The Continuum of Male Beauty in Contemporary Japan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines male beauty in contemporary Japan, specifically related to the fully clothed body. It argues that male beauty is often understood, especially outside Japan, in a binary of muscular maturity and slender youthfulness. However, in reality, male beauty is a continuum, as recent TV commercials created for the Shiseido men’s grooming product line Uno (2016–2017) indicate. These advertisements offer a male image that is situated somewhere in the middle of the continuum between a rugged, mature, and brawny image thought to be preferred by men, to the slender, delicate, and youthful images designed to appeal to women. While such appreciation may depend on the sexual orientation and class of those evaluating beauty, the different modes of male beauty in Japanese popular culture, this chapter proposes, also signal a degree of flexibility in appreciating male beauty in Japan.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture
EditorsJennifer Coates, Lucy Fraser, Mark Pendleton
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781315179582
ISBN (Print)9781138895201
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge Companions to Gender


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