Trim: 6⅜ x 9⅜
978-1-4985-4214-2 • Hardback • March 2019 • $111.00 • (£85.00)
978-1-4985-4216-6 • Paperback • September 2020 • $41.99 • (£32.00)
978-1-4985-4215-9 • eBook • March 2019 • $39.50 • (£30.00)
Ann Marie Davis is assistant professor of Japanese studies at The Ohio State University.
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: Camouflaging Chaos with Pleasure: Images of the Yokohama Pleasure Zone
Chapter Three: Counting Bodies: Enumerating Venereal Disease and the Medically Licensed Prostitute
Chapter Four: Freedom, People’s Rights, and the Early Abolition Movement: Contesting Modernity, Enlightenment, and Power
Chapter Five: Writing A Prostitute’s Tale by Wada Yoshiko
Chapter Six: Epilogue
Imagining Prostitution in Modern Japan, 1850–1913 is a timely reminder that gender as an analytic tool provides new perspectives to even the "oldest profession." Intelligent, refreshing, and clearly written, Davis investigates how the historicity of the gender specific category “prostitute” changes during a period of rapid social change in Japan. By focusing on the diverse and competing modes of representing prostitution in the Meiji period, Davis brilliantly reveals how politics, race, class, and gender are interconnected.
— Bill Mihalopoulos, University of Central Lancashire
In this highly readable book, Ann Marie Davis explores how modern Japanese prostitutes, although often marginalized as historical actors, were simultaneously at the center of larger political and social forces, such as Western imperialism and Meiji period (1868-1912) nation-building. Employing a wide range of textual and visual materials to argue for their interstitial position, she innovatively shows that these sex workers became caught up in numerous and overlapping discourses, including law, statistics, art, literature, and more. Importantly, Davis also reveals how progressive actors, including some “enlightened” women themselves, sought to free licensed prostitution from the thralls of masculinist sexism, capitalist commodification, and securitized pimping. Much more than a history of Japan, this interdisciplinary study powerfully demonstrates that gender, class, and empire must be at the forefront of any critical analysis of modern sexuality.
— Todd A. Henry, University of California-San Diego