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Screening love: Relational practices in Japanese TV dramas produced during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kottmann, Nora, Mithani, Forum and Scherer, Elisabeth 2022. Screening love: Relational practices in Japanese TV dramas produced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan Focus 20 (14(3)) , 5722.

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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on love, marriage and family life. Employing both social science and cultural studies perspectives, this article discusses romantic and familial relationships and their respective depictions in four Japanese romantic dramas (ren’ai dorama) produced under pandemic conditions. It touches upon the COVID-19 pandemic and related policies in Japan, elaborates on conditions of TV production during the pandemic, and asks: How have TV series addressed love, dating and (marital) relationships during the pandemic? How did the pandemic and concomitant policies impact depictions of these topics? Finally, what do these dramas reveal about the state of domestic gender relations and gender equality in the context of changing working conditions and stay-at-home policies implemented during the pandemic? The article identifies a trend consistent with ‘re-traditionalization’ on the one hand, and depictions of diverse, unconventional relational practices that are critical of the marital institution on the other. While the dramas touch on the impact of the pandemic on women’s livelihoods and gender equality, more serious consequences remain unexplored.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
ISSN: 1557-4660
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 July 2022
Date of Acceptance: 2022
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2022 01:30

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