Episode 25: Chrysanthemums and Golden Bums: Male Love in Pre-Modern Japan

That’s right, Leigh and Gretchen are back with another delightful look at the history of homosexuality in East Asian history! Episode 3 explored homosexuality in Ancient China but this time, they’re heading over to Japan to take a closer look at Buddhism, samurai tradition, and the economy-shaped homosexuality in the Tokugawa shogunate. But it’s not all context, you’ll laugh along with us at some of the monks’ exploits, swoon over romantic queer poetry, and peer into the delights of the floating world. So strap in for an exciting look at the rich history of male and female homosexuality in Japan!

0:00 – Introduction
6:37 – Main Topic: Male/Male Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan
6:52 – Socio-Historical and Religious Context
15:47 – Fun Segment: Word of the Week
25:25 – Earliest References to Male Love in Japan
28:47 – The Monastic Tradition
42:40 – The Samurai Tradition and Undying Devotion
48:44 – The Rise of Kabuki and Commercialized Nanshoku
1:03:00 – Male Love in Popular Tokugawa Literature and Art
1:17:57 – Female/Female Homosexuality in Japan
1:23:43 – Main Takeaways/Conclusions
1:25:29 – How Gay were They?
1:26:40 – Closing and Where to Find us Online

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

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