Uncanny imposters, or performance artists?

Tokyo continues a long tradition of positioning *male* door-bait outside shops, restaurants, and izakayas. This guard outside Omotesando’s gargantuan Ralph Lauren shop built to look like the White House reminds of the incredible capabilities of Japanese to import foreign looks and make it better than the original.

Much “American fashion” in Japan is far better than the original. Not unlike how a Jewish Ralph could become the world’s leading purveyor of WASP costume. Simulations that are more real than the referent reveal a mastery of symbols and performance.

I am left wondering whether inside that perfect surface is an overweight, acne-scarred senior citizen lady. Anything is possible.


Male hosts at Tori no Ichi festival: luck and style

I want to end the year on a happy note. So I’ll post images of male hosts taken at this year’s 3rd Tori no Ichi festival, at my beloved Hanazono Jinja. It’s smack dab in the middle of Ni chome, Kabukicho, and the department stores. This year, I chatted with many male hosts who were seeking luck while parading style. So many inappropriate looks!

So you’re bisexual? Only in Japan?

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!

We are still here in Tokyo!

I have not posted for a week to pay respect to the thousands of dead and displaced by the unimaginable earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. Frankly I wondered whether this blog’s frivolity and frequent lack of taste is appropriate during this stressful period of intense sadness and nuclear meltdown panic.

From today I will resume this blog to show that we are still alive, creative and observant here in Tokyo. I was inspired by my  blogging sensei Bangin, who insists he will continue to try to make others happy through his blog. Even in the worst of times, there is plenty of moe to share, plenty of male fashion to ponder, and plenty of hope that Japan will rebuild.

Can you outdance Kylie?