Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Asato Ikeda, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joshua Jordan, Ph.D.


This thesis investigates Japan’s normalization of pedophilia via the proliferation of popular culture and media. This analysis will begin by looking at historical examples of pedophilia, specifically focusing on chigo in Medieval Japanese Buddhism, wakashu in Edo Period pleasure quarters, and the spread of soft power diplomacy after World War II. This phenomenon will also be viewed in the modern context by discussing lolicon in Japanese media and advertising, idol culture in the Japanese music industry, the JK business, and “real” child pornography. The ways that Japan benefits from this culture economically and politically will also be investigated. Finally, this thesis will take into consideration the opinions of those who do not see these media forms as morally reprehensible, and consider the ways this phenomenon may or may not endanger children in real life.