SOAS University of London

Japan & Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Culture

Professor Andrew Gerstle

BA(Columbia) MA(Waseda) PHD(Harvard)
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Drew Gerstle
Japan and Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Professor of Japanese Studies

SOAS Japan Research Centre (JRC)

Emeritus Research Associate

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)


Centre for Translation Studies (CTS)

Member, Centre for Translation Studies

Professor Andrew Gerstle
Email address:
+44(0) 20 7898 4207
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
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Andrew Gerstle, a Fellow of the British Academy, was born in the USA, and studied Japanese culture at Columbia, Waseda (Tokyo) and Harvard Universities. A specialist on drama, literature and popular culture of the Tokugawa era, his current project is on erotic books (shunga), and plans to publish a translation of Onna dairaku takara-beki (Great Pleasure for Women and their Treasure Boxes, c. 1757).He taught at the Australian National University from 1980-1993, where he became Professor. From 1993 he has been Professor of Japanese Studies at SOAS, University of London. He published his first book on the playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725) in 1986, and later a translation of five Chikamatsu plays. He has led international research projects in Australia and the UK, resulting in many edited/joint publications. In 2005 he co-curated an exhibition on Osaka Kabuki at the British Museum, which went on to the Osaka Museum of History and the Waseda University Theatre Museum in Tokyo. This led him into the visual culture of 18th-19th century Japan where he encountered shunga (spring pictures), Japanese traditional erotic art. Realizing its importance and the taboo in modern Japan over it, he organized a research project that led to the British Museum exhibition in 2013, 'Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art', which subsequently inspired the first Shunga exhibition in Japan in 2015, thereby breaking a modern taboo.

Publications include Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art, (co-author), British Museum Press, 2013, Edo onna no shungabon (Erotic 18th century books for women, 2011), Chikamatsu: Five Late Plays (2001), Kabuki Heroes in the Osaka Stage, 1780-1830 (2005), Onna shimegawa oeshi-bumi (2007) and Bidô nichiya johôki (2010), two translations of erotic books for women.

He is currently in discussion with British Museum colleagues and others on the project, 'The Role of Art Salons in 18th-19th Century Japan'.



PhD Students supervised
  • Barbara Micyk, The supernatural in pre-modern Japanese illustrated fiction
  • Shiori Hiraki, Onari: Art, Ritual and Power in Early Modern Japan


Japanese traditional theatre


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Available for
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Authored Books

Hayakawa, Monta and Gerstle, Andrew (2018) Onna dairaku takara-beki (Great pleasures for women and their treasure boxes), (Tsukioka Settei 3 "Onna dairaku takara-beki' : Kinsei enpon shiryō shūsei VI (Collected Erotic Texts of the Early Modern Period VI). Kyoto, Japan: International Research Center for Japanese Studies.

Gerstle, Andrew (2011) Edo onna no shungabon: tsuya to warai no fûfu shinan (『江戸をんなの春画本ー艶と笑の夫婦指南』Shunga books for Edo-period women; charm and humour for couples). Tokyo: Heibonsha.

Gerstle, Andrew and 早川聞多, (2010) 日文研所蔵近世艶本資料集成. 5 月岡雪鼎 2, 艶道日夜女宝記 (Nichibunken shozō kinsei enpon shiryō shūsei. 5 tsukioka settei 2, Bidō nichiya johōki). Kyoto: International Research Center for Japanese Studies.

Gerstle, Andrew (2007) Kinsei enpon shiryo shusei IV: Tsukioka Settei 1: 'Onna shimegawa oeshi-bumi. [Collected Erotic Texts of the Early Modern Period IV: Tsukioka Settei 1: ‘Love Letters and a River of Erect Precepts for Women’]. Kyoto: Kokusai Nihon Bunka Kenkyu Centre.

Gerstle, Andrew and Yano, A. and Clark, T. (2005) Kabuki Heroes on the Osaka Stage 1780-1830. Honolulu: British Museum Press & University of Hawai'i Press.

Gerstle, Andrew (2001) Chikamatsu: Five Late Plays. New York: Columbia University Press.

