Aiba, Keiko. (2017). Transformed Bodies and Gender: Experiences of Women Pro Wrestlers in Japan. Osaka, Japan: Union Press.
Women’s pro wrestling in Japan has always been controlled by an independent organization of which the members have only been women. Their bodies are extremely unique, transformed into those that deviate from the ideal female body image in Japan (i.e., young, thin, and cute-looking) to enable them to engage in pro wrestling. In addition, through professional training, they acquire “combat skills”(i.e., physical skills for defense against violence). This kind of physique is different from the body many women in Japan are encouraged to attain. The author has investigated how women wrestlers perceive their transformed bodies, how they apply combat skills to resist male
violence in daily life, and benefits they gain and challenges they face as they attain a “wrestler’s body” and perform pro wrestling. The author also expounds on whether their performance reproduces or transforms gender norms in Japan. This book finally suggests that women, who are constrained by the “ideal female body” image or narrowed by physical vulnerability, can liberate themselves from this normative image and recover their physical strength through the practice of “physical feminism.”
The ISBN is 9784946428814 and how to order the book is to be found here: