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The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
In-depth critical analysis of the forces shaping the Asia-Pacific...and the world.
Sabine Fruhstuck

Sabine Fruhstuck Professor of Modern Japanese Cultural Studies Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-7075 F: (805) 893 3011 E: fruhstuck@eastasian.ucsb.edu

Weblink: http://www.eastasian.ucsb.edu/faculty/fruhstuck.htm

 

Sabine Frühstück is interested in the historical and sociological study of modern and contemporary Japanese culture and society, including problems of power/knowledge, gender/sexuality, and military/society. She is the first scholar of Japan who had permission to participate in basic training, interview soldiers on base, and examine how the Self-Defense Forces try to shape their environment in current-day Japan. Her book, Uneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army, employs gender, memory and popular culture as technologies of engagements with a number of debates that centrally involve the military: Article 9 of the post-WWII constitution prohibits Japan from maintaining armed forces, yet Japan has armed forces that are equipped with the most advanced military technology and the world’s third-largest budget. Service members are trained for combat like those in most other military establishments, yet they serve exclusively non-traditional needs such as community works, disaster relief, and peace-keeping. The Self-Defense Forces have not once engaged in combat, yet the integration of women has been slow and hesitant. The book provides an inside and close-up view of how individual soldiers live with these contradictions. Frühstück's book, Colonizing Sex: Sexology and Social Control in Modern Japan, is a history of sexual knowledge in Japan and the different uses made of that knowledge. Based on a wide variety of sources including military data on soldiers' health, sex education treatises for youth, and pronatalist and expansionist propaganda that fought frigidity in women and impotence in men, the book analyzes the techniques at work in conflicts and negotiations that aimed at the creation of a normative sexuality. Frühstück has co-edited Neue Geschichten der Sexualität: Beispiele aus Ostasien and Zentraleuropa 1700-2000, The Culture of Japan as Seen Through Its Leisure, and Recreating Japanese Men (forthcoming). She is the author of numerous book chapters and journal articles in Journal of Japanese Studies, Journal of Asian Studies, American Ethnologist, Jinbun Gakuho, Zeitschrift für angewandte Sozialforschung, among others. In her current book project, Playing War: The Militarization of Childhood in the Twentieth Century, she pursues a transnational analysis of the processes of militarization in the twentieth century. She is an Asia-Pacific Journal associate.

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