Indicators of Gender Identity in Contemporary Japanese Fictions

Jiajun Liang


This paper analyzes gender identities in Japanese by examining the linguistic practices of male and female characters in contemporary popular fictions. Considering the immense impact of print media on the norms of talking in daily life, a study on linguistic styles in popular literature might shed some light on the changing speech patterns in Japanese language. This paper finds that the stereotypical idea of Japanese as a strictly gendered language may be outmoded and misleading. I conclude that while the use of masculine and feminine Japanese are still observed in novels, the fine line that distinguishes masculine forms and feminine forms is sometimes ambiguous and blurred. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly difficult to demarcate unequivocally the boundary between masculine Japanese and feminine Japanese.


Japan; Gender; Speech patterns


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