Global Pride Network

Saori Kamano

Natl' Inst. of Population and Social Security Research, Japan

Main Research Areas:

Gender, Family, Demography of SOGI


I was trained as a sociologist at Stanford University (U.S.A) where I obtained my Phd. Since then, I have been involved in various projects on gender, sexuality and family in Japan. At the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, I have been participating in the Japanese National Fertility Survey and the National Survey of Family in Japan projects. Using the data collected, I have analyzed the changes in the attitudes toward marriage and family. I was also a co-PI of the Japanese research team of WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women (1999-2005).

Recently, I have been involved in a number of studies on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). One study is the first population-based nationwide survey on attitudes toward sexual and gender minorities in 2015 and a comparable survey in 2019. My latest project, “Demography of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Building a Foundation for Research in Japan”, is funded by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (JSPS Kakenhi Grant Number 16H03709, PI: Saori Kamano, 2016-). Here, we explore how best to capture respondents’ SOGI in a survey of the general population through focus groups and pilot surveys. Using the questions thus developed, we conducted the Osaka City Residents’ Survey, one of the first population-based surveys in Japan with SOGI questions. My next goal, subject to funding availability, is to conduct a nation-wide population-based survey with SOGI questions in order to accumulate data that would allow us to analyze the effects of SOGI on various realms of life.

In addition to quantitative research, I have also engaged in a few ethnographic research, conducting interviews with same-sex couples to explore how they manage their everyday lives and social relationships and negotiate the socio-legal context that affects their relationships and life chances.

Selected Works:

Kamano, Saori, 2009, “Housework and lesbian couples in Japan: Division, negotiation and interpretation,” Women’s Studies International Forum 32: 130-141.

Khor, Diana, Denise Tse-Shang Tang and Saori Kamano, 2020, “Global Norms, State Regulations, and Local Activism: Marriage Equality and Same-Sex Partnership, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity Rights in Japan and Hong Kong,” in Michael J. Bosia, Sandra M. McEvoy, and Momin Rahman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Global LGBT and Sexual Diversity Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 283-300. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190673741.013.19

Hiramori, Daiki, and Saori Kamano, 2020, “Understanding Sexual Orientation Identity, Sexual/romantic Attraction, and Sexual Behavior Beyond Western Societies: The Case of Japan.” SocArXiv. March 13. doi:10.31235/