Based on Robert Kramm's book Sanitized Sex, the talk will discuss the various attempts to sanitize sexuality through the regulation of prostitution, venereal disease and intimacy in occupied Japan after World War II. It features sexuality as key element in issues of security, health and morale during the occupation period. In doing so it underscores how the sanitization of sex was a male-dominated struggle for control and authority in the clash of two competing patriarchal, imperial powers: Japan and the United States.
That said, the talk is more than a study of the postwar sexual encounters. An analysis of sex, its regulation and negotiation between occupiers and occupied sheds new light on the everyday experiences and asymmetries of power in occupied Japan, the legacies of the Japanese Empire, and the particularities of postwar U.S. imperialism in the postcolonial formation of the Asia-Pacific region.