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Lovesick JapanSex * Marriage * Romance * Law$
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Mark D. West

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449475

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449475.001.0001

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(p.28) 2 Love
Lovesick Japan

Mark D. West

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the dark side of love in three kinds of Japanese court cases: suicide, murder, and stalking. Characters in these ominous-sounding tales should not be expected to live happily ever after, and they don't. But the depiction in the opinions of love as suffering extends beyond tragic endings to places in the narrative that need not be bleak: the judges' applications of laws and nuanced recitations of the facts that occurred before the tragedy. Judges' depictions of love even extend beyond the particular facts of the cases, as they discuss the facts against the backdrop of what they view as widely shared assumptions about love. The resulting narratives usually describe love as if it naturally could not be anything other than an overwhelming, disorienting force to which people unwittingly cede self-control. The chapter begins by examining the context for this dark side of love in Japan.

Keywords:   Japan, love, Japanese law, Japanese court cases, suicide, murder, stalking, suffering

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