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