Recently, a young gay guy asks me if I live alone. “No, I live with my husband,” I replied. His English seems fluent, and certainly better than my Japanese.
“So you’re bisexual,” was his response. There was some confusion, as if he wanted me to confirm this deduction. I was confused, and he kept asking the same strange question about being bisexual and whether “she” knows. What is it about having a husband that makes me bisexual? I finally corrected him in Japanese by re-affirming the husband’s male gender.
Maybe “husband” is not widely used here in Japan? I’m not even using the term as a claim about traditional legal rights. After so many years together and being middle-aged, “boyfriend” seems inappropriate and “partner” insufficient.
This story will provide laughs for weeks. So, you’ve been bisexual ever since you married your husband? Think of all the (biological) ladies I could be romancing. Ah, Japan, use your imagination!
Both unflattering (Wimpus Japonica) and kind of complete animated video explaining Japan’s “herbivores,” the young men (perhaps 30%?) who are eschewing sex for domesticity, fashion, and the company of other well dressed young men.
The 1 minute 30 second video covers post-Bubble austerity, a new rejection of hetero sexuality as consumption, Japan’s declining birth rate, and gender boundary crossing. (Via Mutant Frog Travelogue).
Wow! This simple blog has been cited by CNNgo as one of the top 10 Japan blogs in English. I like how the CNNgo description identifies me as being “married to a Japanese man” but is indeterminate about my gender and my readers’.
“So ladies” is how CNNgo addresses my readers. I welcome female readers but don’t think that’s the total of my readers. Hello?! Isn’t it 100% clear that I am a queer guy?! Haha on CNNgo for reflecting Japan’s inability to see gayness no matter how flagrant!
Some of the other picks are my regular reading material. Congrats #1 Green Eyed Geisha for continually inspiring me. I am also thrilled to be included with Vivian’s Lost in Translation blog.
My gorgeous blogger friend Green Eyed Geisha made my dreams come true with our private bonenkai, year forgetting party, which we celebrated at Top Dandy, a male host club in Kabukicho. See this Tokyo host website for a list of all 70 clubs!
I love the contrast between the simple sign out front, indicating the club’s location on the fifth floor of an ordinary building, and the elaborate photo styling of their website.
Once inside, we were met by a handsome tall guy who was very charming, and along with a portly short older guy led us into the chandelier-bedecked club. There must have been twenty chandeliers, including ceiling, wall, and at least one inside of a plexiglass drinks table. Plus many many mirrors.
Later, GEG told me that she hadn’t found our first greeter handsome, because his hair was too natural. I found him suave and charming, and loved that he had self-taught himself English. He also boasted that he had taken a 3 month trip to 20 countries, of which he most liked Turkey and South Africa.
GEG introduced me as her cousin, which seemed much kinder than uncle and explained that I was there to soothe her “first time” anxiety. She, of course, has been to several others before. But as first time customers at Top Dandy, we were entitled to a 5,000 yen (US$ 55) all you-can-drink, stay-as-long-you-want encounter with an endless parade of back-combed, floss haired boys.
It’s easy to think Tokyo is safe. This little reminder in the Tokyo Metro alerts me that potential tranny killers are on the loose. This man of several hair colors and genders is suspected in the murder of a European lady. Where’s my panic button?
A best seller in Japan is Mariko Bando’s “The Dignity of Women” (じょせいのひんかく), which raises important questions about national and gender identities. Millions of Japanese have bought her book full of advice to young Japanese career women, such as speaking in a refined manner, being punctual, and not accepting free tissues offered outside the train stations. Bando rightly declares, “Women’s dignity is the dignity of human beings.” I am still waiting for the English version to better effect my own personal transformation, although there are deals to take the book to South Korea and Taiwan.
Shu claims there’d be no interest in this book in the U.S. since no one there is interested in dignity and public space. Responses?