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A Review of Postwar Sexology Magazines in Japan-With a focus on "The Study of Man"-

  • 日本硏究
  • 2015, (38), pp.519-539
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Published : February 20, 2015

Jeehyung Lee 1

1숙명여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The present paper deals with an investigation on『The Study of Man』, a postwar sexology magazine published in Japan. With a motto claiming 'the sexology magazine for the cultured people', 『The Study of Man』made inquiries of everything concerned with 'sex' from the perspective of such vast areas as medicine, science, psychology, society, custom, history, etc. It was anything but an amusement-oriented low taste sex magazine that solely sought after satisfying sexual curiosity and trivial desire of the mass. It aimed instead to explore 'sex' on the one hand but kept sense of balance or limit on the other hand by heading forward 'culture' and drawing a clear border line with vulgarity. The magazine put extraordinary weight on the contents and articles handling connection between war and sex, views of sexology and sex medicine, as well as homosexuality reflecting the characteristics of the time after the war. Besides, it was also characteristic of running mainly a regular corner for counselling of sex problems and publishing reports on sex-suggestive news in an effort to respond to the needs of and communicate with readers in a clever and positive way. It is particularly remarkable to note the great concern of 『The Study of Man』for the issue of homosexuality. The magazine possessed a rich inventory of the articles in this regard and examined the issue from various viewpoints. It seems, however, hard to conclude that 『The Study of Man』showed deep understanding to the position of homosexuals as minority group of the society. On the contrary, there seems to be rather traces of its attempt to highlight the article about homosexuality just to cater to the wishes of the mass. The magazine should nevertheless be highly estimated for its efforts to bring to the fore broadly the issue of sexuality which was then tabooed. In sum, we can't deny the success of 『The Study of Man』since it definitely spoke for the voice of isolated and suppressed minority with 'sex' by defining possibility and flexibility of the time after the war.

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