SOAS University of London

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

Irene Gonzalez Lopez

BA (Salamanca, Spain), BA (Tenri, Japan), MA (Kyoto, Japan)
  • Overview
  • Research


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 in Advertising and Public Relations, I left to Japan in 2005. I obtained a second BA in Japanese Studies at Tenri University and then transferred to Kyoto University, where I completed a MA in Film Studies, and gained teaching experience. My master’s dissertation analysed the representation of the female in the work of film director Masumura Yasuzo. In addition to Japanese Cinema, my research interests include Gender Studies, Popular Culture and Mass Media.

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.