Read before you write about LGBT politics in Japan

No to Occupation, No to Osprey

Edit (May 2): If you are using Google Translate or a similar service in order to read this, please do not trust the translation. If you think that Tokyo Rainbow Pride is the main topic of this article, that is not true. The main topic is English-language LGBT journalism.

Although this isn’t intended to be an exhaustive summary of history of LGBT politics in Japan, which I cannot possibly provide given my limited knowledge, I just couldn’t take anymore the shittiness of the news articles written about LGBT politics in Japan.

The most (stereo)typical, all-too-common article written in English never fails to make the followings clear:

  • Japan lags behind the West. There’s nothing legal about gay partnerships, and people there are afraid to come out.
  • But things are changing. And such changes are welcomed with enthusiasm by all LGBTs in Japan.

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News: “Same-sex partner code proposition: Shibuya ward’s “human rights” double-standard?”


Translated by Masaki C.

Same-sex partner code proposition: Shibuya ward’s “human rights” double-standard?

Different stances on sexual & gender minority and the homeless

In March, the Shibuya ward council will submit the bill that if passed would allow the local government to issue partnership certificates to same-sex couples who would then be recognized as having a relationship equivalent to a married couple. There is no doubt this ordinance is of an exceptional value in that it will protect the human rights of gender and sexual minority (LGBT) individuals; however, it is also important to note that the ward has been kicking the homeless out of its public parks. Such a contradiction that seems to many to be a human rights double-standard is causing confusion among some LGBT individuals. (Author: Chiaki Sawada)
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New blog design, belated new-year resolutions


Applying a new design to my blog(s) has become quite a habit of mine, especially when I’m procrastinating or just trying to escape the world and people around me. It lets me focus on something, leaving no room in my psyche for external disruptions and everyday shit. I feel somehow digitally connected to the computer, becoming one with the whole cyberspace, with the display replacing my retinae and the keys replacing my mouth. All sci-fi like.
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New Tumblr Project: Rad-queers Speaking English For You


Ever felt sick of English-language LGBT journalism that, no matter how many times we radical queers around the world denounce it, continues to portray and represent queers in non-English-speaking regions in often racist, ethnocentric, colonial, progressivist, and quite shallow ways with a hint of Messiah Complex? I have. Like, numerous times. They see our fellow mainstream, assimilationist LGBT locals struggling to be like them, but not us rad-queers who question capitalism, prison, marriage equality, and non-profit industrial complex. After nearly a year since the launch of its Facebook Page, The Rad-queers Speaking English For You Project has taken its way to Tumblr!
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Compilation of Negative Responses to Akie Abe’s Participation in Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2014


(Ms. Akie Abe on the right. Photo source.)

The Tokyo Rainbow Pride, which I talked about last year on this blog, marked its 3rd anniversary on April 27, 2014. Its commercialization and increasingly neoliberal, militarist, and conservative crystallization of LGBT politics have become almost intolerably, grotesquely obvious. I could go on and on about sponsorships and participation of embassies and corporations at the Pride, but today I am so devastated by the participation of Prime Minister Abe’s wife, Ms. Akie Abe at the Pride, that I am almost in a shock state.
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Queer Dining Bar FAT CATS to Open in Gunma, Japan in June 2014!


As some of you already know, for the past 4 years I have been doing the Bar OccaMan project in Gunma, Japan with Eva, Cherry, and several other semi-permanent and occasional volunteers. The project is a monthly outdoor queer bar event and since its start in May 2010 we have been quite popular thanks to our loyal regulars in the neighborhood and those who come from other places like Tokyo.
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Back to blogging

As I was increasingly sick and tired of the allegro call-out culture of Twitter (I quit my main jpnz account recently), I looked for a new platform. Tumblr, maybe? I thought. Then I remembered I had my own domain and hosting here. For a change, I picked a new design template and modified it a bit. Especially useful was Richard’s Modifying OpenGraph Data from WordPress’s Jetpack.

I’m hoping to blog as often as I used to, like in the pre-Twitter, pre-Facebook era.

The Privilege To Say ‘I Don’t’


As I was going through the daily routine of browsing Facebook & Twitter, I found a NYT article, Gay Couples, Choosing to Say ‘I Don’t’, the title of which caught my eye, as I oppose the institution of marriage, and the like-minded people who shared the link in FB/TW seemed content with anti-marriage opinions circulating at last in the mainstream media. Excited, I read on, only to be disappointed, but in a way that was quite unexpected, by the elitist tone of the article.
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Wanna Use Your Activist Name on Facebook?

I do not like my legal name. I don’t want to use it, and I actually don’t. At work, I use a fake name. My boss understands, because he knows that my legal name can be found in many Internet spaces as a queer activist, a beauty contest opponent, and an anti-Japan blogger as I used to do all these things under my legal name. My legal name also is indicative of my legal gender, too. So, no, I don’t use my legal name online.
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