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Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea

Irene Gonzalez Lopez

BA (Salamanca, Spain), BA (Tenri, Japan), MA (Kyoto, Japan)


Irene Lopez Gonzalez
Irene Gonzalez Lopez
Email address:
Thesis title:
Prostitution in Postwar Japanese Cinema
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


After completing a BA in Media Studies, with a major on Advertising and Public Relations, I left to Japan in 2005. After learning Japanese for a year, I entered Tenri University and obtained my second BA in Japanese Studies. At Kyoto University I completed a MA in Film Studies. I wrote my master’s dissertation on the film director Masumura Yasuzo, focusing on the representation of the female in his work.

PhD Research

The prostitute has been a fascinating figure for filmmakers and critics throughout the history of Japanese cinema. Prostitution plays a significant role in the discourses on gender, sexuality and public space, but also in those of power, race and social class. Cinema in Japan, among other technologies, aimed to define and create narratives of prostitution. This study analyses the representation of prostitution in postwar Japanese cinema, setting the Anti-Prostitution Law (1956) as a milestone. I argue that through these discourses, prostitution and its fictional representation actively participated in the redefinition of postwar Japan’s identity.


Japanese cinema, Japanese popular culture, visual cultures, and gender studies.