Gerstle, Andrew (1986) Circles of Fantasy: Convention in the Plays of Chikamatsu. Cambridge, Mass. USA: Harvard University Press.


Gerstle, Andrew (2015) 'Digital Humanities: What Collaborative Projects Can Achieve'. Art Research, (15) March, pp 3-11.

Gerstle, Andrew (2013) 'Analyzing the Outrageous: Takehara Shunchôsai's Shunga Book. Makura dôji nukisashi manben tamaguki. (Pillow Book for the Young, 1776)'. Japan Review 26, pp 169-193.

Gerstle, Andrew (2005) 'The Culture of Play: Kabuki and the Production of Texts'. Oral Tradition, (20) 2, pp 188-216.

Gerstle, Andrew (2005) 'Zuhan kaisetsu�'. Ukiyo-e geijutsu, (150), pp 64-5, 69-70, 70-1.

Gerstle, Andrew (2005) '�Kabuki Heroes on the Osaka Stage: 1780-1830�'. Arts of Asia, (vol. 3), pp 87-99.

Gerstle, Andrew (2005) '‘Nichi-ei kôryû: “Ôsaka kabuki-ten – yakusha to toshi bunka”'. Waseda daigaku engeki hakubutsukan, (93), pp 18-23.

Gerstle, Andrew (2005) '‘Kamigata yakusha to haikai, kyôkaren: shodai Arashi Rikan to sono hiiki tachi’'. Ukiyo-e geijutsu, (150), pp 6-23.

Gerstle, Andrew (2002) 'Representing Rivalry and Transition in Kabuki: Arashi Kichisaburo II versus Nakamura Utaemon III'. Andon, (vol. 7), pp 52-64.

Gerstle, Andrew (2001) 'Japanese Traditional Theatre in the World'. Pacific Friend, (vol. 2), pp 26-27.

Gerstle, Andrew (2001) 'Capturing the Essence of Performance'. Asian Art. (Special Supplement, The Art of Kabuki), pp vi-vii.

Gerstle, Andrew (2000) 'Performance Literature: Japanese Theatre as a Model'. Comparative Criticism, (22), pp 39-62.

Gerstle, Andrew (1997) 'Heroic Honor: Chikamatsu and the Samurai Ideal'. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, (57, 2), pp 307-381.

Gerstle, Andrew (1996) 'Hero as Murderer in Chikamatsu'. Monumenta Nipponica, (51 No.), pp 317-356.

Gerstle, Andrew (1987) 'Flowers of Edo: Eighteenth-century kabuki and its patrons'. Asian Theatre Journal, (4) 1, pp 52-75.

Edited Books or Journals

Gerstle, Andrew and Clark, Timothy and Ishigami, Aki and Yano, Akiko, (eds.), (2013) Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art. London: British Museum Press.

Gerstle, Andrew and Clark, Timothy, (eds.), (2013) Shunga: Sex and Humor in Japanese Art and Literature. Kyoto, Japan: International Research Center for Japanese Studies. (Special Issue of Japan Review, No. 26).

Gerstle, Andrew and Yano, Akiko, (eds.), (2009) 流光斎図録:上方役者似顔絵の黎明(Ryûkôsai zuroku:Kamigata yakusha nigao-e no reimei) = Ryûkôsai Catalogue: The Dawn of Osaka Actor Likeness Prints. Nishinomiya: Mukogawa Women’s University.

Book Chapters

Gerstle, Andrew and Cummings, Alan (2017) 'Japanese Studies at SOAS, University of London'. In: Guo, Nanyan, (ed.), 世界の日本研究2017: 国際的視野からの日本研究. Kyoto: International Research Centre For Japanese Studies, pp 128-147.

Gerstle, Andrew (2016) '「春画における男色の描写」‘The Representation of male-male Sex in Shunga’'. In: National Institute of Japanese Literature, Tokyo, (ed.), 『もう一つの日本文学史』(An Alternative History of Japanese Literature). Tokyo: Benseisha, pp 149-170.

Gerstle, Andrew and Cummings, Alan (2016) 'SOAS, University of London'. In: Cortazzi, Hugh and Kornicki, Peter, (eds.), Japanese Studies in Britain: A Survey & History. Folkestone: Rennaisance Books, pp 187-211.

