Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (MA)
Second Committee Member
The performativity of gender through cross-dressing has been a staple in Japanese media throughout the centuries. This thesis engages with the pervasiveness of cross-dressing in popular Japanese media, from the modern shōjo gender-bender genre of manga and anime to the traditional Japanese theatre. Drawing on theories from gender-studies and performance aesthetics to delineate the female gender in traditional Japanese theatre, I follow the roles of, representation of, and media for women, concentrating on (1) manga, a form of sequential art featuring illustrations with corresponding text, (2) anime, animated productions (where the word anime is the abbreviated pronunciation of “animation” in Japanese, and (3) live-action dorama, or simply dorama, television dramas, not animated, but acted by live actors. With the permission of Hatori Bisco, and concentrating on my own translation of a single chapter from her manga, Ouran High School Host Club, as my case study, I complement my focus on gender performativity and cross-dressing, by analyzing the act of reading the manga in the light of contemporary cognitive studies in comic scholarship. Throughout my thesis, then, I frame the history of the female subject in Japanese popular media, through an analysis of the shōjo genre, the act of reading a shōjo manga, and the actual plot of that shōjo manga and its derivations to support my argument that in my material cross-dressing and gender performativity carry an enigmatic fascination that entraps the curiosity of audiences.
Woods, Sheena Marie, "The Fascination of Manga: Cross-dressing and Gender Performativity in Japanese Media" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 1273.