Dr Irene González-López


I am a film studies' scholar specialising in Japanese Cinema and Popular Culture and interested in the relation between Japanese society and its representation in the media and the arts.

I lived in Japan seven years during which I became fluent in Japanese and completed a BA in Japanese Studies (Tenri University) and an MA in Film Studies (Kyoto University). I also learned traditional arts such as ikebana, and experienced a wide range of occupations, from factory worker and waitress in a 'snackbar' to interpreter and university lecturer, which provide me invaluable insights into many different spheres of Japanese society. 

Upon my return to Europe, I was awarded a PhD by SOAS in 2017. My doctoral research explored the representation of prostitutes in postwar Japanese cinema to investigate Japan's changing social and sexual mores.

In addition to my research at Kingston, I lead courses and seminars in Japanese Cultural History and Media and Film Studies at SOAS and David Game College, collaborate with various film festivals, and work as a translator. 

Academic responsibilities

Post-Doctoral Researcher


  • Ph.D. Centre for Film Studies, SOAS, University of London (Thesis Unconditional Pass)
  • MA Film Studies, Kyoto University (Japan)
  • BA (Hons) International Cultural Studies, Major: Japanese Language, Tenri University (Japan)
  • BA Media Studies, Pontificial University of Salamanca (Spain)


My research interests are in Japanese cinema and culture, audio-visual art forms, gender studies, and stardom. I am particularly interested in the construction and representation of the body, gender, and sexuality, and the ways in which aesthetics and meaning intersect with power.

My PhD research focused on the representation of prostitutes in melodrama, avant-garde and soft-porn productions of postwar Japanese cinema, and analysed these tropes in relation to discourses of modernisation, national history and gender identities. My current research looks at the negotiation of collective memory through audio-visual imagery of occupied Japan. Beyond cinema, I am exploring other creative industries including manga, video-art, performance, television and magazines. I have also been researching Japanese female directors for more than five years.

In 2018 I co-edited 'Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity', the first book in English on the work of legendary actress and director Tanaka Kinuyo.

Areas of specialism

  • Japanese cinema
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Japanese female directors
  • Adaptations and remakes
  • Stardom


Number of items: 10.


González-López, Irene (2018) Marketing the panpan in Japanese popular culture : youth, sexuality, and power. U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, 54, pp. 29-51. ISSN (print) 1059-9770

González-López, Irene (2018) In search of the authentic Japanese taste : 'Solitary Gourmet' and cultural tourism = En busca del auténtico sabor japonés : El Gourmet Solitario y el turismo cultural. Mirai. Estudios Japoneses, 2, pp. 49-66. ISSN (online) 2531-145X

Armendariz-Hernandez, Alejandra and Gonzalez-Lopez, Irene (2017) Roundtable : the position of women in post-war Japanese cinema (Kinema Junpo, 1961). Film Studies, 16(1), pp. 36-55. ISSN (print) 1469-0314

Gonzalez-Lopez, Irene and Ueda, Mayu (2015) Josei no seiteki yokubō no hatsuro – Tanaka Kinuyo kantoku sakuhin [Chibusa yo eien nare] = [Expressing female sexual desire : director Tanaka Kinuyo's 'The eternal breasts']. CineMagaziNet!(19),

Gonzalez-Lopez, Irene (2014) Wakao Ayako and post-war Japanese studio system : celebrity and performer. Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, 6(1), pp. 39-54. ISSN (print) 1756-4905


González-López, Irene and Smith, Michael, eds. (2018) Tanaka Kinuyo: nation, stardom and female subjectivity. Edinburgh, U.K. : Edinburgh University Press. 232p. (Edinburgh Studies in East Asian Film) ISBN 9781474409698

Book Section

Gonzalez-Lopez, Irene and Smith, Michael (2018) Introduction : Onna Monogatari. In: Gonzalez-Lopez, Irene and Smith, Michael, (eds.) Tanaka Kinuyo : nation, stardom and female subjectivity. Edinburgh, U.K. : Edinburgh University Press. pp. 1-35. (Edinburgh Studies in East Asian Film) ISBN 9781474409698

González-López, Irene and Mayu, Ashida (2018) The first female gaze at postwar Japanese women : Tanaka Kinuyo, film director. In: González-López, Irene and Smith, Michael, (eds.) Tanaka Kinuyo : nation, stardom and female subjectivity. Edinburgh, U.K. : Edinburgh University Press. pp. 104-125. (Edinburgh Studies in East Asian Film) ISBN 9781474409698

Gonzalez-Lopez, Irene (2018) The profound desire of the goddess : sexuality and politics in 'The insect woman'. In: Torres Hortelano, Lorenzo J., (ed.) Dialectics of the goddess in Japanese audiovisual culture. Lanham, U.S. : Lexington Books. pp. 27-49. ISBN 9781498570145

Gonzalez-Lopez, Irene (2016) Mizoguchi y los Ultimos Dias del Barrio Rojo = [Mizoguchi and the last days of the red-light district]. In: Lozano Mendez, Artur, (ed.) El Japon contemporaneo : una aproximacion desde los Estudios Culturales. Barcelona, Spain : Bellaterra. pp. 105-126. (Biblioteca de Japon, (4)) ISBN 9788472907577

This list was generated on Sat May 18 06:47:04 2024 BST.