カテゴリー

2010年10月24日日曜日

Purikura and Gender Role


Purikura is a Japanese popular culture that refers to a photo sticker booth or the product of such a photo booth. The name is a shortened form of the a registered trademark purinto kurabu (プリント倶楽部) deriving from the English print club. Purikura began to be popular from young students, especially from middle and high-school girl students, in the mid-1990s. The Purikura machines were installed everywhere, and they still remain as the main entertainment for young girls. Men are not seen around the Purikura booths though they are in the same building. Why are men excluded from the Purikura culture?
Regarding Japanese social norms and a gender role, men are not expected to voluntarily play with the Purikura. It is not that men never enjoy this, but it is sure that they are afraid of being called "gay". Although the gender role in Japan is merging (there are the huge men prostitution industry and many boy band groups in Japan), men still have to act like a man they imagine.
For women, men could be a threat unless they come with their girl friends. This is the basic policy: only girls or girls with boys can enter in the Purikura booth. I think the underlying meaning of this message is that women do not want to be exposed to men because it could be dangerous. The Purikura culture reflects a great deal of Japanese people's concern about characteristics of gender role.

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