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Permitted and Prohibited Desires
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Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan

Anne Allison


This study of gender and sexuality in contemporary Japan investigates elements of Japanese popular culture including erotic comic books, stories of mother–son incest, lunchboxes—or obentō—that mothers ritualistically prepare for schoolchildren, and children's cartoons. The book brings recent feminist psychoanalytic and Marxist theory to bear on representations of sexuality, motherhood, and gender in these and other aspects of Japanese culture. Based on five years of fieldwork in a middle-class Tokyo neighborhood, this theoretically informed ethnographic study provides an analysis of how sexual ... More

Keywords: gender, sexuality, Japan, Japanese popular culture, erotic comic books, incest, obentōs, children, motherhood, Tokyo

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780520219908
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520219908.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anne Allison, author