Essays

From time to time, we get inquiries about scholarly approaches to Yuri, the lesbian community in Japan, or we get requests to present our points of view – sometimes we even get asked for dating advice.

To satisfy these needs, we’ve added this page, with links to articles, essays and lectures, that our members have written or given, along with interesting relevant essays we find by non-members, and random bits of advice by our mascot Yuriko.

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

 

Essays on Yuri

 

What are Yuri and Shoujoai Anyway? - by Erica Friedman. After more than ten years of Yuricon, you can bet there’s been some changes!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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]

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.”

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.

 

Interviews

Interviews with Yuricon and ALC Publishing Founder, Erica Friedman:

Interviews with Yuri Manga Artists:

 

Essays and Articles on Yuri, Feminism and Lesbian Themes

Weaving Our Stories Through Manga and Comics – The Full-text of Erica’s Lecture at Kanagawa University in October 2013. Click here for the companion slides.

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.)

Celebrating Lesbian Sexuality: An Interview with Inoue Meimy, Editor of Japanese Lesbian Erotic Lifestyle Magazine Carmilla – by Katsuhiko Suganuma and James Welker.

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

Yuri 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Yuri Anime and Manga series. Taken from a poll on the Yuricon Mailing List, 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.

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.”

Women-loving Women in Modern Japan by Erin Subramian
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. (V češtině)

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

Kerey Luis – Agency and Female Gender Roles in Shoujo Anime
Erica Friedman – Women, Gender, Sexuality and Sex in Anime and Manga
Sarah Frederick – Notes on Yoshiya Nobuko and Utena

 

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

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.

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

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

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

Review of Adolescence Mokushiroku (published in Intersections) by Sabdha Charlton

What Women Want From Comics – Results of an informal survey Erica ran on Okazu.

What You Need to Know to Become a Magical Girl – Erica deconstructs deconstructed magical girl series in this Okazu post.

It’s  a Woman’s World: Maria-sama ga Miteru, Bodacious Space Pirates, “strong women” and the Bechdel Test – Originally a post on Okazu, this is now an article in online academic journal  labrys: études féministes/ estudos feministas janvier / juin 2013 -janeiro / junho 2013.

 

Advice from Yuriko – Yuriko’s Top Ten Dating Tips

Interview with Yuricon Mascot, Yuriko, 2001

Interview with Yuricon Mascot, Yuriko, 2006