Thanks for the tongue!
Until recently, Japanese gays seemed content to fade into the background: a performance of normality bordering on boring. Not so for the straight men of Japan, who are truly some of the world’s most magnificent peacocks.
I love the attention to detail: the rolled up hem has a fruit pattern, zebra print can be fused with jungle print, hair fried and stiff, skin is kept eerily dark and flawlessly unblemished. Sitting hip-to-hip challenges no one’s masculinity.
When I feel frustrated about various aspects of a foreigner’s life in Japan, I look around the train and feel uplifted, inspired, and very much in love.
Love the lifeguard beanie. But I do worry about the many Japanese who embrace tanning until they reach a deep mahogany. Is no one thinking about skin cancer or how their skin will look when they pass 35?
“A woman should always have fair skin,” one mask-wearing bather explained. This made in China fashion puts Tokyo ladies and their giant visors and elbow sleeves to shame.
If you are hairier than the average Japanese, it’s easy to feel like a Guantanamo suspect during the advent of décolletage season. I confess to losing track of time and place when confronted by sidewalk skin.
What are the rules about coverage and body hair? It’s a very SATC Carrie question, but one that haunts me. Does anyone find the look above OK?
I am more partial to the faux rocker style of male hosts. Their hair is taller, their skin is oranger, and they look like they are more fun. I like how they stick together at the Tori no Ichi festival, and carefully coordinate their club look.
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.
Wow! Lady Gaga creates video drama like no one since Madonna. I love how in the new Judas video she imagines herself as the Jesus leader of an LA bike gang. Big hair, leather, skin, and of course lots of dancing. Her hunky Judas, wearing a crown, is clearly irresistible. Given the ever increasing militarism in the US, it’s lovely to see her whip out a gold gun armed with lipstick. I feel the passion!
Thanks, WordPress and my readers!
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 230,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 10 days for that many people to see it.
In 2010, there were 273 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 717 posts. There were 341 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 17mb. That’s about 7 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was July 5th with 3 views. The most popular post that day was Hot or not: Kobayashi Takeru?.
The top referring sites in 2010 were julieinjapan.com, greeneyedgeisha.blogspot.com, sticky.queerclick.com, blogger.com, and dontstoptiligetenough.blogspot.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for yakuza, anderson cooper boyfriend, yakuza tattoo, takeru kobayashi, and narimiya hiroki.
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Hot or not: Kobayashi Takeru? June 2009
Yakuza skin August 2009
Anderson Cooper’s boyfriend: a huge meat head? November 2009
Narimiya Hiroki August 2009
Fundoshi v Fujoshi April 2009