LGBT*IQ*A representation in Japanese Television. Restrictions and opportunities of queer images in Japanese TV-Series

In 2015 Fuji TV announced the terebi dorama „Transit Girls“, that supposedly was the first TV series in Japan to center on a lesbian relationship. In the same year, the widely popular terebi dorama „gisou no fufu“with a gay male main character also aired on Fuji TV.
The new/changed visibility of queer lives accomplished by the introduction of stories centered on lesbian/gay or bisexual characters is however not unilaterally perceived as a positive trend in queer communities. On the one hand, it may help some individuals identifying as LGBT*IQ*A or questioning their gender and/or sexuality to see queer characters entering mainstream media. On the other side, where few representations of non-heteronormative relationships or characters are accessible, those stand in danger of reinforcing stereotypes and biases against LGBT*IQ*A identified people. Also, certain representations of queer topics may even be likely to stabilize norms of gender and sexuality.
In my talk will present an analysis of both TV Series mentioned from a Queer Theory inspired perspective and I will set them into context with earlier representations of queer minorities in Japanese TV-Series and reactions from Queer activists in Japan.
My research Questions are as follows: What is new about the LGBT*I*Q*A characters in recent examples in Japanese TV- series in comparison to earlier representations of queer characters and stories with a queer subtext? Can the new images of non-heteronormative relationships meet the demands of sexual minorities to see themselves represented in the mainstream media?


Jasmin Rückert

rueckert_fotoStudienrichtungen: Japanologie und Gender Studies

Forschungsinteresse: (Queer-)Feminismus und zivilgesellschaftliches Engagement in Japan, Fan Culture(s)

Berufserfahrung: Öffentlichkeitsarbeit und Journalismus