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Ambiguous BodiesReading the Grotesque in Japanese Setsuwa Tales$
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Michelle Osterfeld Li

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759755

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759755.001.0001

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Curious Sexual Encounters

Curious Sexual Encounters

(p.81) Chapter 3 Curious Sexual Encounters
Ambiguous Bodies
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines grotesque representations of copulation, conception, pregnancy, and birth in setsuwa tales. It analyzes five tales and suggests that the representation of copulation, conception, pregnancy, and birth was designed to minimize the role of the female body in these acts when compared to the male body. The chapter also explains that, in Buddhist setsuwa, the female body is condemned for drawing men to it, and that women are blamed for pursuing men and destroying their chances of enlightenment.

Keywords:   grotesque representations, setsuwa, copulation, conception, pregnancy, birth, female body, enlightenment

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