When I was reading No-no boy, I became really interested in the relationship between Kenji and Emi, and how Ichiro was encouraged to sleep with Emi in this section. When Kenji said, “I’m only half a man, Ichiro, and when my leg starts aching, even that half is no good”, it made me start thinking about how many disabled characters are written asexually and that a lot of male characters often feel inadequate and like they’ve lost their “manhood”. I’m not sure what kind of question I’m asking, maybe why you think Okada would write disability in this way? Do you think it’s representative of the discourse in this book regarding masculinity? All I know is that I’ll be thinking about this a lot before next class. It seems like I’m unable to put together a complete thought on this, but I’d love to talk about it and hear what other people think.
Disability and Sex
2 thoughts on “Disability and Sex”
I think it’s really specific that he brings up the continuance of the aching (and, by extension, the disease) in regard to his manhood. Injuries of war are often still seen as very masculine, but something about being continuously penetrated by the infection makes him describe himself as even less than half a man.
What I find even more interesting is this idea that Ichiro still would rather be in his position. Yes, this has to do with being a No-No boy but I feel like underlying all of this are those masculine undertones where the war is a masculine desirable thing for men, to be able to fight for something. And I think part of what is hard on Ichiro, probably not consciously, is that he has lost his masculinity in some way. I don’t really have an answer to your question or mine (not that I really know what I am asking) but I think it’s just more interesting to take into account that in a way Ichiro sees him as more masculine that himself.