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Science, society and the sea of fertility: new reproductive technologies in Japanese popular culture

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Since the late twentieth century, assisted reproductive technologies

    have brought new challenges to our understanding of the family and gender

    relations. There are ever-widening gaps between medical practice, legal regulation

    and everyday understandings and practices. Some recent popular cultural texts in

    Japan have explored the issues raised by non-commercial surrogate motherhood.

    The background to these texts is a series of controversies concerning surrogacy

    and the use of assisted reproductive technologies and wider societal anxieties

    about family, reproduction and population management. In this article, I will

    focus on two novels by a medical practitioner and popular novelist who writes

    under the pseudonym Kaido Takeru – Gene Waltz (Kaido 2008) and Madonna

    Verde (Kaido 2010) – and the associated film (Otani 2011) and television series

    (NHK 2011). The fact that it was the national broadcaster Nippon Hoso Kyokai

    (NHK) that dramatised Madonna Verde suggests that the discussion of these issues

    was thought to have wide social and cultural resonance. I will place these texts in

    their social and cultural context with reference to medical, legal and popular

    discourses on new reproductive technologies in contemporary Japan. These new

    reproductive technologies have the potential to force a rethinking of masculinity,

    femininity, parenthood, family and gender relations. The popular texts also,

    however, draw on pre-existing ways of thinking about masculinity, femininity,

    marriage, reproduction and the relationships among science, ‘nature’ and society.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Mackie, V. (2014). Science, society and the sea of fertility: new reproductive technologies in Japanese popular culture. Japan Forum, 26 (4), 441-461.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84907593739

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1685

Number Of Pages


  • 20

Start Page


  • 441

End Page


  • 461

Volume


  • 26

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09555803.2013.874364

Abstract


  • Since the late twentieth century, assisted reproductive technologies

    have brought new challenges to our understanding of the family and gender

    relations. There are ever-widening gaps between medical practice, legal regulation

    and everyday understandings and practices. Some recent popular cultural texts in

    Japan have explored the issues raised by non-commercial surrogate motherhood.

    The background to these texts is a series of controversies concerning surrogacy

    and the use of assisted reproductive technologies and wider societal anxieties

    about family, reproduction and population management. In this article, I will

    focus on two novels by a medical practitioner and popular novelist who writes

    under the pseudonym Kaido Takeru – Gene Waltz (Kaido 2008) and Madonna

    Verde (Kaido 2010) – and the associated film (Otani 2011) and television series

    (NHK 2011). The fact that it was the national broadcaster Nippon Hoso Kyokai

    (NHK) that dramatised Madonna Verde suggests that the discussion of these issues

    was thought to have wide social and cultural resonance. I will place these texts in

    their social and cultural context with reference to medical, legal and popular

    discourses on new reproductive technologies in contemporary Japan. These new

    reproductive technologies have the potential to force a rethinking of masculinity,

    femininity, parenthood, family and gender relations. The popular texts also,

    however, draw on pre-existing ways of thinking about masculinity, femininity,

    marriage, reproduction and the relationships among science, ‘nature’ and society.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Mackie, V. (2014). Science, society and the sea of fertility: new reproductive technologies in Japanese popular culture. Japan Forum, 26 (4), 441-461.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84907593739

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1685

Number Of Pages


  • 20

Start Page


  • 441

End Page


  • 461

Volume


  • 26

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09555803.2013.874364