non-realist tradition. (Missed a lot of this comment.)

Feminist criticism: in Japanese pornographic anime, females are the passive object--powerless, subjugated. In his view, this is incomplete: female bodies are sometimes powerful & monstrous. Ex. Kikuchi Hideyuki, _Yoju toshi_ (1992) (anime). Female spider monster, etc.

Then goes back to text w/1820 block print, puts up translation. Underlines bit of woman's lines, which suggest consent/enjoyment, and also sexually insatisable by usual standards: "Until now it was I that men called an octopus."

Psychoanalytic reading of picture, presentation of male fear & anxiety toward females.

[At the beginning I thought that the presenter was suggesting that this more complete portrait of Japanese pornography was *better*, which I don't think now; however, it was still depressing. What about pornography created by Japanese women?]

Bit of a movie, name of which I didn't get. B&W, low-budget, woman w/a metal snake wrapped around/part of?, rapes frightened man, turns out to be a nightmare of the man. Plot apparently about a man whose body is fusing w/things around him? Also about male fear.

"Numa Shôzô", _Yapoo: The Human Cattle_, "great post-War literary accomplishment" (1970).

(Amano Testuo claimed to be author after a judge was named in a newspaper article, but some scholars still doubt.)

_Kitan Kurabu_ magazine (1952-1975) where _Yapoo_ first appeared, banned in 1955.

Plot: set in Empire of Hundred Suns, where hiearchy is white females; white males; black slaves; Yapoo (used to be Japanese, biotech transformed into tools to serve whites). Sebe Rin'ichiro is Japanese male foreign student; Clara von Kotvitch is German woman, Sebe's fiancee. Time travel, future society (think Sebe is traveller, not sure).

(Noted that magazine appeared at end of Occupation, think story started in 1956.)

Book deals w/many issues obvious from summary. Not clear to me how much sex involved, or whether relevant for general humiliation of Japanese male.

Post-colonialist view of own (Japanese) bodies as foreign. [I missed a lot of this section, but I believe it was relevant to the Western stereotype of the Asian male as sexually ineffective and the prevalence of Western standards of physical attractiveness. See my post from last year on _M. Butterfly_. Also there was an article in the paper here recently about a shampoo company that is breaking with convention to show Japanese women in its commercials, instead of Western blondes.]

_Yapoo_ had recent French translation. Manga adaptations: Ishinomori Shotaro; Egawa Ttsuya. Film project underway.


Second presenter, Nkagaki: 1980s (?) film, based on sexual fantasy, _Tokyo Decadence_, ex. of SM imagination. (I think.)

EDOGAWA Rampo, YUMENO Kyûsaku: Showa-era writers, very important.

(Then everyone gets distracted by the movie which has kept playing, in which the man's just been killed. Or not.)

Back to writers! Edogawa: though famous for mysteries, wrote many sexually surreal stories. "The Human Chair" about a man who couldn't deal w/women in person so put self into a chair to get sexual gratification by being sat on. (Again, I think.)

Yumeo's work adapted into films, showed one example, _Shojo jigoku_ (1936): two girls, forbidden love, at end burn themselves. Final scene is screaming/naked/flames then silent, focus on faces gazing at each other.

Another film clip: man amnesiac, but has memory of ancestor who committed murder. (_Dogura Magura_?)

Two mangaka in handout, NAGAKI Go and EGAWA Tatsuya. Unfortunately my phone rang at the start of this discussion so I missed the comments. The handout mentions Nagaki's _Violence Jack_ manga specifically, set place in post-apocalyptic "Evil Town," but no real detail in handout otherwise.

If I were more used to listening to people speak with Japanese accents, I think I could have got a lot more out of this.

Tags: cons, nippon 2007, worldcon

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