Essays

Articles, Essays, Fan Perspective, Lectures and Videos About the genre Yuri and related topics.

Requests for lectures or presentations about Yuri for your organization, event or school, can be sent to yuricon@gmail.com. If you have a Yuri-related essay you’d like us to include on this page, please do contact us! We want to be a source for a complete bibliography on English-language Yuri-related studies. If you have any questions about the content of these essays, please contact the authors directly.

Table of Contents

 


Yuri – History and Definition

A [Very ] Brief History of Yuri – 100 years in 6 slides. Originally presented by Erica Friedman at the Tokyo Comics Showcase, Vol. 1 in Tokyo, Japan on May 3, 2016 as part of the Tokyo Rainbow Fesival. (With English or Japanese subtitles. Use “settings” to choose language.)

What are Yuri and Shoujoai Anyway? – Yuricon’s official definition of Yuri and how we derived it!

On Defining Yuri – by Erica Friedman. Looking at the term Yuri as both descriptive and divisive, shaped by creators and industry and by different audiences within fandom. Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 24.

Why We Call It “Yuri” – A brief article for Anime Feminist on the historical names used for manga/doujinshi featuring women in same-sex relationships and why, specifically, “Yuri” is used to describe the genre.

 


Articles – Analysis of Yuri by scholars and researchers

Eureka Magazine – Current State of Yuri Culture (ユリイカ 百合文化の現在)– This groundbreaking issue of Eureka magazine, looking at Yuri as a distinct genre, includes articles from scholars and creators steeped in Yuri.
Eureka, December 2014.

Yuri: A Genre Without Borders – by Erica Friedman, pp 143-147
Thoughts on the Representation of Yuri Fandom in Kurata Uso’s Yuri danshi  – by James Welker, pp 148-154 (Also available in Chinese)
Japan: Fertile Ground for the Cultivation of Yuri  – by Rica Takashima, pp. 117-121

 

A Genre of One’s Own – Yuri Comes of Age – Erica Friedman talks about why it’s significant to consider Yuri a separate genre. Okazu, August, 2012.

40 Years of the Same Damn Story, Pt. 1 – Erica  traces the history of the standard Yuri genre story, “There is a girl she likes another girl. The other girl likes her. They like each other. The end.” on her Hooded Utilitarian column, “Overthinking Things.” Hooded Utilitarian, April, 2011.

40 Years of the Same Damn Story, Pt. 2 – In the second of the series, Erica takes a look at the literary and  historical history of the “Girl Prince” character so common on Yuri manga. Hooded Utilitarian, May, 2011.

Rica Takashima’s Visual Essay on Yuri – A comic introduction to Yuri in 2011, for Women’s Review of Books.

Beautiful and Innocent: Female Same-Sex Intimacy in the Japanese Yuri Genre – PhD thesis by Verena Maser, examining the relationship between media content, its production, and its reception in Japanese popular culture in regards to Yuri. (Full text dissertation available at linked page)

Prolegomena to the Study of Yuri, Part 1 – by Erica Friedman. The first part of an on-going series about the history of Yuri as a genre. Okazu, September 2012.

Akogare ~ On the Edge of Desire, The Study of Yuri, Part 2 – Erica looks at the transition of “S” relationships from the girls’ magazines of the 1920s and 1930s to the proto-Shoujo manga of the 1950s. Okazu, September 2012.

Rethinking Yuri: How Lesbian Mangaka Return the Genre to Its Roots – Ana Valens takes a look at how Yuri has been redefined over the years for online women-focused pop culture site The Mary Sue. October, 2016

Yuri: An Indepth Look at Women in Love – Elizabeth Freeman’s take on Yuri for Artifice magazine. The Artifice, February, 2014.

The Impact Of Globalization On Yuri And Fan Activism – Yaritza Hernandez discusses fandom as a driver of culture and spread of Yuri globally. 2009

The Evolution of “Recognition/Assertion of a Lesbian Identity” vs “Akogare” in Manga – Katherine Hanson explores the blurring lines between “lesbian” and “Yuri” over time. March 2012

Yuri Anime: Feminist Narrative Revealed – a look at Yuri Anime in general, with a focus on Maria-sama ga Miteru in particular, by Kimberly Thompson. [Document download] May, 2008

Queering the media mix: The female gaze in Japanese fan comics – by Kathryn Hemmann. Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 20. June 2015.

Finding the Power of the Erotic in Japanese Yuri Manga – by Sarah Wellington A look at the Yuri Hime Wildrose series of volumes and their place in establishing a canon of Yuri erotica. Abstract available at the link, full-text is available with a clickthrough.) August 2015.

 


Lectures – Videos and research presented at lectures about or related to Yuri

Alt Manga, Queer Manga – Telling Our Own Stories  presented at University of Michigan, Center for Japanese Studies, January 19, 2017.

Persuasion and Opinion in Pop Culture Fandom – Are We the Cart or the Horse? – Presented October 16, 2014  to the “Persuasion and Language” class, taught by Prof. Beverly Curran at International Christian University, Mitaka, Japan.

Weaving Our Stories Through Manga and Comics – The Full-text of Erica’s Lecture at Kanagawa University in October 2013. (Companion slides) . For video of this presentation please visit our Youtube Channel:  Yuri Studios

 

The MIT Lecture series
Schoolgirls and Superheroes: Gender and Sexuality in Japanese Anime. Three lectures were presented on various aspects of women in anime. February, 2003

 


Interviews – Talking to your favorite Yuri creators and Yuricon founder Erica Friedman

Interviews with Yuricon and ALC Publishing Founder, Erica Friedman:

Interviews with Yuri Manga Artists:

 

Talking About “Talking About Amy” – an introduction to the groundbreaking short film about ALC’s resident mangaka, Rica Takashima!

