LGBTQ: Tokyo Bois!

July 3rd, 2012

Tokyo Wrestling is a LGBTQ bilingual web magazine run by Yuki Keiser, with a strong focus on Japanese lesbian life, events, fashion, etc and genderqueer identity. Tokyo Wrestling’s been a strong media voice for lesbian women in Japan, involving themselves in events, and giving voice and vision to artists, writers, and other women whose stories should be heard. You can find Tokyo Wrestling on Facebook and Twitter, as well. (No worries about language, Yuki speaks English.)

Last year Yuki published a book of photography by Tosaki Miwa called Tokyo Bois, pictures of androgynous, boi-ish and genderqueer lesbian woman in and around Tokyo. It took me a long time to finally order the book, and for that I’m very sorry, it’s really a delightful book.

There is some English translation in the book, excerpts from interviews have been translated, and the full text is also available in Japanese. But the real draw of this book is in the photos themselves. Here are the bois of the Japanese lesbian scene hanging out, dancing, partying and – most importantly for me – enjoying the company of their girlfriends. Of all the pictures, those in which two women are seen having fun being together are my favorites. ^_^

In fact, my very favorite picture of the book is Yuki herself with Syd Blakovich, defying every “known” about Japanese couples – they are touching, they are smiling, there is no doubt we are seeing a public display of affection here. (For the record, anime and manga is largely WAY behind the times on this, Only otaku have so much emotion invested in the simple holding of a hand, non-otaku folk do it all the time. I’ve seen many young couples on the streets of Tokyo…gasp!…touching.  Remember, anime/manga fans = largely conservative, often socially backward. Don’t think anime/manga is an accurate representation of life. It’s always life as seen through a distorted lens.)

If you’re sitting around thinking that every Japanese lesbian is a lipstick lesbian, or that Japanese lesbians are always hiding from the world behind other relationships, let Tokyo Bois remove that old-fashioned idea from your mind. This book is about youth, about freedom, and about the desire to live with honesty. This book is a sign that the future will look different than the past – and thank heaven for that.

It’s a fantastic book and has made me very, very happy.


Overall – 10

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5 Responses

  1. Mara says:

    “…Yuki herself with Syd Blakovich…”

    Ah. I am very embarrassed about how I came to know about Syd Blakovich. Long story short it involves my sister and the magazine ‘Bizarre’. Long story short be careful about what you click on when searching for her work. Best to go though her homepage.

    Should anyone be interested but must mention that this is VERY NSFW. Mostly because of her filmography.

    I shall have to get this now on my next order thanks for flagging it up.

  2. @Mara – No reason to be embarrassed about that. Unless you clicked through at work. ^_^;;

  3. Anonymous says:

    OK so now I’m thinking about LGBTQ folks and about old-fashioned folks…

    Hey ever noticed how whenever a state starts issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples there’s this huge backlog of old folks in City Halls finally making their unofficial marriages official after decades together?

    Someday the young adults in Tokyo Bois will be old. Older than you, older than me. Some of the couples in it will still be together. At least a few LGBTQ young adults in those future days will read TB to gawk at how old-fashionedly their counterparts all the way back in the 2010s dressed.

    Maybe some of the folks in TB are not only old people of the future but old fogeys of the future. Imagine some of them telling their great-grandchildren “when I was your age, we couldn’t ask our parents for omiais with other lesbians if we were too shy to date, now get off my lawn…”

  4. Anonymous says:

    Whoa just saw this about LGBTQ and old folks:

    Yi Ling publicly came out as trans at 84. Maybe that’ll give hope to other folks still in the closets after however many years and wondering if it’s too late for them to come out?

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