- 京都社会学年報 : KJS
- vol.9, pp.129-147, 2001-12-25
This paper aims at reconsidering the view on prostitution during the 1990s in Japan. When people discuss the issue of prostitution in general, they have tended to reduce the problem into whether it is morally right or wrong. Especially in the 90s, it was often discussed around the dualistic notion of "free will versus compulsion", which have prevented us to see what exactly structuralizes the complex relationship between prostitution and the violence against women. Among the dominant discourses on prostitution during this period, there were some varieties. On one hand, there were discourses that condemn prostitution to be perfectly evil. It had become a convention for the anti-prostitution movement to regard prostitution as a greatest violence and discrimination against women. Such scholars as Daisaburou HASHIDUME and Kaku SECHIYAMA, on the other hand, have objected to the idea that prostitution is essentially bad. Their position was to affirm the act as far as it were carried out without violence and discrimination against women. Their debate tells us that, whether they deny it or not, their concern was to condemn whether prostitution is morally right or wrong. Instead, we proposed to ask why it has always been looked at in such a way. In pursuing the question in this paper, we have clarified the processes in which discourses on prostitution inevitably fell into the reductionism. Finally, we turned to the alternative approach to prostitution advocated by Mitsu TANAKA. It is a distinctive approach that turns our attention to the divided status of Japanese women. By making reference to TANAKA's argument, we have investigated a new way to situate prostitution more fundamentally and offered a clue to the situation into which modern Japanese women are put.