Asian masculinity celebrated and otherised

Representations of Chinese and Korean men in Japanese written media


  • Satoko Suzuki Macalester College



Asian masculinity, Chinese masculinity, Korean masculinity, sexuality, Korean Wave, media representation, Japanese written media


Japanese writers portray Chinese and Korean men as physically masculine, which often involves heightened sexuality, in two ways. First, some female writers discuss Japanese women’s heterosexual desire for Chinese and Korean men by emphasising these men’s physicality and desirable masculinity. Second, Japanese novelists often assign hypermasculine language to Chinese and Korean male characters. By celebrating Chinese and Korean masculinity, such depictions offer a counternarrative to derogatory stereotypes that have circulated and continue to circulate in rightwing (often male) nationalistic discourses. At the same time, however, the language these writers employ otherises Chinese and Korean men by hypersexualising them and placing them outside mainstream Japanese society.

Author Biography

  • Satoko Suzuki, Macalester College

    Satoko Suzuki is DeWitt Wallace Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures at Macalester College. Her research interests include sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology and pragmatics. Her current scholarship focuses on language ideologies and the relationship between language and identity. Her recent work has appeared in the journals East Asian Pragmatics, Gender and Language, Japanese Language and Literature, Japanese Studies and Pragmatics. 


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How to Cite

Suzuki, S. (2022). Asian masculinity celebrated and otherised: Representations of Chinese and Korean men in Japanese written media. Gender and Language, 16(2), 173-194.