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The Cosmopolitan DreamTransnational Chinese Masculinities in a Global Age$
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Derek Hird and Geng Song

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455850

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455850.001.0001

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Persona, Politics, and Chinese Masculinity in Japan

Persona, Politics, and Chinese Masculinity in Japan

The Case of Li Xiaomu

(p.127) 7 Persona, Politics, and Chinese Masculinity in Japan
The Cosmopolitan Dream

Jamie Coates

Hong Kong University Press

Through an exploration of one Chinese man’s efforts to navigate masculinities in Japan, this chapter conceptualises how masculine persona change. Li Xiaomu first gained notoriety as a guide to, and commentator on, Japan’s red light district, Kabukicho. Often exacerbating negative perceptions of Chinese-ness in Japan, Li’s masculine performances coopted hegemonic associations between Chinese men and underworld crime in the late 1990s and early 2000s. More recently however, Li has moved to perform other hegemonic masculinities through his new persona as a respectful politician and advocate for diversity in Japan. Based on ethnographic and media-text analyses of Li’s complex public persona, this chapter interrogates what it means for Chinese men to strive towards a cosmopolitanism ethos in transnational contexts.

Keywords:   Hegemonic masculinity, China, Japan, Persona, Cosmopolitanism

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