Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)


Sociology and Social Policy

First Advisor

Prof. CHAN Hau Nung Annie

Second Advisor

Prof. BURAK HO Beste Esra


Yuri is a Japanese manga sub-culture which refers to all kinds of works (manga, animation) that portray attraction between two girls, including spiritual bonding and shared values. Through examining the value and interpretation of this sub-culture by Yuri fans, this paper attempts to explore the construction of alternative sexuality identity among Yuri fans. This Japanese sub-culture has been implanted in Chinese fandom with the popularity of hit Yuri-related animations since 2004. With decades of development, Yuri has extended its application to various mediums including the slash fandom in TV dramas, idol groups, movies and spread its usage on Chinese social network platforms like Weibo. As a result of the popularity of Yuri, there has been a growing fan base in China and Chinese fandom has developed their own culture of Yuri that is characterized by their focus on specificity in their sexuality. They are enthusiastic about the spiritual connection and the sharing of inner life between two girls. Hence, when mentioning relationships, they have a higher emphasis on the deepening of spiritual bonds rather than sexual desire. In this sense, their highlight on the inner bond challenges the extant understanding of homosexuality and sexual intimacy. Besides, there has been a large proportion of female Yuri fans in the community. Although they would identify themselves as “non- heterosexual”, few identify themselves as ‘lesbian’. Yuri community are critical towards mainstream lesbian culture in China, especially butch and femme roleplaying. In this regards, I argue that Yuri could act a pioneer role in challenging the homonormativity in Chinese mainstream lesbian culture. This research adopted an online ethnography approach which is based on the Chinese largest Yuri forum, Yamibo forum. Through examining their culture and attitudes on intimacy, this research studies the construction of their alternative sexuality identity and contributes to the knowledge production of queer theory from their queer standpoint.

Recommended Citation

Yeung, K. Y. (2017). Alternative sexualities/intimacies? Yuri fans community in the Chinese context (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from

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