Erotica written by and for Japanese women is beginning to flourish. Excerpts from article written in, The Asahi Shimbun: Asia & Japan Watch website.
In Japan, discussions of what women find erotic has long been a conversation behind closed doors. Now, with the success of literary awards, websites and magazines aimed at tickling women’s fancy, the dialogue is stepping into the open.
In 2002, Shinchosha Publishing Co. began offering an award for erotic literature written by women and judged by a panel of women writers. The award got a boost in publicity following the Feb. 2 release of a movie based on a past winning novel, and this year’s competition saw 821 entries, about 100 more than last year.
Greater recognition of the award has meant a wider range of aspiring writers are submitting entries in hopes of getting their big break, and entrants have included everyone from junior high students to octogenarians.
“With a weakening of taboos on the sensual and sexual, such topics have blended into daily life and the landscape,” said Masako Nishi, who works in the secretariat that organizes the award.
Masahiro Kumai, the editor in chief of the weekly women’s magazine “an-an,” published by Magazine House Ltd., said he feels one reason for this greater openness is because “society has turned into one where it is easier to talk about one’s true feelings.”