gay japanese culture

Debuting at TCAF 2017 - My Brother’s Husband, Volume 1 by Gengoroh Tagame

Translated by Anne Ishii
Published by Pantheon Books

From one of Japan’s most notable manga artists: a heartbreaking and redemptive tale of mourning and acceptance that compares and contrasts the contemporary nature of gay tolerance in the East and the West

Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo, married to wife Natsuki, father to young daughter Kana. Their lives are suddenly upended with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented, revelatory look at and journey into the largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation has the chance to change the preconceptions of and prejudices against it.

“When a cuddly Canadian comes to call, Yaichi—a single Japanese dad—is forced to confront his painful past. With his young daughter Kana leading the way, he gradually rethinks his assumptions about what makes a family. Renowned manga artist Gengoroh Tagame turns his stunning draftsmanship to a story very different from his customary fare, to delightful and heartwarming effect.”
—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home

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For my author friends wishing to write about ancient/feudal japan….a few quick fact you might not know about samurai.

The Japanese bushi class, the social class from which samurai came, also included women who received similar martial training. These women were called Onna-Bugeisha. Their weapon of choice was the naginata, a spear with a curved, sword-like blade that was versatile and light.  Your character can be a woman without her having to rebel or force herself into a class that doesn’t want her. A woman warrior was equally respected, trained and probably about 30% of the warrior class was made up of educated and talented women.

Samurai were often very open minded when it came to same-sex relations.  The practice of an experienced samurai forming a (sexual) relationship with a youth in training was encouraged and common. Your character can be married, single, straight, gay, poly or bi without it having to be a major plot point or stressor for them, as ancient Japan had a more open mind to these things.

I look forward to reading some great warrior stories in the near future :D

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Does anyone ship these two together?? I know it is a bit strange but I can just see Victor selling his soul to Sebastian for his skating fame. They are two of my favourite anime guys and imagining them together always makes me smile. Any else feel this way? I don’t want to be alone in this ship. I NEED THIS TO BE A THING! !!!!

Alright so people are saying Hisoka isn’t gay and I’m here to point out in the cultural context of Japan why Hisoka is pretty fucking gay.


Since Japan obviously has a different culture than America it’s important to remember while looking at characters made BY Japanese people, that certain attributes can have different meanings in different cultural contexts.  We may interpret certain traits differently but be that as it may that doesn’t mean that the inherent intentions of how something is portrayed can be changed just because it’s seen by an audience who thinks otherwise.

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