Dr. Kinko Ito

Dr. Kinko Ito – 伊藤琴子

Stabler Hall 405
Office: 501-916-5846
Email: kxito@ualr.edu

Dr. Kinko Ito received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the Ohio State University. She is nationally and internationally known for her research on Japanese popular culture (especially manga comics) and the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan. A Sociology of Japanese Ladies’ Comics: Images of the Life, Loves, and Sexual Fantasies of Adult Japanese Women, her harbinger work on women’s comics, the first kind in the world, was published by Edwin Mellen Press in 2011.

Dr. Ito visited Hokkaido in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2018 and made two documentary films about the Ainu.  Have You Heard About the Ainu? Elders of Japan’s Indigenous People Speak took part in Film Festivals all over the globe. It is now available for viewing on YouTube.  The film features in-depth interviews of several Ainu elderly men and women. It also has an original soundtrack based on Ainu music by Professor Robert Boury. Her second documentary  Have You Heard about the Ainu? Part 2. Toward Better Understanding and World Peace (31 minutes) is also available on YouTube.

Some of Dr. Ito’s more recent publications include: “Swallowtail Butler Cafe: Cosplay, Otakus, and Cool Japan in Contemporary Japan,” Japan Studies Review. 2021. Volume 25: pp.113 – 130. “Comics Education in Conversation,” Penguin Random House Education. October 2021. https://penguinrandomhousesecondaryeducation.com/2021/10/22/comics-education-in-conversation-kinko-ito/”Uma Historia Do Manga No Contexto Da Cultura E Sociedade Japonesas,” a Brazilian Portuguese translation of my article “A History of Manga in the Context of Japanese Culture and Society” (originally published in The Journal of Popular Culture. Vol.38. No.3 in 2005). “Golden Kamuy: Can This Popular Manga Contribute to Ainu Studies?” Japan Studies Review. 2019. Volume 23: pp.155-168. Today’s Ainu: Tales from Hokkaido (2019),

Some of her older but noteworthy publications include: “Remembering Her 50 Years in Japanese Girls’ and Ladies’ Comics: An Interview with Chikae Ide.” International Journal of Comic Art. Vol 18. No.2. Pp.367-383. (2016) “Popular Mass Entertainment in Japan: Manga, Pachinko, and Cosplay” (2014), “An Elderly Ainu Man’s Story: Ethnography” (2014), “Osamu Tezuka: His Life, Works, and Contributions to the History of Modern Japanese Comics” (2011), “Chikae Ide – The Queen of Japanese Ladies’ Comics: Her Life and Manga” (2011), “Framing the Sensual: Japanese Sexuality in Ladies’ Comics” (2011), “New Trends in the Production of Japanese Ladies’ Comics: Diversification and Catharsis” (2009), “The Touching and the Sensual in Japanese Ladies’ Comics: an Interview with Asako Shiomi” (2008),  “Masako Watanabe: 50 Years of Making Girls’ and Ladies’ Comics in Japan” (2008), “Manga in Japanese History” (2008), “China in Japanese Manga: A Not-So-Funny Controversy” (2008), “Manga Introduction to China and Its Implication for Global Education” (2007), “Middle-Aged Japanese Women’s Love Affair with ‘Winter Sonata’” (2006), and “A One Week Retreat at a Zen Monastery in Japan” (2005).

Dr. Ito also does book reviews, including:
2018. The Fabric of Indigeneity: Ainu Identity, Gender, and Settler Colonialism in Japan by Ann-Elise Lewallen. Journal of Japanese Studies. Vol.44. No. 2. Pp.497-480. 2017. Hokusai Manga Japanese Pop Culture since 1680 by Sabine Schulze et. al. in Print Quarterly.Vol. XXXIV. No.4. Pp.444-446.

Dr. Ito has been to more than 82 countries! She loves to travel. Gourmet Food, Scrub, and Happiness in Body and Seoul: A Short Visit to South Korea and Pantyless in Scandinavia and Other Escapades of World Travel, her travelogues with sociological twists are available at Amazon.com. She loves cooking and enjoys karaoke in her spare time.