Visual Pleasure in Kawabata Yasunari's Novella House of the Sleeping Beauties


  • Ida Purnama Sari Faculty of Cultural Sciences Universitas Gadjah Mada
  • Wening Udasmoro Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada



visual pleasure, women objectification, male gaze


The research discussed visual pleasure in Kawabata Yasunari’s novella “House of the Sleeping Beauties”. Women, when
subject to the male gaze, had often been the objects of sexual and visual pleasure. The novella described the nyotaimori
practice, in which sushi was served on the nude body of a woman for the object of male visual and sexual pleasure. The
research sought to dissect and explore visual pleasure in literary work and its central positioning. Using Laura Mulvey’s
theory of male gaze and visual pleasure, and feminist literary studies, it employed content analysis as a method to uncover the phrases and paragraphs depicting visual pleasure in the novella. Firstly, the research finds that in practicing visual enjoyment, men use women as the objects of pleasure and fantasy. Secondly, men position women, their female bodies, and sexuality as markers of castration.


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Author Biographies

Ida Purnama Sari, Faculty of Cultural Sciences Universitas Gadjah Mada

Department of Language and Culture

Wening Udasmoro, Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada

Department of Language and Literature


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