Vision Over Visibility (luna_glass_wall) wrote in little_details,
Vision Over Visibility

It starts with hairstyle and ends with androgyny

Cut for length.

1) What sort of hairstyle would 14-year-old unmarried boys be expected to have in the early Edo Era (the 1630s)? If it matters, one of the boys is in the lower-echelon merchant class, and the other was born in the upper-echelon farmer class.

All the models I've managed to find are middle-aged women and men, so I don't know if younger people would emulate their elders' hairstyles, or if hairstyle depended on marital status or specific age, or anything, really.

2) I have a character who would, if he were a modern/Westernized person, identify as some shade of genderqueer: specifically he's usually comfortable in a male/man identity, but at times feels like he is a woman, and wishes he had a female body for the duration of this feeling. During those times he dresses as a woman.

I tried looking up transgenderism/androgyny in this time period, and all I can find is information on kabuki actors being accepted as presenting as women both on and off the stage, but the information seems to present a situation similar to transvestism rather than actual gender identity, and I can't find any information on how genderbending in other classes would be viewed. I'm specifically looking for how the family could be expected to react. To be specific, he's the only child of his mother; he lives with her and his infertile stepfather, and without getting too detailed with the family dynamic, there are a few women that basically serve as foster sisters who live with them.

So...would any of them be expected to be shocked? Sickened? Disappointed? Horribly horribly confused? Totally okay with it? Would there be issues over whether the character should be treated/viewed as a son/boy or daughter/girl (in conjunction with the only-child issue)? Is this something the character would hesitate to reveal to people, specifically his love interest (a cis boy), or would it not be a big deal? Is there a way a person like him could be described? Anything else that I'm not thinking of?

(I'm aware that he would not use the term genderqueer or talk about presenting/identifying. Pinky swear that I will use no modern technical jargon in the text.)

I've googled combinations of "genderbending", "japan", "edo era", "transgenderism", "gender", and "gender binary" (and for the first one "japan edo era men's hairstyles"). As you can imagine, there is not much easily-accessible literature.

Thanks in advance!
Tags: japan: history, ~crossdressing, ~hygiene & grooming

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