The Demimonde in Japanese Literature: Sexuality and the Literary Karyûkai

by Cynthia Gralla


The Demimonde in Japanese Literature is the most gracefully and forcefully written study of this most important of Japanese literary toponyms––the demimonde. Training a rich conceptual lens on a wonderfully chosen array of texts––ranging from some of the best highbrow literature modern Japan has produced to some of its darker artistic representations in middlebrow fiction, photography, and dance––and always aware of her topic's comparative literary ramifications, Gralla's study reveals not only the artistic richness of Japanese representations of the demimonde but also their complicated relationship to surrounding cultural and human contexts. Her analytical story of the demimonde in the Japanese imagination becomes, in her writerly hands, a poignant tale of loss and possible recoveries, writ large.” –Alan Tansman, University of California, Berkeley


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