Sexual Violence, Masculinity, and Agency in Post-Surrender Japan, 1945

Citation:

Kramm, Robert. 2019. "Sexual Violence, Masculinity, and Agency in Post-Surrender Japan, 1945." Journal of Women's History 31 (1): 62-85.

Author: Robert Kramm

Abstract:

In the immediate post-surrender period in late summer 1945, thousands of American servicemen entered Japan. Despite Japanese authorities’ tactical planning of a “female floodwall” with brothels and other recreational facilities to distract the occupiers from the Japanese population, especially from Japanese women, and the occupiers’ demonstration of military power, the first physical encounter of occupiers and occupied in the “militarized peace” of occupied Japan was nevertheless accompanied by violence—sexual violence in particular. Contrary to the often-portrayed peaceful image of the American occupation of Japan, this article highlights sex and violence as significant markers for the asymmetrical power relations during the occupation period. It analyzes the arena of sexual violence in which Japanese police officers and administrators, as well as Japanese civilians, struggled to prevent and control, but also to articulate and instrumentalize, the occupiers’ sexual assaults.

Topics: Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2019

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