Translating gender: using anime to explore the influence of gender norms in Greco-Roman mythology on contemporary Japanese society
Category: Social Science
Abstract – Even though many historical folk tales and myths are declining in popularity in the modern era of mass entertainment, classical mythology is recording a new golden age. Its influence has spread far beyond its European origins, reaching new audiences in Japan and internationally through the production of anime with Greco-Roman mythological themes. However, little research has explored how ideas of gender in classical mythology are translated into this new context, and how the medium of anime may propagate these ideas in contemporary Japanese society. Gender has had a central influence on how societies function from the start of civilization, and gender inequality continues to be an important social and economic problem in Japan. It is consequently important to see how gender norms and concepts are reproduced and reintroduced to new generations. In this paper I use an analysis of the classically themed anime Saint Seiya to explore the influence of gender norms in classical mythology on contemporary Japanese society.