Translating Japanese Adult Movies in Taiwan: Transcending the Production-consumption Opposition’

Hoi Yan YAU, Heung Wah WONG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is an attempt to reconsider the opposition between consumption and production in social sciences through a detailed analysis of the production of Chinese subtitles for a pirated Japanese adult video (AV) clip in Taiwan. We demonstrate that the way local pirate merchants provide Chinese subtitles is very much guided by the sexual roles of men and women, or what Sahlins calls a cultural code, in Taiwan because this makes Japanese AVs look “natural”, and thus sexually appealing, to Taiwanese viewers. More importantly, the same cultural code also serves as a model for Taiwanese viewers to consume Japanese AVs; otherwise, the reproduction of Japanese AVs will not be sexually appealing to them. Seen in this way, the relation of production and consumption is not as opposed as is commonly thought. It follows that arguments that either production or consumption offers a better mode of investigation of a cultural good are misleading, because they presume that production and consumption entail different lines of logic when in fact both follow the same cultural code.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19 - 39
JournalAsian Studies Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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