preview

Homosexuality In Japan

Good Essays
Homosexuality has a long history in Japan, of at least a thousand years. Yet it was only in more modern timew that lesbianism was more visible. Indeed, todays Japan mixes elements of the indigenous traditions with Western opinions about the sexual identity while at the same time being home to one of the most diverse and dynamic holebi-cultures in Asia. The Japanese world of entertainment has long supported or tolerated overt gay, transgender and transsexual amusement within the context of an enormous growth in holebi-art, films and literature in the last decade. Tokyo, Osaka and several other small towns have large holebi-communities and a number of holebi-organizations.

During the Japanese feudal period (1600-1867), men that were from the
…show more content…
This allowed for the possibility of all sex-related publications which were far more open than the existing English magazines. From the early 1950s onwards there thus appeared "perverse" or "manic" magazines (as they were called). These were informed about all kinds interests, including the sexual behaviour during the Japanese feudal past and this published and read in both the European and Asian communities. These magazines were furtermore not classified in hetero- or holebi themes, as it would be in 1970, but showed a wide range of "perverse satisfactions", including sado-masochism, scatology, travesticism, homosexuality and lesbianisme. These sheets published stories about holebi meeting venues and acted as a kind of public adds, in which men and women made their interests in sodomy or lesbians known. This was the springboard for holebi-sexuality discussion groups, newsletters, and social organizations. According to these magazines, the most visible homosexual group immediately after the war were the dansho or travestite-male prostitutes, who had their affairs going on in Ueno Park in Tokyo. Several reasons were given for the explosion of male prostitution, the main reason being that many men in the army had grown comfortable with homosexual activities and there were going on with their business as during the…show more content…
The best-known holebi-association today in Japan would be “Ugoku Gei to Rezubian no Kai” (Association of Moving gays and lesbians". In 1994 this organization won a lawsuit against the government when they were forbidden from obtaining a private meeting place. In 1994 Tokyo for its first gay pride that since then has become an annual event. Gay pride parades are now also organized in other regions of Japan. The largest parade of Japan, after the one in Tokyo, is in Sapporo, the capital of the most northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Now in comparison with other Western countries, it is true that there is less intense homophobia in Japanese Society. The Japanese legal system as well has a tendency not to interfere with the sex life of its Japanese citizens. The two main religions, Buddhism and Shinto, don't condemn holebi sexuality, and other religious or political figures have rarely tried going with an anti-holebi-platform. Nevertheless, the Japanese gender norms are strict and there are as yet no Japanese laws that I'm aware of which protect lesbian or homosexual
Get Access