My Life in Kendo: Gender & Masculinity Across Cultures

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Wright, Hyun Hong (2022) My Life in Kendo: Gender & Masculinity Across Cultures. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Contact sports have often fostered an aggressive and violent, hyper-masculine culture which prioritises strength and demeans characteristics associated with femininity. The Japanese martial art of Kendo, however, has transformed into a modern sport which trains men and women together, and where women also frequently compete against men, in contrast to many other contact martial arts. My Life in Kendo: Gender and Masculinity Across Cultures uses an autoethnographic methodology to explore how my journey in kendo can help us understand gender relations in kendo and improve them so that any woman can enjoy and benefit from kendo without being discriminated against. More generally, this research seeks to gain insight into what kendo offers in terms of positive/productive experiences for women in particular, along with some key moments where this has failed. At issue are also questions of Confucianism, migration, anger, masculinity, and aging.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4410 Sociology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords Kendo, martial arts, autoethnographic, gender relations, women, Confucianism, migration, anger, masculinity, aging
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