My Brother’s Husband: Changing Attitudes towards Same-Sex Marriage in Japanese Manga
Dr. Jon Holt (Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Literature, Portland State University) will discuss Volume 1 of Tagame Gengoroh’s manga My Brother’s Husband (Otooto no otto, 2014-2017), a groundbreaking comic book that signaled a change in how Japanese people now think about LGBTQ identities and marriage equality.
In this beautifully rendered and masterfully paced story, Yaichi, a stay-at-home dad and single parent, must come to grips with the death of his twin brother and find acceptance of his brother’s surviving husband. For this young Japanese family man, it is not easy to accept that his brother was gay–almost as hard as it is to accept his new brother-in-law: a hairy, heavy, hunky, and affectionate Canadian gay man. Together with his young daughter Kana, who unconditionally loves her new “Kana-dian” uncle, Yaichi reflects on his own assumptions, biases, and homophobic fears in this moving manga that will destroy your preconceptions about comic books as MBH invites us to think between the comic panels, slow down and consider the other side, and imagine a brighter future for Japan and the world where everyone is counted, everyone is equally accepted.
Dr. Holt will walk through parts of the graphic novel (volume 1 of the 2-volume series), employing the formal comic theories of Natsume Fusanosuke and Scott McCloud, in order to explicate the power of Tagame’s storytelling art. Join us for a talk about the bright future of a new, more open Japan.
Dr. Holt received his Ph.D. in Japanese Literature from the University of Washington. His research interests include modern Japanese poetry and children’s literature. He wrote his dissertation on the works of Miyazawa Kenji, arguably one of the most important figures in modern Japanese literature. At PSU, Dr. Holt teaches Japanese literature and film as well as upper-division Japanese language courses. His secondary research interests include manga and Japanese Buddhism.
This is a sliding-scale event. Please pay what you can and help us continue to provide culturally relevant community programming.
Suggested donation: $15 / $10 / $5
We will send you the Zoom link and password by email a day or two before the lecture.
This lecture focuses on My Brother’s Husband, Volume 1.
You can purchase your copy here:
Local source for physical copy: https://www.powells.com/book/my-brothers-husband-volume-01-9781101871515
Online source for eBook or physical copy: https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Husband-Pantheon-Graphic-Library/dp/1101871512
If you have questions, please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 954-2837.