A category for posts and resources pages with content related to the book City

Korean Boy Bands

One of the problems with the sexualisation debate is that is so white and middle-class. As Australia turns towards China and Asia, and as Asian immigration increases, it is quite natural that we begin to see the influence of Asian culture. Asian Pop is starting to be noticed in Australia and SBS now runs a program dedicated to Asian pop music. I've already mentioned the way that Japanese pop culture selects certain Western themes (and memes) and twists them in unique ways. And whilst the moral conservatives panic about the influence of Black and Latino music on white, middle-class girls [...]

Female Shredder: Shotaro Nakamura

Or is she? This one is a bit odd because some have questioned if Shotaro (nikumanguitar)  is really a male who enjoys female cosplay. The controversy was sparked by the fact that Shotaro first posted her clips without showing her face, then she wore a surgical mask to hide her features. Weird. Anyway, her more recent clips show her (or his) face. I'm also fascinated because she chooses a fashion style called Loli-Goth (see here). So here it is, kawaii shredding (transexual or otherwise). I can't say I'm a fan of her style though. It's very cold and technical. [...]

One More Japanese Child Vampire: Evangeline

This is sort of a digression, but it has a point. We are seeing a cultural shift in the West away from the certainties of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Films are increasingly becoming moving graphic novels with the development of ever sophisticated CGI. It is hardly surprising that it therefore turns to comics and anime for inspiration. Indeed, we are witnessing a flood of films based on comic book heroes. But it goes further than that. The 'gaming' industry is getting to be as big as films and there is considerable cross-fertilization. Comics become games, games become films, films become games [...]

Geisha, Oiran, Kamuro And Mizuage

Fascinating stuff this - and a real challenge to Judeo-Christian mores. This also gives me a chance to enter into a new topic that is closely related to my novel Navaratri, that of the sacred prostitute. Prostitution is not a sin under Buddhism. The payment of money, support, patronage, etc for sexual favours is considered fair and ethical. The Judeo-Christian condemnation of prostitution has a number of causes, which I will discuss at a later date. For now let me say that one is purely religious - several competing religions allowed some form of sacred sex and as the patriarchal [...]


Futanari is the Japanese word for hermaphrodite. It is commonly used to refer to a genre of anime and manga that explores (and plays with) gender confusion. Some is explicit, some is playful.

Tomoe Gozen

Tomoe Gozen is another famous samurai woman. She was said to be an excellent horsewoman, swordswoman and archer. Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaka sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a mighty bow; and she performed [...]

Dark Alice And Kore

There's a definite theme behind many of my posts. I am aware of it even if I don't always make it obvious. The clue lies in this blog's subheading - Psyche, Eros, Transgression. I admire the work of Carl Jung. Yes, some of his work is dated, but I still think he has a lot to contribute. Not so much in terms of psychiatry, more in terms of hermeneutics. I think he has a lot to say about the way individuals and cultures construct narrative. Let me restate that: philosophically I'm inclined towards hermeneutics. Without going into a dense discussion [...]

Luis Royo

My next novel City explores the world of manga, anime and the graphic novel. The plot involves a cult underground manga that was banned in Japan for sedition and is banned in the West for its violence and shunga-like sexual content. So I've been researching the world of the graphic arts, and I came across the work of Luis Royo. Even though he's not Japanese his work captures the essence of the underground manga in my novel.

Japanese Gothic: Takato Yamamoto

The theme of City is the clash between cultures and sub-cultures. If anything irritates me it is the narrow-minded middle-class defence of mediocrity. We live in a rich and complex world with many intriguing cultures and sub-cultures. Yet the mediocre cling to the dull values of their narrow middle-class lives, every now and then popping their heads out of their suburban burrows to express shock. City investigates a series of murders done as art. Sub-cultures clash as an ordinary detective is thrust into the world of street art, Japanese manga and the pop culture world of fantasy. She encounters values [...]

Japanese Gothic: Dolls

I went on a fishing expedition yesterday - really just research for my next novel City. Found something really interesting. A book called Japanese Goth. It contains a wealth of fascinating material. The Japanese have a long-standing tradition of dolls - ningyõ. The Japanese tradition differs from the West, they are not seen as children's toys. Indeed, the Japanese believe dolls can have a soul. Some modern Japanese artists have taken this craft to a new level. Two such 'new masters' are Tari Nakagawa and Mari Shimizu.