| Essays on Yuri | Interviews
Lectures and Articles on Yuri, Feminism, Fandom, Gender and Lesbian Themes

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 ask ed 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 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

Video A [Very ] Brief History of Yuri – 100 years in 6 slides. Originally presented by Erica at the Tokyo Comics Showcase, Vol. 1 in Tokyo, Japan on May 3, 2016. (With a choice of English or Japanese subtitles! Use the “Settings” to choose subtitles.)


What are Yuri and Shoujoai Anyway?  – After more than a decade of Yuricon, you can bet there’s been some changes!

On Defining Yuri – Erica looks 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.

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


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.

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.

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

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. The Artifice, February, 2014.

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
  • 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. Okazu, August, 2012.

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

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.


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!


Lectures and Articles on Yuri, Feminism, Fandom, Gender and Lesbian Themes


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

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.

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.

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.

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., February 2015.

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 . For video of this presentation please visit our Youtube Channel:  Yuri Studios.

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 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

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.


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

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. 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

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.

Review of Adolescence Mokushiroku  by Sabdha Charlton. Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, Issue 5, May 2001

What Women Want From Comics – Results of an informal survey Erica ran on Okazu. January 2011.

What You Need to Know to Become a Magical Girl – Erica deconstructs deconstructed magical girl series in this Okazu post. March, 2011.

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