Mari Kotani (小谷 真理 Kotani Mari?, born in Toyama Prefecture in July 11, 1958[1]) is a Japanese science fiction critic, best known as the author of Evangelion as the Immaculate Virgin (Tokyo: Magazine House, 1997) and of *Joseijou muishiki: techno-gynesis josei SF-ron josetsu. Tokyo: Keiso shobo, 1994. (Techno-Gynesis: The Political Unconscious of Feminist Science Fiction), which won the 15th Nihon SF Taisho Award.

Kotani is one of the founders of the Sense of Gender Award and The Japanese Association of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy. She is now the chair of the Japan PEN Women Writers Committee and a member of the Science Fiction Writers of Japan.

"Textual harassment" lawsuit

On 1997, the publisher Media Works published a reference book, Alternative Culture, which contained an article describing Kotani's book Evangelion as the Immaculate Virgin describing her name as a pseudonym for her husband Takayuki Tatsumi a professor of English at Keio University. When her complaints were ignored, she sued the author of the entry (Hiroo Yamagata), the publisher and Shufu-no-Tomo-sha, the distributor of the book, for what she termed "textual harassment." The lawsuit was broadly supported by Japanese writers. The Japan PEN Club established a Women Writer's Committee, with feminist critic Kazuko Saegusa as chair, and Kotani as sub-chair. During this period, Kotani and Maki Honda's translation of Joanna Russ' How to Suppress Women's Writing received by major feminist critics in Japan including Chizuko Ueno, Fukuko Kobayashi, Yuko Matsumoto, and Kazuko Takemura. In 2001 the defendants were ordered to pay Kotani 3,300,000 yen (roughly $27,500), and to publish an apology on the top page of their respective website.[2]

Partial bibliography

Works by Kotani include:

  • Joseijou muishiki: techno-gynesis josei SF-ron josetsu. Tokyo: Keiso shobo, 1994. (Techno-Gynesis: The Political Unconscious of Feminist Science Fiction) ISBN 4326152893 9784326152896 which won the 15th Nihon SF Taisho Award[3]
  • Fantasy no Boken (Adventure of Fantasy)
  • Otoko-tachi no Shiranai On'na (The Women Men Don't See), translation of Marleen Barr's Lost in Space: Probing Feminist Science Fiction and Beyond
  • Translation of Donna Haraway A Cyborg Manifesto (won the 2nd Japanese Translation Award for Philosophy)
  • Translation of Joanna Russ How to Suppress Women's Writing (with Maki Hona)
  • "Across the Multiverse: How Do Aliens Travel from ‘Divisional’ Space to ‘Network’ Space?" Japanese Journal of American Studies (Japanese Association for American Studies) 13 (2002): 157–170.
  • Space, Body, and Aliens in Japanese Women’s Science Fiction (Science Fiction Studies, 2002)
  • Hoshi no kagi, maho no kobako : Kotani Mari no Fantaji & SF annai (Tōkyō : Chūo Kōronsha, 2005) ISBN 4120036944 9784120036941
  • Tekuno goshikku (Techno-goth) (Tōkyō : Hōmusha : Shūeisha, 2005) ISBN 4834251217 9784834251210


  1. 21st Century Museum Of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa: Design Gallery Exhibition "Monster and the Dream of 20th Century: Yuji Kaida Exhibition - Genealogy of Fantasy and Romance to the 21st Century" Profile: Mari Kotani
  2. Report by Kotani on lawsuit results
  3. Nihon SF Taisho Award Winners List

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