Gender and Japanese Popular Culture

A small, keen-featured man, clothed in a kimono, and wearing powder on his face and rouge on his lips, sits in a carriage.

"Onnagata in Central Park." Onnagata are male actors who impersonate women in Japanese kabuki theatre. (Image courtesy of Bill Liao on flickr. License CC BY-NC-SA.)


MIT Course Number

21G.039J / 21A.143J / WGS.154J / 21G.591

As Taught In

Fall 2015



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course examines relationships between identity and participation in Japanese popular culture as a way of understanding the changing character of media, capitalism, fan communities, and culture. It emphasizes contemporary popular culture and theories of gender, sexuality, race, and the workings of power and value in global culture industries. Topics include manga (comic books), hip-hop and other popular music, anime and feature films, video games, contemporary literature, and online communication. Students present analyses and develop a final project based on a particular aspect of gender and popular culture.

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Related Content

Ian Condry. 21G.039J Gender and Japanese Popular Culture. Fall 2015. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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