What Yuri Means to Me – An ongoing written history project, with essay from Yuri Fans and Creators about their experiences with Yuri.

      • Morishima Akiko-sensei
      • Rica Takashima
      • Katherine Hanson
      • Amamiya Sae
      • Eric Potter

 


Books – English-language resources for Yuri studies.

Passionate Friendships:The Aesthetics of Girls’ Culture in Japan – by Deborah Shamoon, a discussion of the evolution of girl’ culture, literature and art, from girls’ magazines of the early 20th century and Yoshoya Nobuko’s groundbreaking work to the 1970’s shoujo manga revolution and the development of Boy’s Love. (For more detail, here is Erica’s Review of this book.)

Yellow Rose
Sarah Fredrick’s long-awaited translation of what is arguably Yosshiya Nobuko’s Yuriest story from Hana Monogatari. The introduction includes information about Yoshiya’s life, her work and critical analysis of the work. by Yoshiya Nobuko <(Author), Sarah Frederick (Translator), from Expanded Editions, 2016.For more detail, here is Erica’s review of the book.)

Becoming Modern Women: Love and Female Identity in Prewar Japanese Literature and Culture
As a literary and cultural history of love and female identity, Becoming Modern Women focuses on same-sex love, love marriage, and maternal love. By Michik Suzuki, Stanford University Press, 2009.

Sparkling Rain: And Other Fiction from Japan of Women Who Love Women
An anthology of Japanese and English-language essays and fiction by lesbians, about lesbian experience and identity in Japan. Edited by Barbara Summerhawk and Kimberly Hughes, from New Victoria Publishers, 2008.

 


Yuri and Shoujo Manga, Feminism, Gender and Lesbian Themes – Essays by Researchers on Intersections with Yuri

Toward a history of ‘lesbian history’ in Japan by James Welker, Culture, Theory and Critique
Volume 58, 2017 – Issue 2: QUEER ASIA AS CRITIQUE, pages 147-165. (Abstract only. Full article access through Francis & Taylor, academic institution or Interlibrary Loan.)

Women-loving Women in Modern Japan by Erin Subramanian
This essay is a brief overview of lesbian history in modern Japan, from the “S” movement of the early twentieth century to the late 1990’s. It includes a short discussion of Yoshiya Nobuko and the Takarazuka all-female musical revue.

Where Is My Place in the World?: Early Shōjo Manga Portrayals of Lesbianism by Fujimoto Yukari, Lucy Fraser in From: Mechademia, pp. 25-42, Volume 9, 2014.

Shōjo Manga Research: The Legacy of Women Critics and Their Gender-Based Approach by Masafumi Monden. Comicsforum.org, February 2015.

How Does Japan Treat Gay People? – We get this question a lot here at Yuricon, during lectures and presentations, or on Okazu. Slate has published a piece by Erica, giving her the opportunity to provide the answer some nuance and detail. Huffington Post, May 2015.

Celebrating Lesbian Sexuality: An Interview with Inoue Meimy, Editor of Japanese Lesbian Erotic Lifestyle Magazine Carmilla – by Katsuhiko Suganuma and James WelkerIntersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, Issue 12 January 2006.

Telling HerStory: Narrating a Japanese Lesbian Community – by James Welker. Published in Japanstudien, 16, 2004. p 119-144. Deutsches Institut fur Japanstudien. (PDF)

“Love through a Different Lens: Japanese Homoerotic Manga through the Eyes of American Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Other Sexualities Readers.” – By Robin Brenner & Snow Wildsmith.   In Mangatopia: Essays on Manga and Anime in the Modern World, ed. Perper & Cornog. 2011

The Shoujo Yuri Manga Guide, 1971-2002 – an almost comprehensive list of shoujo manga with Yuri stories from Kishiji Bando. 2002

A 10-minute history of Shoujo manga, or “Shoujo in a nutshell.” – Erica wrote this for the Shoujo Arts Society, the organization that backs Shoujocon. 2000.

Random thoughts on Yuri from a shoujo perspective Kishiji Bando offers an historical point of view on the origin of Yuri and shoujoai. 2001

 

Fan Studies and Perspectives – Fan research into Yuri and related genre work

Proto-Yuri Novel: Otome no Minato (乙女の港)– Part 1, Introduction and Synopsis – The Okazu “History of Yuri” series continues with an introduction to popular 1938 ‘S’ relationship novel Otome no Minato. Okazu, March, 2013.

Proto-Yuri Novel: Otome no Minato (乙女の港) – Part 2, Group Discussion – In part 2, Erica Friedman, Katherine Hanson and Erin Subramanian discuss the tropes and conventions used in Otome no Minato and how they relate to later Yuri works.  Okazu, March, 2013.

Online Live Yuri Panel Videos – On April 29th, 2012, Yuricon Founder Erica Friedman, held a live online Yuri panel. Here are the videos of her answering your questions!

Yuri Fandom on the Internet – by Sabdha Charlton
Australian Yuri scholar Sabdha and Yuricon mascot Yuriko take an academic look at Yuri fandom and “Yuri goggles.”

Miyuki-chan in Wonderland: A psycho analysis Sean Gaffney presents his own, potentially unique, view of CLAMP’s distinctive anime. 2001.

A Phoenix From The Ashes Erica Friedman offers her tongue-in-cheek views on the roles of lesbians in media and life. 2000.

A Beginner’s Guide to Yuri Anime and Manga series. Taken from a poll on the Yuricon Mailing List, in 2006 or so, the top dozen anime and manga series with Yuri stories and characters. Short descriptions and things to watch out for have been added to protect the innocent. Now out of date, it’s worth seeing this time capsule of series and noting how many keep coming back like a bad penny.