Motehen: A Case Study of Shifting Perceptions of Japanese Masculinity and Desirability Through Study Abroad

  • Elisabeth (Libby) Morinaga-Williams Osaka University, Japan
Keywords: desirability, identity, Japanese international students, study abroad, masculinity

Abstract

Topics of gender, sexuality and desirability have become prominent themes in study abroad research, particularly when exploring the experiences of Japanese women overseas. However, little research has explored the gendered experiences of Japanese male international students. This paper presents the case study of Ki, a young Japanese man who studied abroad in the United States. During his sojourn, Ki experienced a significant shift in his perceptions of masculinity and desirability through clashes with essentialized Western romantic practices and gender norms. This article critically examines discriminatory discourses of Japanese heterosexual masculinity and argues that colliding with these discourses negatively altered Ki’s view of himself as a desirable romantic partner both during his sojourn and upon his return to Japan.

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Author Biography

Elisabeth (Libby) Morinaga-Williams, Osaka University, Japan

ELISABETH (LIBBY) MORINAGA-WILLIAMS, MA, is a PhD Candidate in Critical Studies in Transformative Education in Osaka University’s Graduate School of Human Sciences. Her major research interests include critically exploring discourses of gender, race, language and identity among young people in Japan. 

Published
2018-10-01
How to Cite
Morinaga-Williams, E. (Libby). (2018). Motehen: A Case Study of Shifting Perceptions of Japanese Masculinity and Desirability Through Study Abroad. Journal of International Students, 8(4), 1569–1590. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v8i4.219
Section
Research Articles