fan

Fan is best for summer heat. So is wearing yukata.

2yukata_rainbowmatsuriWhat a cute and stylish couple at the Nichome summer Rainbow matsuri.

 

Only now have I heard about Empty Tomb Cake

empty_tomb_cake

I consider myself an Easter fan, including all the S&M events prior to the resurrection. I’ve even visited his tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. For reasons I cannot fathom, I’ve only just learned about an (American) tradition of serving Empty Tomb Cakes for Easter. Wow! I would love to eat Jesus’ tomb!

Here’s how Aaron Hartzler describes his mother’s baking craft:

An edible replica of the cave where Jesus was buried after dying on the cross for our sins, the Empty Tomb Cake is the standard passion week centerpiece in my childhood home. It is frosted in gray, surrounded by a field of green coconut grass, and finished off with a Hostess Ding-Dong as the stone that was rolled away. On Saturday night, after everyone goes to bed, Mom steals into the kitchen under cover of night and rolls the Hostess Ding-Dong away from the door of the Empty Tomb Cake, then retouches the frosting. On Easter morning Jesus has risen — right there in the middle of the kitchen table.

Random Gay Tokyo life

Sublime and random Tokyo gay stories in August:

1. A gay Italian visitor to Tokyo is *shocked* at the sight of Japanese men using paper fans to cool themselves on trains and sidewalks. “In Italy, only women and fags dare use a fan.” There is nothing more satisfying than observing an Italian man surprised by another nation’s male effeminacy.

2. My new super-gay hairdresser (rare in a country where most are straight) has recently told me about his working the festival circuit with his yakuza friends carrying a portable shrine shoulder to shoulder and dressed in fundoshi (ritual male thongs), his earlier stint at a Ginza hair salon when he cut the hair of  minor royals, and advice about yankii and nudist beachs in Chiba.

A few years younger than this author, my new gay Japanese sensei is also a middle-aged competitive body builder, with distinct orange in his hair and skin tone. Did I mention that we met at Haguromo, the super-gay and sometimes yakuza-filled sento? How often can I get my short hair cut? He’s talented with hair and full of helpful stories and expressions.

3. I’ve heard that many Japanese prefer “small faces.” Just recently, a Japanese friend explained that Japanese distinguish between weak faces (うすい、薄い)and strong faces(こい、濃い). Previously I understand that these adjectives are applied to liquids like tea (literally, the concentration through quantity and steeping time) and even to food types (sort of like light and heavy).

Apparently with people, so-called weak faces have “fewer distinguishing features” or “fewer things sticking out.” Strong faces have deep set eyes, large noses, more prominent chins. This distinction is at once racial and yet pretends not to be.  I have a hard time grokking this, but will be more open to hearing about these immutable differences.

Breaking news: Sex and the City stars arrive in Tokyo

All four stars of Sex & the City II have arrived in Tokyo for the premiere tomorrow. Love how they are decked out! And love how they are recognizing the importance of fashion-obsessed Japanese as their fan base.

Note: I’ll be attending the movie without the husband, who seems confused about the point of the movie. It’s about friendship, looking good, and ladies! Plus there are Arabs! I hope the sister-in-law can come with me!

Male maid struts in Akihabara with wheelie bag

To support a friend, I found myself in Akihabara on a Sunday afternoon. Until I saw this male maid above, I thought there was nothing for me in this sweaty world of male uber geeks and fans.

(Update: Tokyo RealTime‘s Akihabara audio tour is a fun way to explore the history and living culture of (hetero) male geekdom. Even this fag enjoyed the tour! Curious to check out the Kabukicho tour).

Yes, Japan has girls too!

Yes, Japan has girls too!

You might not realize from reading my blog, but, yes, Japan has girls, too. I certainly appreciate female fashion, but it takes some extra originality and flair for me to strike up a conversation and snap a photo. These girls were dressed in super 80s neon to attend a concert by Okinawa alt rock band Orange Range. I am sorry I didn’t capture their pink sequined sneakers.

In true fan girl fashion, and being loyal to the theme of this blog, I can’t help but include a photo of the 5 band members!

Orange Range

Spock x Kirk slash video

This blog has featured much Japanese “Boys Love” or yaoi stories (man-on-man action created by and for women). A startup entrepreneur reminded me today of US slash fan videos, particularly this Star Trek edited fantasy created to the soundtrack of Nine Inch Nail’s Closer. Moe knows no national borders!

While the classic Trek slash video has over a million views in the past two years, a newer version (v2) was created using this summer’s Spock and Kirk lovefest.

People watching at Tokyo Dome

Tokyo Dome, Katun Fans

On a weekday afternoon, Tokyo Dome was alive with two groups of contiguous but not intersecting fans. On the upper level were hundreds of girls who had arrived hours early to watch a Johnny’s boy band called Katun. On the lower deck, hundreds of ojiisan (old guys) stand transfixed watching horse races on video screens and consulting their newspapers for betting stats.

Ojiisan horse betting, Tokyo Dome

I love the fan’s fan. Both groups have a similar intensity of purpose, no?

Katun fan's fan, Tokyo Dome

And the contrast between the girls’ “kawaii” fashions and the older gents’ uniforms of caps, muted colored slacks and jackets. There seems to be a group for everyone in Tokyo.

Ojiisan, horse race betting, Tokyo Dome

American Wife

Despite (or because?) of my Japanese husband’s objections, I must share my deepest fascination with Curtis Sittenfeld’s new novel, “American Wife.” It describes the life of a slightly ficitonalized Laura Bush. The book was published the day after we left San Francisco for Tokyo, but miraculously I found a copy at the SFO airport bookstore.

I love almost all first ladies, first lady candidates, and even VP candidate husbands. However, I’ve never much liked Ms Bush because of her probably Rx-induced vacant presence. Ms Sittenfeld, a confessed fan, has written *the* novel about this first lady and her unique contributions to femininity and country.

In the first section, “Alice” not only kills her high school friend and would-be boyfriend in a car accident, a fact that is documented. She also loses her virginity with the dead boy’s brother, and receives an illegal abortion performed by her grandmother’s lesbian MD lover. My favorite line, which I had to translate for my husband: “Andrew died, I caused his death, and then, like a lover, I took him inside me.”  

I already anticipate the sadness I will feel when I reach the end of this massive tome of unexpected vulgarity and sympathy. No doubt it will provide many lessons for me to become a better American wife here in Tokyo.

Is anyone else reading this book now?