Representation of Male-Male Desire in Tachibana Sotoo’s Nanshoku Monogatari (1952)


  • Marco Taddei University of Bergamo



Tachibana Sotoo, nanshoku, bishōnen’ai, homosexuality, modernism


Tachibana Sotoo (1894–1959), a novelist unknown outside Japan and not widely read in Japan either, was among the writers who depicted various forms of nonheteronormative sexuality in his work. Best known for his ghost stories later adapted into films by director Nakagawa Nobuo (1905-1989), Tachibana also published Nanshoku Monogatari (A Tale of Male Love) in 1952. This novel, largely inspired by the author’s own experience, humorously recounts his crushes on his attractive classmates. The appreciation of teenage, androgynous beauty is central in this work where same-sex attraction is presented without moral judgment. The aim of this paper is to examine how Tachibana represents male-male desire in Nanshoku Monogatari and to investigate whether the novel challenged heteronormativity in post-war Japanese society. The novel will therefore also be analysed in relation to the homoerotic literature born in the Edo period (1603-1868) and later developed in pre-war modernist literature, in which romantic relationships between schoolboys were often depicted.


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How to Cite

Taddei, M. (2022). Representation of Male-Male Desire in Tachibana Sotoo’s Nanshoku Monogatari (1952). DIVE-IN – An International Journal on Diversity and Inclusion, 2(2), 93–113.