Asia Pacific Perspectives (ISSN: 2167-1699) is an international, peer-reviewed electronic journal that promotes cross-cultural understanding, tolerance, and the dissemination of knowledge about the Asia Pacific. The editors welcome submissions from all fields of the social sciences and the humanities that focus on the Asia Pacific, especially those adopting a comparative, interdisciplinary approach to issues of interrelatedness in the region. The journal facilitates academic discussions among both established scholars in the field and advanced graduate students. APP is published twice each year by the University of San Francisco Center for Asia Pacific Studies.

Fall 2017

Asia Masculinities Man

Asian Masculinity Studies in the West: From Minority Status to Soft Power

Material focusing on Asian men and sexualities which had in the past resisted analysis, has sparked original and innovative modes of analysis that have become commonplace. In this exciting period, Asian masculinity studies have attracted some adventurous minds and new territories are being explored every day. While carving out an interdisciplinary field for itself, Asian masculinity studies can look forward to attracting interest from researchers in almost all fields of inquiry. Although there may still be concerns about whether Asian masculinity studies can be meaningfully investigated given the diversity of the people and cultures, Louie suggests that it is also precisely this diversity that makes it a stimulating and burgeoning field.

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Weiqi Players in Shanghai

In League with Gentlemen: Junzi Masculinity and the Chinese Nation in Cultural Nationalist Discourses

In the wake of post-Mao China’s new capitalism, a “new junzi”(Confucian gentleman, 君子) has emerged: a reinterpretation of Confucianism as an ethical system compatible with doing business. As professional Chinese men negotiate increasing globalization and marketization, the junzi ideal has become a form of identity-making that legitimizes a moralized view of national culture. But while the figure of the junzi is updated to reshape cultural nationalist discourses, it raises the specter of a new racialized Chinese nationalism.

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Excerpt from a comic about a Salaryman living in Japan

Snapshots of Shôwa (CE 1926-89) and Post-Shôwa Japan Through Salaryman Articulations

Notions of the “salaryman” continue to help frame Japanese masculinity, corporate culture, and even national identity. The salaryman continues to appear in popular culture spaces from advertising to television dramas and even manga, despite decades of economic stagnation in Japan. Whether or not the salaryman is an anachronism, the trope shares important continuities with the past. What can historical depictions of the salaryman reveal about Japanese masculinity?

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The main character Oh Sang-Sik of the drama Misaeng standing with his arms around his two coworkers

The Aesthetics of Authenticity: Corporate Masculinities in Contemporary South Korean Television Dramas

What can images of “failed” Korean salarymen tell us about current perceptions of the corporate workplace – and its demands – in South Korea? The recent television drama series Misaeng (Incomplete Life, 2014) is a salaryman narrative that describes power relations between men, individuals and companies. This article explores how men’s appearances – especially unkempt and unfashionable ones – reflect cultural resistance, and how they re-masculinize the Korean salaryman through working-class aesthetics and values.

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Flexboard featuring the ATM boys, a youth collective

Iconographies of Urban Masculinity: Reading “Flex Boards” in an Indian City

In the Indian city of Pune, billboards known as “flex boards” are put up to mark special occasions, such as birthdays of popular figures and religious celebrations. These flex boards represent a rich iconography of urban masculinity, combining distinctly class-specific motifs of manliness, consumption and politics. But in a context where the masculine ideal is the figure of an upper-caste, middle class professional man, flex boards allow men outside those categories to (re)write themselves into city spaces.

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Pan-Asian Sports and the Emergence of Modern Asia

Pan-Asian Sports and the Emergence of Modern Asia, 1913-1974, by Stefan Huebner

Sports in general, and Asian sports in particular, have been under-studied until very recently. This book examines the important role that sports have played in Asian regional and international relations since the turn of the 20th century. This unique romp through half a century of Asian history reveals a very interesting picture viewed through the lens of major sports events.

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