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Polygence Scholar2023
Mika Kikuchi's profile

Mika Kikuchi

Class of 2024Tuckahoe, NY



  • "Gender and Sexuality studies in the 20th century: Why Iwata Jun’ichi was an unsung researcher" with mentor Jonathan (Sept. 10, 2023)

Project Portfolio

Gender and Sexuality studies in the 20th century: Why Iwata Jun’ichi was an unsung researcher

Started June 20, 2023

Abstract or project description

Iwata Jun’ichi, an ethnologist/anthropologist who recorded male homosexuality in Japan from the 9th century to the 20th century, is regarded as an indispensable figure in learning about the history of Japanese homosexuality by scholars who know his name. However worldwide, and even within Japan, not many intellectuals know about him, even as gender and sexuality study gains popularity and is needed today. Through the use of primary sources such as Iwata’s texts and his friend Edogawa Ranpo’s Doseiai Bungakushi ni Tuite (On the literary history of homosexuality), this paper explores who Iwata Jun’ichi was and why he never achieved the prominence he should have gained. Specifically, by translating some parts of these texts and analyzing the historical context in which he conducted his research, this project argues that war combined with Imperial Japan’s state policy and Iwata’s particularity in his academic research, militated against him being renowned. Ultimately through these arguments, I revive Iwata’s work. Highlighting its significance and functionality, his writings will serve as an inducer and great contribution towards queer studies in Japan.