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12 février 2015 4 12 /02 /février /2015 10:11

Lu sur la liste mail H-Japan:

Dear colleagues,

The speaker for the February meeting of the Kyoto Asian Studies Group is Scott Johnson, who will present on the artist Tsukioka Settei (1710–1786) and his erotic parodies of models of proper education and deportment for women. One such book is “Onna Dairaku takara-beki” (see abstract below).

The lecture will be held on Monday, February 23rd from 6:30-8:30 in Room 212 of the Fusokan on the Doshisha University Campus (see link below for access information).

***Please note the time change from 6:00 to 6:30.


Tsukioka Settei (1710–1786) was a much-honored Osaka artist, trained in the Kano tradition, but known for his versatility. He was also noted in his own lifetime for his painted and printed erotic works. Among his erotic books, he created a publishing trend in the Kamigata area for parodying books offering models of proper education and deportment for women. The first, and most important, in this genre, was “Onna Dairaku takara-beki,” a pointed visual and textual parody of “Onna Daigaku takara-bako” and its Confucian stress on women’s subservience. Settei’s book was published around 1755, reviving shunga publication since the official banning of such publications in 1722. It was not suppressed, the reasons for which will be explored in this presentation. I will also examine the role of lending libraries, the readership of shunga parodies, the tricks of publishers of shunga parodies, the importance of Osaka as the home of shunga parody publishing, and most importantly, the book’s alternative (anti-Confucian?) stress on the place of women: play at home to save the nation. Settei’s art, including shunga parodies, was the main subject of the January 2015 issue of Geijutsu Shincho, as well as an important aspect of the ground-breaking British Museum show entitled “Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art” (2013-14). I will draw heavily upon the careful study and partial translations of “Onna Dairaku” by Andrew Gerstle (SOAS), and will show images from the two books. There will be time to physically compare examples of both books.

Scott Johnson is scholar residing in Kyoto

Sponsored by the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies. For access information see:


Please refrain from bringing food or drinks into the meeting room.

Contact: Hillary Pedersen, hillyped@yahoo.com

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15 février 2014 6 15 /02 /février /2014 15:04

Merci http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/02/15/national/leave-article-9-alone-new-komeitos-osaka-women/#.Uv9y785AISk

Political alliances often resemble shotgun weddings. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and smaller opposition forces such as Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) that are pushing to amend the Constitution are now wondering if their efforts will fail due to a group of Osaka women who have made it clear some things will not be compromised for the sake of marriage.

New Komeito is in the odd position of serving as the LDP’s coalition partner in the Diet, where Nippon Ishin is officially the opposition. Yet New Komeito — at least for the moment — is also Nippon Ishin’s partner in the Osaka Municipal and Prefectural assemblies, where the LDP is the opposition.

Of course, New Komeito’s strongest supporters are in Sokka Gakkai, the lay Buddhist group whose critics accuse it of being a powerful cult. But there is no doubt about two things. First, Sokka Gakkai and New Komeito oppose revoking Article 9 of the Constitution, the “no-war clause,” along the lines Abe and Nippon Ishin co-leader Shintaro Ishihara envision. Second, New Komeito and Sokka Gakkai are strong in Osaka. In particular, the women of Sokka Gakkai who support New Komeito are organized, disciplined, and, in the grand tradition of Osaka, not afraid to speak their minds.

Of New Komeito’s 51 Diet members, nine are from Osaka, the largest concentration of the party’s politicians in the country. In short, when New Komeito’s Osaka supporters talk, regardless of whether they belong to Sokka Gakkai, the party listens.

That’s what frustrates Takeo Hiranuma, co-leader of Nippon Ishin’s Diet group. Last year, he was quoted as saying the constitutional revision was being blocked “by a group of ladies in Osaka,” a not-so-subtle reference to New Komeito female voters there who like Article 9 just the way it is, thank you very much.

However, Hiranuma’s view ignores two realities: The first is numbers-based, while the second has to do with history, myth and stereotypes that play a role in broader Osaka attitudes toward itself, Article 9 and those who would scrap it.

First, Abe and the LDP want to change Article 9 by first revising Article 96, which stipulates a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of the Diet is needed to amend the Constitution. The LDP, Nippon Ishin and Your Party want to lower that to a simple majority.

New Komeito is cautious, to say the least, about changing Article 96. Theoretically, Abe could team up with Nippon Ishin. But that likely means ditching New Komeito as a coalition partner — a heavy price to pay. The party’s ability to get things done for its voters and for those in LDP districts is widely respected in and out of the LDP, while Nippon Ishin Diet members are, by and large, inexperienced amateurs detested by the bureaucrats.

Nor is opposition to revising Article 9 limited to New Komeito voters who belong to Sokka Gakkai. As an ancient merchant city that was trading with Korea and China when Tokyo was nothing but swampland, Osaka’s historical mindset has traditionally been one of “war is bad for business.”

During the Edo Period, the ruling samurai were seen by Osaka’s merchants less as loyal and honorable guardians and more as lazy braggarts who got drunk and were easily fleeced at the gaming tables. In the 1930s, Osaka had a reputation as being a particularly difficult place to recruit soldiers and sailors.

Thus, with its long history of Asian ties, a preference for commerce over military adventures, and a strong contempt for Tokyo’s bureaucratic politics, large numbers of Osakans, not just a few Osaka women in one political party, do not share, even today, an inclination to revise Article 9 simply because Tokyo politicians say it’s necessary.

Eric Johnston, Japan Times 15/2/2014

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