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Ropers, Eric: "Representations of Gendered Violence in Manga. The Case of Enforced Military Prostitution." In: Japanese Studies 31.2 (2011), S. 249–266.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Ropers2011
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Keywords: Gender, Gewalt, Historische Themen, Japan, Krieg, Manga
Collection: Japanese Studies
As a key part of contemporary Japanese mass visual culture, manga has increasingly been used to shape popular perceptions of history. In recent years, there has been a great deal of discussion surrounding politically conservative and revisionist manga that distort the military’s actions during Japan’s wars throughout the 1930s and 1940s. In regard to the issue of enforced military prostitution, victims, activists, and scholars have found the depiction of so-called ‘comfort women’ as willing prostitutes or participants to be extremely offensive. Compared to these revisionist works, there are other artists who look to address and faithfully represent and depict the military prostitution issue in manga. Unlike their revisionist counterparts, these artists grapple with the inherent sensitivities of such an issue and struggle with ways to communicate the brutality of gendered violence. These works illustrate important similarities and differences in how artists structure and frame historical narratives in manga. More importantly, the works raise questions about the impossibility of adequately conveying the experiences of soldiers and victims during the war. They also serve as a reminder to the diversity of representations in contemporary Japanese discourse.
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