Beyond the Geisha/Samurai Binary (ASNS2677)


Foreign perceptions of Japan cluster around two stereotypes: feminized images of elegance and submissiveness, epitomized by geisha, and hypermasculine images of violence, exemplified by samurai. A long tradition of gender subversion, cross-dressing, and androgyny in Japanese culture speaks for a more nuanced vision of masculinity and femininity. Throughout the unit, we will examine the formation and subversion of gender roles as they emerge in a variety of classical and contemporary Japanese fiction and nonfiction genres.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week


3x 500wd In-class quizzes (30%), 1x1000wd Response paper (25%), 1x2000wd Research paper (35%), Tutorial presentation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


12 Junior credit points from (Asian Studies or Japanese Studies or Korean Studies or Chinese Studies or Indonesian Studies or Indian Sub-continental Studies or International and Global Studies)

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Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.