Uneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory, and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army

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University of California Press, Aug 14, 2007 - History - 270 pages
"This is one of the best—most surprising, insightful, provocative—books I've read on the complex interplay of memory, militarism and masculinity. Japan specialists will be sure to find it thought-provoking. But it should also be 'must reading' for all students of masculinity, femininity, militarization, and soldiering. This is comparative feminist ethnography at its smartest."—Cynthia Enloe, author of The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire

"Uneasy Warriors presents a rare and intimate view into the psychological and social workings of the Self-Defense Forces. As the US and Japanese governments gear up to change the Japanese anti-war constitution, this book is even more important for understanding what the consequences will be."—Catherine Lutz, author of Homefront: A Military City and the American 20th Century

"Sabine Frühstück expertly describes the ambiguous status of the Japanese Self Defense Forces. The book reveals insights gained from several years of sustained research, including a stint "in uniform" at an army base near Mt. Fuji. Frühstück's observations about the SDF's public relations emphasis on "cute" popular cultural media are timely and trenchant, as are her analyses of the militarization of masculinity and femininity."—Jennifer Robertson, author of Takarazuka: Sexual Politics and Popular Culture in Modern Japan

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The Japanese self-defence forces (SDF) are the intriguing subject of this book. What does it feel like to be a soldier in a military that constitutionally shouldn’t exist, in a nation with a ... Read full review


1 On Base
2 Postwar Postwarrior Heroism
3 Feminist Militarists
4 Military Manipulations of Popular Culture
5 Embattled Memories Ersatz Histories

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About the author (2007)

Sabine Frühstück is Professor of Modern Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of Colonizing Sex: Sexology and Social Control in Modern Japan (UC Press, 2003).

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