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The Value of Vulnerability: Sexual Coercion and the Nature of Love in Japanese Court Literature

Margaret H. Childs
The Journal of Asian Studies
Vol. 58, No. 4 (Nov., 1999), pp. 1059-1079
DOI: 10.2307/2658495
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2658495
Page Count: 21
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The Value of Vulnerability: Sexual Coercion and the Nature of Love in Japanese Court Literature
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Abstract

Margaret H. Childs analyzes the attributes of "love" in the world of premodern Japanese literature. She concentrates on the emotional dynamics of love affairs in The Taile of Genji and other Heian tales in order to highlight the high value that both men and women placed on vulnerability. By linking love to pity or compassion, the author makes a case for what she terms "the erotic potential of powerlessness."

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