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Posts Tagged ‘Hiraga Gennai’

Ôoku: Cross-Dressing in a Matriarchy

Part 5 here.

We’ve already discussed several speculative fiction pieces with cross-dressing characters in them. Yet, where a piece like BeruBara focuses on alternate history by adding in a few fictional characters to actual historic events, the world portrayed by Yoshinaga Fumi in Ôoku (大奥) is an alternate history in which most of the historical figures’ genders have been swapped. The author’s use of speculative fiction serves to illustrate contemporary issues of gender and sexism by showing them to us through a tilted mirror. How does cross-dressing function in a gender-swapped world?

Content: this section contains mild spoilers for the manga series Ôoku, and some spoilers specific to the plots of the Iemitsu (vol. 2-4) and the Ieshige-Ieharu arcs (vol. 8-10). The spoilers are primarily events that occur in the first volumes of each story arc (vol. 2 and vol. 8). (Keep in mind that because this is historical fiction, general information about said historical figures will contain some spoilers.) Some discussion of misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and domestic violence. All images safe for work.

Ooku, Vol. 2, p. 117.

Iemitsu and Arikoto. Ooku, Vol. 2, p. 117.

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First of all, many thanks to the audience member who attended Kathryn‘s and my Sakuracon panel “Cross-dressing for Fun and Profit in Anime and Manga”! You were all great, and we enjoyed your questions and feedback. We’re planning on publishing a version of our presentation on our blogs (and hopefully elsewhere if we’re lucky) complete with images and hyperlinks, so stay tuned.

Hiraga Gennai, or "Flail Hard with a Vengeance, a novel by me" (Vol. 10, p. 104)

Hiraga Gennai, though (Vol. 10, p. 104)

Although we ended up having to rush through the section on Ôoku, there seemed to be a lot of interest in the series. I realized when I was writing down information on Ôoku for a lovely con-goer who approached us afterward to chat about the series and Hiraga Gennai that I really, really needed to better organize my Ôoku posts instead of sending people to the category, which is starting to get rather large.  (more…)

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