Gerstle, Andrew (2015) '‘Representing Theatre: Text and Image in Kabuki and Bunraku’'. In: Shirane, Haruo and Suzuki, Tomi and Lurie, David, (eds.), Cambridge History of Japanese Literature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp 612-628.

Gerstle, Andrew (2015) 'Representing theater: text and performance in kabuki and bunraku'. In: Shirane, Haruo and Suzuki, Tomi and Lurie, David, (eds.), The Cambridge History of Japanese Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 424-436.

Gerstle, Andrew (2015) '‘Parodhi shunga no igi’Significance of Parody Shunga'. Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Japanese Literature. Tokyo: National Institute of Japanese Literature, pp 239-259.

Gerstle, Andrew (2012) 'Kabuki and the Cult of the Actor'. In: Folan, Lucie, (ed.), Stars of the Tokyo Stage: Natori Shunsen’s kabuki actor prints. Canberra: National Gallery of Australia, pp 15-19.

Gerstle, Andrew (2011) 'Creating Celebrity: Poetry in Osaka Actor Surimono and Prints'. In: Kimbrough, Keller and Shimazaki, Satoko, (eds.), Publishing the Stage: Print and Performance in Early Modern Japan. Boulder: Center for Asian Studies, University of Colorado Boulder.

Gerstle, Andrew (2010) 'The impact of the Kyôhô Reforms on taboo and censorship of shunga'. In: Murakami-Giroux, Sakae, (ed.), Censure, autocensure et tabous : actes du quatrième Colloque d'études japonaises de l'Université de Strasbourg. Arles: Editions Philipe Picquier, pp 81-99.

Gerstle, Andrew (2002) 'The Heike and the Island of Women'. In: Shirane, Haruo, (ed.), Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology 1600-1868. New York: Columbia University Press, pp 392-410.

Gerstle, Andrew (2002) 'Chushingura: Kanpei's Suicide'. In: Shirane, Haruo, (ed.), Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology 1600-1868. New York: Columbia University Press, pp 301-313.

Gerstle, Andrew (2002) 'Osaka Kabuki Actor Prints: Artists as Patrons'. In: Yonemura, A, (ed.), Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle: Arthur Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian, pp 15-23.

Gerstle, Andrew (2002) 'Gappo at the Crossroads'. In: Shirane, Haruo, (ed.), Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology 1600-1868. New York: Columbia University Press, pp 435-448.

Gerstle, Andrew (2002) 'Joruri o yomu: ima to mukashi'. In: Torigoe, B, (ed.), Jorurishu (Shinpen Nihon Bungaku Zenshu series, no. 77). Tōkyō: Shogakukan, pp 3-5.

Gerstle, Andrew (2000) 'Takemoto Gidayû to Osaka engeki no kojinshugi'. In: Osamu, Wakita and McClain, James L., (eds.), Kinsei no Ôsaka = 近世の大坂 : 国際交流フォーラム. Osaka: Osaka Daigaku Shuppankai, pp 149-183.

Gerstle, Andrew (1999) 'Takemoto Gidayu and the Individualistic Spirit of Osaka Theatre'. In: McClain, James L. and Wakita, O, (eds.), Osaka: the Merchant's Capital of Early Modern Japan. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, pp 104-124.

Gerstle, Andrew (1998) 'Gidayu Botsugo no Chikamatsu: Kokusenya kassen, Kanhasshu tsunagi-uma'. In: Torigoe, B, (ed.), Kabuki Bunraku Vol. 8 Chikamatsu no jidai. Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, pp 165-186.


Gerstle, Andrew (2015) '「パロディ春本で女性解放運動」『芸術新潮』[Translation of article title: 'Erotic Parodies and Women's Liberation']' Geijutsu Shinchô March, pp 64-73.

Gerstle, Andrew (2009) 'Great Pleasure for Women and Their Treasure Boxes & Love Letters and a River of Erect Precepts for Women by Tsukioka Settei' .


Gerstle, Andrew (2019) ''Sekaiteki bunka isan to shite no yakusha hyōbanki''.


This list was last generated on Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 08:52 Europe/London.