Karen Kelsky - Associate Professor East Asian Languages and Cultures and Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This paper examines major Japanese lesbian critical writing of the 1980s and 1990s, with particular emphasis on the work of Kakefuda Hiroko, the most significant lesbian writer in Japan. It focuses on three recurring themes in this body of writing ”the lesbian image in heterosexual Japanese pornography, the exclusions of straight feminism, and the non-possibility of alliance with gay men. It then takes up the question of sexual and social autonomy (shutaisei) and the role of privacy in lesbian narratives of resistance. It concludes with a discussion of recent developments in Japanese lesbian communities. Throughout it considers parallels with U.S. lesbian debates.