books on manners, however, attest to the fact that their subject matter is constantly subject to change? Miller starts her chapter with a poster cautioning young women not to wear makeup on the train, but it is possible such behavior may be here to stay, and posters of that kind may be the first to go. In her book Beauty Up: Exploring Japanese Body Aesthetics (University of California Press, 2006), Miller discussed male beauty work and how this embodied a transforming aspect of Japanese masculinity, but she also saw that such practices were still entrenched in the mechanisms that maintain the status quo. Manners and Mischief shows also that conduct literature for the most part is similar to male beauty work in that its subversive potential is limited. One might ask, then, whether the transformation of manners and books on the subject lead to more fundamental changes in gender behavior, or, as the book seems to argue, whether they remain in the category of "mischiefs": misbehaviors that are ultimately controlled and corrected. Perhaps "oyaji" in Japan will remain as threatening as ever and stay as a facet of everyday life there even under the changing circumstances of the
The Journal of Japanese Studies – Society for Japanese Studies
Published: Jul 14, 2012
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