Art & Design

Third Thursday Lecture: Girls Like Boys Who Like Boys Who Sometimes Look Like Girls: Considerations on Japanese Boys’ Love manga

15 June 2017, Norwich

Dr Simon Turnerr

Robert & Lisa Sainsbury Fellow
Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures


15 June 2017 | 6pm (doors open at 5.30pm)
Norwich Cathedral Hostry, Norwich NR1 4EH

Boys’ Love, otherwise known as ‘BL’, is a genre of Japanese manga focusing on romantic or sexual relationships between men marketed primarily for a female audience and is usually created by women. Its origins can be most clearly seen in the 1970s when female artists entered the manga publishing industry and instigated a market that is now worth approximately £140 million. Narratives within this genre are often distinguished by elevated levels of aestheticism which provides us with a unique insight into the historical and contemporary attitudes of female manga artists and readers in Japan.


This lecture will examine the origins and history of Boys’ Love manga paying attention to the similarities and differences with other homoerotic literature in Japan as well as the contemporary milieu that has influenced and continues to inform this form of women’s writing. It will provide an insight into one of the most popular and enduring manga genres to exist but about which little is known outside of Japan.


To book your seat, please go to the booking form or email the Sainsbury Institute

15 June 2017, 18:00
Hostry, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich NR1 4EH

Tel: 01603 597507




Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures