The Process of Divergence between 'Men who Love Men' and 'Feminised Men' in Postwar Japanese Media

Ishida Hitoshi and Murakami Takanori

translated by Wim Lunsing
  1. Until recently, investigation into the development of male homosexual (as well as transgender and lesbian categories) has been very limited in the context of the Japanese academy. Unlike lesbian and gay studies in Anglophone institutions where the archiving and analysis of both print media and life histories has been gathering pace since the mid 1970s, very few Japanese researchers or research institutes have taken an interest in this important aspect of contemporary social history. In this paper, we analyse a wide range of niche and mainstream media reports concerning 'male homosexuality' in order to provide a historical outline of the various changes that took place in local knowledge about marginal sexualities in Japanese society from the end of WWII until the present, focusing mainly on representations of 'men who love men' and of 'feminised men.'

    The early postwar period—hentai magazines—a genre 'investigating' marginal sexualities
  2. Makoto Furukawa[1] has clarified the shifts in understanding of homosexuality in Japanese history from the Meiji (1868-1912) until the early Showa periods (1926-1945), starting with the danshoku [male eroticism] code, which was based on the relational concepts of shūdō [pederasty], chigo [catemites], wakashū [youths], nenja [lovers of wakashū], etc., and represented male-male eroticism – not as the result of an internal 'sexual identity' but as one among a range of possible sexual choices. However, from the Meiji period onward, this framework was superseded by a 'perverse sexual desire code' which was popularised through a sexology boom in the media beginning in the 1920s. This involved a gradual shift towards a modern pathological framework of interpretation in which the desire to perform homosexual acts was taken as an indication of a fixed state of perverse desire.
  3. Popular sexology understood not only homosexuality but also many other non-standard sexualities such as transvestism, sadomasochism and fetishism as symptoms and expressions of 'perverse sexual desire' and exerted a great influence upon how marginal sexualities were understood at this time. Although the publication of popular sexology ceased with the increased censorship that ensued during Japan's mobilisation for war in the 1930s, the genre re-emerged immediately after the war and survived until the beginning of the 1960s. Known as 'hentai'[2] or, alternatively, 'abu' [abnormal] magazines, the genre was devoted to the 'scientific' examination of perverse sexual desires.
  4. If we were only to mention those hentai magazines that remain well known today, the number would still be large and include Ura mado [Rear window], Fūzokuzōshi [Customs notebook],[3] Fūzoku kagaku [Customs science], Ningen tankyū [Human investigation], Kitan kurabu [Strange-stories club], Fūzoku kitan [Strange-stories of customs] and Amatoria.
  5. The hentai magazines had two main characteristics. Firstly, their titles and publication goals were framed in terms of 'sex research.' For instance Ningen tankyū, which was published by the sex researcher Takahashi Tetsu, referred to itself as a 'Sexology magazine for intellectuals' and Fūzoku kagaku deployed the term 'science' [kagaku] in its very title. The reason why the hentai magazines deployed terms such as 'research' and 'science' was that by adopting an academic appearance, they could escape the charge of obscenity. Apart from 'academic' papers and columns by doctors and scientists, the magazines contained reports and pornographic fiction, sexual illustrations and photographs and the emphasis tended towards the latter. In actual fact, the hentai magazines were mostly a pornographic genre, which, while gesturing toward scientific research, presented their readers with a variety of sexual fantasies.
  6. The second characteristic of the genre was the animated exchange that took place between specialist researchers, amateur researchers and the readers themselves. The hentai magazines frequently organised round-table talks where medical doctors, writers, readers and editors came together.[4] Here the discourse of modern medicine which categorised perverse sexual desires as 'abnormal' stood alongside testimony from people who themselves had interest in these marginal sexualities. This queer space of the hentai magazines, then, allowed the official scientific discourse of the sexologists to interact with personal testimony from people designated 'abu' [abnormal]. That is, these magazines themselves functioned as a type of 'contact zone,'[5] in which hegemonic and subaltern representations encountered and interacted with each other. Hentai magazines like Kitan kurabu created readers' columns that stimulated discussion about articles and encouraged exchanges between their readers. Such readers' columns not only functioned as personal advertisements which offered people with the same interests the opportunity to meet, but also they enabled readers with different sexual interests to engage in
    Figure 1. Readers' column with pictures of disembowelment. Source: Kitan kurabu, April 1955. dialogue together. For instance in Kitan kurabu's 'Seppuku tsūshin' [disembowelment report], a 'male disembowelment maniac' contributed some pictures.[6] The contributor mentioned that the picture, showing a youth in a loincloth, would also appeal to 'Mr Kojima and Mr Yamaguchi who dream of seeing the beauty of youngsters in loincloths.' Here we can see a 'male disembowelment maniac' admit that his own sexual fantasy could be appropriated and borrowed by readers with a 'loincloth mania' or who were lovers of youths.

  7. The readers of these magazines did not necessarily internalise the modern medical view that regarded perverse sexual desire as 'abnormal.' For instance during 1954, in editions of Fūzoku kagaku, the slogans 'Sodomites, you must have pride! You are definitely not abnormal!'[7] and 'Sodomites, you have allies! You are not alone!'[8] could be read on the flap of each issue. In the context of the magazines, it was not doctors or scientists, but amateur writers who had most influence. If we look, for instance, at the topic of homosexuality, we can deduce from the readers' columns that not only did medical authorities such as the physician Hiki Yūzō (who counselled readers) have influence, but also authors like Ōgiya Afu and Kabiya Kazuhiko, who frequented 'homosexual drinking places' and published studies and reports on homosexual lifestyle were very popular.
  8. The 'perverse studies' of the 1950s sought out complementariness and similarity between a range of perverse sexual desires. These connections were pointed out not simply by diverse 'experts' but by those who themselves experienced perverse sexual desires and enjoyed sharing and discussing points of similarity between their various interests. The magazines were characterised by a flexible framework in which different readers shared in and appreciated a wide range of different perverse desires.[9]
  9. As mentioned above, a 'male disembowelment maniac' recognised that his own sexual fantasy could be appropriated and borrowed by readers with a loincloth mania and a love of youthful male bodies.[10] Other readers engaged in dialogue about the cause of their desires. For instance, one reader, who described himself as a beautiful slim man, wrote that having taken the form of an onnagata [female-role actor in Kabuki] in a play had caused him to awaken to his own inherent masochism.[11] However, another reader considered that the fact there were so many readers of hentai magazines who were fans of rokushaku [a type of loincloth], suggested that masochism was derived from that 'taste for tight-binding' (i.e. the wearing of the loincloth).[12] In this manner the discourse of the hentai magazines allowed for a range of ways for talking about perverse desire in which one person could claim that masochism was explained by dressing as a woman while another claimed that it was better explained by fetishism. In short, readers with varied tastes treated the hentai magazines as a broad sexual resource. As a result the field of 'perverse studies' developed as a relational network which sought out continuity and connection between a range of perverse interests and desires.
  10. All perverse interests were understood as part of the following binary framework:

        Male / Female
        Active / Passive
        Older / Younger
        Sadist / Masochist

    How this dualistic framework functioned is best illustrated by an example. Let us look at how the image of the 'horse-riding woman' was variously understood and appropriated by readers of the hentai magazines. While no particular sexual meaning is read into the image of a 'horse-riding woman' in present-day Japan, in the 1950s' 'hentai' magazines, representations of the 'horse-
    Figure 2. An image of a horse-riding woman which appeared in Kitan Kurabu, April 1961.[13] riding woman' (Figure 2) were connected to lesbianism via the image of 'activeness' associated with the practice.[14] Horse-riding was also connected to FtM [female-to-male] cross dressing on account of the male cut of riding clothes[15] and the practice was also strongly associated with sadism due to the image of the 'lashing whip.'[16] At the same time men who were drawn to images of horse-riding women were understood to have masochistic tastes[17] and a desire for feminisation.[18] Thus, in discussions of the image of the 'horse-riding woman' there was a clear tendency toward understanding women who liked to ride horses as lesbians, cross-dressers and sadists whereas men who admired horse-riding women were understood as exhibiting masochistic tendencies and a desire to be feminised. (Indeed, some disputants pointed out that 'men who like working women' in general could be seen as 'masochist men.')[19] This flexible network of identification is further illustrated in Figure 3.

    Figure 3. Flexible cognitive framework interconnecting miscellaneous sexualities based on binary oppositions.

  11. At the basis of this dualistic structure lay the 'general theory' that 'if you look at the character of male and female, the male is a sadist ... and the female a masochist,' an assumption that was taken by most readers and writers to be 'already common sense.'[20] All perverse desires were assigned a place on one side or other of this dualistic framework as is clearly seen in discussions of male homosexuality. For instance, one sex researcher wrote:

      Although we talk of homosexuality, the sexual relations imitate heterosexuality and therefore there are male roles and female roles. The positive (active, leading) male role is commonly called pederast. The receptive (passive, following) female role is called urning ... The urning is called the female role but among them, there are the onnagata (female form), the otōtogata (younger-brother form) and the kodomogata (child form). The onnagata is, apart from the sexual organs, physically female and believes herself to be psychologically wholly a woman ... The otōtogata is not psychologically female and, being a bishōnen (beautiful young man), may even dislike behaving in a feminine manner, but he has a strong sense of wanting to depend upon and be loved by [an older partner]. On the other hand, there are pederasts who love onnagata and those who love otōtogata and among them there are also those who love men who cross dress.[21]

    However, this binary framework which was viewed as 'common-sense' in the 1950s began to unravel in the next decade as described below.

    The 1960s—the popularisation of perverse discourse and the collapse of the dualist framework
  12. This dualist framework of representation gradually began to fall apart from the end of the 1950s, due to both external and internal factors. The external cause was that the mass media began to increase their coverage of 'men who love men' and 'feminised men' and there was a widespread 'popularisation' of perverse discourse.
  13. In Japan, 'gay bars' that offered opportunities for 'men who love men' to meet and have sex, began to appear from around 1950 and the men who worked there, often wearing androgynous or feminine clothes and using feminine language, came to be referred to as 'gay boys' or 'gay.' The very first gay bars existed in an underground world known only to a select few but when, in 1957, the androgynous singer Maruyama Akihiro had a hit with the song Mekemeke, the mass media went overboard with articles portraying Maruyama as a 'sister boy,' leading to a 'sister boy' boom. Following on from this boom, there were many reports in the mass media about gay bars and gay boys working there, and from 1958 there was a huge increase in the number of gay bars in Tokyo.
  14. These new gay bars differed from the older gay bars where the patrons were 'men who loved men.' Most new gay bars were 'tourist bars' where the staff, who dressed and behaved in an androgynous or feminine manner, entertained both male and female patrons. One article commented that:

      originally the patrons who loved gay bars were male. There are two types of gay bars; they are divided into bars where patrons with a taste for homosexuality come to find a partner for the night and bars where patrons gather to drink in a different atmosphere. The gay boys in bars where homosexual patrons come do not wear heavy make-up and leave the bars to go and stay in a hotel even during opening hours, whereas the boys in most other gay bars aim only to amuse the patrons by wearing make up and behaving in a feminine manner.[22]

  15. There are two reasons why the deportment and behaviour of gay boys who worked in gay bars gradually became more feminised. Firstly, it was important for their business that they 'amuse' their clientele but also such bars were a magnet for already feminised men who could capitalise on their feminine attributes.
  16. Two events took place in the 1960s which greatly influenced the portrayal of gay boys in the popular magazines. One was the 1964 Japan tour of transsexual and transvestite dancers called 'blue boys' from the Parisian show club Le Carrousel. The regular performances of Le Carrousel were well covered by the popular press which carried many reports both about foreign and Japan-made 'blue boys.'[23]
  17. The second major event took place in 1965 when a Japanese surgeon who had conducted sex-change surgery on three male prostitutes was prosecuted for crimes against the Eugenic Protection Law. The mass media christened this the 'Blue Boy Trial' and the resulting media coverage resulted in a lot of information about sex-change surgery and transsexuals being reported. As a result of what came to be referred to as the 'sex-change boom,'[24] caused by the Japan tour of Le Carrousel and the blue boy incident, the idea that gay boys and blue boys were men who worked in the service industry and wished to feminise their physique (or were already feminised) was dispersed throughout society in general. The result was dispersed throughout society in general, leading to an increased emphasis on feminisation. In the 1950s media reports tended to depict gay boys with androgynous features alongside gay boys who wore female clothes and were made up like women.

    Figure 4. Picture of androgynous 'gay boy.' Figure 5. Picture of feminised 'gay boy.'[25]

  18. However, in magazine articles of the 1960s, only gay boys with very feminine features appeared. As a result of this representation penetrating society, gay boys and blue boys came to be understood primarily as feminised men. That there were non-feminised men who were attracted to feminised partners, those who in the 1950s schema had been placed on the opposite side of the binary from feminised men, slipped from public knowledge.
  19. A more internal reason why the 1950s binary framework began to break down is the fact that the mutual relations between marginal sexualities that had been emphasised in the various hentai magazines of the immediate postwar period changed greatly over time. While the early 1950s readers' columns had collected together letters from readers with various tastes in the one column, from the middle of the decade they began to be segregated into different columns of special interest. Columns with titles such as 'Resubosu tsūshin' [Lesbos mail], 'Homo no Mado' [Homos' window], 'Fetchi tsūshin' [Fetishist mail] and 'Seppuku tsūshin'
    [Disembowelment mail] illustrated that these interests were now beginning to be conceptualised as separate and distinct.
  20. In 1958 a controversy concerning 'What is masochism?' erupted in Kitan kurabu and this can be seen as an important stage in the process of collapse of the former dualist configuration. In the magazine, Kuroda Shirū and Hara Tadamasa argued vehemently about the essence of masochism. However, what is more interesting than their points of difference is the mutual agreement that resulted from the dispute. Kuroda remarked that 'the male masochist does not adore women's masculinity but [only that] part of a woman that is emphasised when she dresses as a man.'[26] Hara agreed with this, stating that 'the owner of a masochist heart is the last man to confuse a dominatrix with a masculinised woman.'[27] This discussion ended in confirmation that sadistic or masochistic tastes are not related to masculinisation or feminisation—an interpretation wholly opposed to the earlier framework of representation that associated 'feminised men' and 'masculinised women' with masochism and sadism.
  21. As a consequence fans of sadomasochism, which had emerged as the central topic in the hentai magazines, came to regard those with same-sex sexual desires as well as lovers of disembowelment and the like as marginal 'impurities'[28] and the latter gradually lost their foothold in the hentai magazine genre. As a result of this dispute, the perverse sexual desires of sadism and masochism, which had been connected to other perverse sexual desires in a loose network, came to be seen as more 'legitimate' than other perverse sexual interests. Following on from this, relations between people with perverse sexual desires, which up until that point had been seen as a network of related tastes, were excluded and the networking potential of the hentai magazines declined.
  22. In conclusion, we can say that by the end of the 1960s, the emphasis on the feminised nature of gay boys and blue boys stressed in the popular media, alongside the decline in the hentai magazines' function as a venue for the sharing of diverse sexual fantasies, resulted in the collapse of the dualist interpretation in which male homosexuality and feminisation were understood in relation to other perverse desires.

    The 1970s—the emergence of 'homos' and 'sex-change women'
  23. The syncretic nature of the hentai magazines that once were referred to as the 'comprehensive department stores of perversities'[29] fell apart entirely when the two most long-lived and influential magazines Fūzoku kitan and Kitan kurabu suspended publication in 1974 and 1975 respectively. From this time on, articles in the mainstream media took the lead in disseminating knowledge about marginal sexualities among the populace.
  24. As stated earlier, in the 1950s' paradigm, male homosexuality and feminisation were understood as closely related. However, during the 1960s, the mainstream press interested itself almost exclusively in the latter category of feminised men to the exclusion of discussion about other forms of homosexual identity or practice. The 1970s, however, were characterised by the emergence of a new identity in public media, that of the homo or non-feminised homosexual man, for whom a range of niche magazines were developed early in the decade (See Jonathan D. Mackintosh's article in this edition of Intersections). Commenting on this increase in publications directed at a homosexual market, the mainstream press proclaimed a 'rapid increase of homos' in society. At the same time, feminised men came to be understood as expressing a 'sex of the heart' and were increasingly understood to be 'sex-change women,' not homosexual men. As a result, the conceptual entanglement of 'men who love men' and 'feminised men' which had existed from the 1950s was finally unravelled. By the end of the 1970s a new representational framework which understood 'homos' and 'sex change women' to be different types of person had become firmly established.
  25. In the summer of 1971—Barazoku [The rose clan]—the first commercial (that is, sold in regular book stores,)[30] specialist magazines for male homosexuals were published.[31] In 1974, similar competitors such as Sabu and Adon were also published. These specialist magazines were distinct from earlier perverse magazines in that they clearly differentiated male homosexuality form other 'abnormal' phenomena, particularly feminisation in men, and emphasised the masculine nature of male homosexual desire. Shortly after their launch, these magazines developed a youthful, masculine visual imagery and targeted a readership of 'men who love men' without any hint of effeminacy.
  26. The publication of these homosexual magazines and their subsequent success became a major topic in the mass media and from the middle of the 1970s, when the number of competitive magazines increased, there was a subsequent increase in terminology relating to homosexuality which deployed the 'zoku'[32] [tribe] suffix of Barazoku. Terms often repeated in the mass media included 'homozoku' [homo tribe] and 'SEX ryōseizoku' [sexually amphibian i.e. bisexual tribe].[33] The term barazoku in turn led to the creation of many derivatives such as 'chibibarazoku,' referring to youngsters, 'urabarazoku,' referring to women who wrote male homosexual comics, and 'yurizoku' [lily tribe] referring to female homosexuality.[34] After the publication of Barazoku, it became common for popular magazines to categorise 'men who love men' as a kind of 'zoku' and therefore it is likely that the publication of these homo magazines greatly influenced the actualisation and personification of 'men who love men.' The strongly masculine visual style of the homosexual magazines also had the effect of connecting male homosexuality with masculinity in the mass media and loosening the connection between male homosexuality and the effeminate gay and blue boys of the 1960s.
  27. As stated, the mass media began to run reports on the supposed increase in the number of 'homos' in society from the early 1970s. Articles with titles such as 'Homos ... estimated at 3 million,'[35] 'Latent homos 3 million'[36] and 'homo men steeply increasing in both the U.S. and Japan'[37] were common, as were articles that taught people ways of identifying 'homos' such as 'Spot the homos in your environment!'[38] While, during the 1960s, 'men who love men' and 'feminised men' had been seen as irregular types of people who dwelled in the specific environment of gay bars, by the mid 1970s women's magazines in particular were hinting that it was possible that even husbands and lovers who were close to their readers could be latent 'homos.' As a result of the development of the view that 'homos are outwardly normal men' they came to be seen as an 'invisible' threat lurking in peaceful everyday life.
  28. On the other hand, discourse about 'feminised men' in the early 1970s still tended to vary depending upon the person and on the article, making it difficult to discern a common framework of understanding. From the 1960s through to the beginning of the 1970s there was a steep increase in stories featuring gay boys who confessed that 'I was a woman from the day I was born' or 'I was mistakenly born in a male body.' However, on the other hand there were also frequent reports featuring explanations such as 'I am neither male nor female' but a 'third sex,'[39] an 'artificial woman' or a 'cultural woman.' For instance Carrousel Maki, who made her debut as a Japan-made blue boy in 1965 and who has continued to be active as a sex-change icon until today, even after having obtained a female body through the use of hormones and surgery, said things like 'it could be that I will become an exhibitionist. My nature is male'[40] or 'I try to avoid feeling like a woman or posing coquettishly with sex appeal in the club'[41]—which suggest that s/he saw him/herself as other than the category 'woman.'
  29. This kind of category chaos is also discernible in discourse about feminising tendencies and sexual desire. Prior to the 1970s it was not unusual for individuals to put down their desire for sex change to homosexual desires or tendencies. For instance, the cabaret singer Nagai Akiko, who had her male sexual organs amputated in 1953 and was said to be 'Japan's first sex-change woman,' said of herself that she 'progressed to homosexuality,' and consequently, 'based on this homosexuality I moved more and more towards the decision to have surgery at the risk of my life.'[42] There are other stories, also, of individuals who regarded themselves as 'female' while at the same time describing themselves as 'homo' or 'homosexual' and who explained that 'the reason for becoming a blue boy and having sex-change surgery was that I became conscious of my homosexual tendencies.' The above-mentioned Carrousel Maki, although she had already received surgery amputating her male sexual organs, began to feel a lack of interest in men and feared that her increasing attraction to women 'might be proof of my returning to being a man.' Hence, she ventured to have vagina-construction surgery in order to return her sexual desire to men and become 'wholly female.'[43]
  30. However, this kind of chaotic situation was clarified toward the end of the 1970s by a new understanding that the 'true nature' of 'feminised men' was always already 'female.' This new development is likely related to the numerous reports about the 'increase of homos' in the mass media of the 1970s and the consequent coalescence of the concept of the homosexual around the masculine image of the homo.
  31. For instance, in a 1979 magazine article which presented a round-table discussion of sex-change 'women,' participants commented that 'after turning 20 I decided my way in life [must lie] between going as a male or a female,' and 'I already had the self-awareness that I was a woman when I went to elementary school.' In summing up, all of the five participants supported the opinion that 'however much opposition there is, our true nature is "female." Even if we try with all our might to be masculine, we cannot escape from being a "woman."'[44] In this manner the mass media began to represent feminisation in men purely in terms of a conflict between the 'sex of the heart' and 'bodily sex' (in a move very similar to that in contemporary discussions about MtF transsexuals). From this point on, the view that the 'sex of the heart' (i.e. a person's gender identity) is somehow an individual's 'real sex' became mainstream.

    The 1980s—masculine homosexuals and men who try to be women
  32. In 1981, the first advance notices about Cruising (originally released in the U.S. in 1979), an American film about the homosexual leather subculture, began to appear in Japanese magazines.[45] This film was a big hit in Japan and had a major impact on the subsequent representation of male homosexuals in the mass media. The magazine articles that introduced Cruising, rather than focusing on the plot, stressed instead the fashion associated with the subculture: the macho physiques, the leatherwear and the fist fucking, coining the term 'hard gay' to describe the U.S. scene. Most of these articles opposed the supposedly feminine and delicate Japanese 'soft gays' with American 'hard gays.'[46]
  33. When the overheated discussion about this film eventually came to an end, the media turned their attention towards male homosexuals in Japan. Coincidentally, at this time 'male toruko' and 'male nōpan kissa'[47] had begun to set up shop in Shinjuku Ni-chōme [Tokyo's gay-bar district] and the mass media carried many accounts about these new homosexual sex venues.[48] The reporters who investigated the world of the 'male torukojō' (sex workers in toruko) and the 'nōpan bōi' (pants-less waiters in aprons), confirmed the domestic 'soft gay' image that existed in the popular imagination.
  34. Shortly after, reports on the 'Japanese version of hard gays' began to appear. For instance, it was at this time that the media began to discuss whether or not wearing a leather jacket was an indication of someone being a homo.[49] The popular magazine Shūkan bunshun once again took up the topic of Barazoku (which had now been published for over a decade) and pointed out that it was a magazine in which 'shaggy haired young men wear loincloths.'[50] At one point, same-sex couples who had adopted each other were also referred to as 'hard gay'[51] and all masculine homosexuals who were not otherwise employed in the sex or entertainment industry were bundled together in the category 'hard.' As a result, from the beginning of the 1980s when reports about Cruising first began, the media's attention moved from homosexuals employed in the entertainment world to homosexual culture, customs and lifestyle in general.
  35. In April of 1981, Matsubara Rumiko, a transvestite hostess working in the fashionable Ginza area of Tokyo, was used as a model in the advertising campaign 'Roppongi Beauty' which promoted the nightlife in Tokyo's Roppongi district. She enjoyed a brief period of media success and was to appear in the Kadokawa film Kura no naka [In the treasury]. Supported by Kadokawa Films' publicity campaign which successfully promoted the catch phrase 'nyūhāfu' [newhalf] to describe her, 1982 saw a 'new half boom' throughout the media.[52]
  36. Matsubara Rumiko was widely interviewed and maintained a consistent self-representation throughout. She commonly described herself in this manner: 'I have been a woman since the day I was born. Only my body was mistakenly born as male.'[53] Matsubara repeatedly stressed that her body was male but her heart was female[54] and that she had had this feeling of belonging to the female sex since birth.[55] Furthermore, she insisted that, being a woman, she was not a 'homo,' even though she liked men.[56] Hence, this 'newhalf boom' presented the general public with the new idea that feminised men were individuals who were distinct from homosexuals and whose bodies might be male but whose hearts were female and that this state was evident from birth.
  37. In October 1988, a regular segment of the daytime TV show Tamori's It's OK to Laugh introduced a large number of newhalf to a general audience, although the term employed on the show to describe them was 'Mr Lady.' Tamori's It's OK to Laugh was a widely popular lunch-time show with a vast audience and the regular airing of this segment resulted in a 'Mr Lady boom' which lasted for about five years. However, it did not result in much of a discursive shift in the manner in which feminised men were discussed in the media. For instance, in 1989 it was written that the patrons of newhalf clubs were 'seeking girl-like girls' and that there was not one among the performers who were 'homo-related.'[57] This story reinforced the typical narrative that had been distributed during the newhalf boom of the early 1980s without providing any additional knowledge. This trend shows that from the 1980s until the first half of the 1990s, 'feminised men' and 'male homosexuals,' came to be understood as separate categories by the general public.
  38. Having said this, it cannot be said that the 'newhalf boom' and the 'Mr Lady boom' were the primary factors that brought about the contemporary understanding of the difference between homosexuality and transgenderism. While the narrative deployed by Matsubara Rumiko to describe herself is very similar to modern narratives used by and about present-day transsexuals (one that stresses an innate disjunction between gender identity and bodily sex), this narrative was not yet hegemonic and it stood alongside other explanations.
  39. For instance, there were discourses describing the extremely varied motivation behind the decision of professional feminised males (okama, newhalf, Mr Lady, etc.) to seek employment in the entertainment world. While on the one hand there were individuals such as Matsubara Rumiko who declared their conviction that they were female, there were also many others who said that it was their feelings of love for men that had driven them to this profession. The latter group differ greatly from the contemporary understanding of transsexual and transgender people in that their gender identity was not an independent factor but an expression of their sexual desire. For instance in the book Okama kurabu[58] published in 1986, about half of the informants gave as the reason for their work as professional transgenders that they 'wanted to become a woman' while the other half explained their life path in terms of their love for men. Beru [Belle], for example, stated that: 'I love men to death. That goes without saying.'[59] Here we can see that Beru's motivation to work in the entertainment trade was driven by sexual desire. This diverse range of motivations for seeking employment as transgender entertainers was not challenged by the 'Mr Lady boom' of 1988.
  40. Contrary discourses stressing the basic masculinity of male homosexuals also existed. For instance, a male torukojō pointed out that 'as we are male, we understand the male psyche better.' Looking back at his career at junior high school, this torukojō noted, 'I did not grow a moustache or leg hair and my voice was also womanlike,' but even so 'I felt like a boy myself. I guess that goes without saying.'[60] In other words, he argues that despite his outwardly feminised appearance, he had an interior male identity.
  41. Two parallel discourses, then, seem to have existed at this time: the notion that feminine homosexuals still harboured an interior male identity and that outwardly masculine homosexuals were seeking to suppress an inwardly feminine nature. The existence of these interpretations left intact the idea that there was no fundamental distinction between feminisation (either internal or external) and sexual desire for men. When viewed from the standpoint of contemporary understandings, these examples show how 'feminised men' and 'male homosexuals' were still conflated, suggesting that even after the advent of individuals such as Matsubara Rumiko, the discourse of alienation of mental sex from bodily sex did not become hegemonic.

    The 1990s—gay men as 'normal' and transgenders as in need of a 'cure'
  42. The growing distinction between 'men who love men' and 'feminised men' began to accelerate from the late 1980s on account of the development of sexual-minority rights organisations which rallied around the concept of the 'tōjisha.' Originally a legal term referring to 'the party concerned,' in the early 1980s 'tōjisha' began to be used in the context of anti-discrimination campaigns as a term referring to individuals and groups who were subject to discrimination. Rejecting the paternalistic treatment of government and other agencies, 'tōjisha' stressed the right of people directly impacted by discrimination to campaign in their own interests.
  43. In the latter half of the 1980s, many gay tōjisha groups were founded in Japan, having taken inspiration from gay activism abroad. Tōjisha movements actively promoted the use of foreign medical categories in an attempt to establish the legitimacy of their organisations based on Euro-American discourse about 'sexual minorities.' A central node in this stream was the group 'ILGA Japan' (Japan International Lesbian and Gay Organization), which was founded by Minami Teishirō, the chief editor of the gay magazine Adon, in 1984. Minami, for instance, held study sessions on foreign gay activist texts and sponsored the first Tokyo Gay Festival and the first through the third Tokyo Lesbian and Gay Parades (1994-97). (See Sunagawa's article on the parades in this edition of Intersections).
  44. In the 1990s and emerging from these early organisations, the gay activist group Ugoku Gei to Rezubian no Kai [Group of moving gays and lesbians, also known as OCCUR] came to prominence. OCCUR eagerly incorporated a variety of discourses and strategies which had been developed in the context of the U.S. gay liberation movement. In particular, it used as a theoretical pillar of support the fact that the third revised edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-III-R; published in 1987) of the U.S. psychiatric association and the International Categorization of Diseases (ICD) determined by the World Health Organization, had deleted homosexuality from their lists of psychological abnormalities and illnesses. OCCUR borrowed the non-pathological term 'sexual orientation' [seiteki shikō] which had been created to describe homosexuality in these texts.
  45. One pivotal event which resulted in the dissemination of this new way of thinking was a court case launched by OCCUR against the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the owners of a youth hostel from which OCCUR had been banned. Known as the 'Fuchū youth hostel incident,' trouble arose when OCCUR staged an overnight workshop at the facility in 1991. When OCCUR's members were taunted by other guests at the facility, including members of a football club, rather than rectify the problem of discrimination, the hostel's management declined further requests by OCCUR to use the facility. In their anti-discrimination case brought against the local government, OCCUR's legal team argued that 'homosexuals are normal people whose sexual orientation happens to be directed towards the same sex and it is a mistake to regard homosexuality as an abnormal sexual desire.' The court's first ruling handed down in 1993 supported OCCUR's position, the judge stating that 'homosexuality is one kind of sexual orientation that people have where sexual consciousness is directed towards the same sex; and as for heterosexuality, the sexual consciousness is directed towards the other sex. Homosexuals are people who have a homosexual sexual orientation and heterosexuals are those who have a heterosexual sexual orientation.'[61]
  46. In coming to this conclusion, the court legally recognised the existence of homosexuality as a subject position and acknowledged the equivalence of homosexuals and heterosexuals before the law. This ruling subsequently became the standard reference for homosexual phenomena in the legal and bureaucratic fields. OCCUR also campaigned for changes in negative definitions of homosexuality in dictionaries and encyclopaedias and as a consequence this non-pathological definition of homosexuality was widely disseminated throughout the popular press.
  47. While these developments were underway, a second 'gay boom' swept the mass media from 1991 to 1994, during which the media reported widely on the gay male subculture (particularly in magazines and TV programs directed at women).[62] The boom contained many articles dealing with tōjisha—gay men who were connected with gay activism. These articles also helped disseminate the idea that homosexuals were 'normal people whose sexual orientation just happens to differ from heterosexuals.'[63] In this way the 1990s saw an increase in representation of homosexuality, not as a 'perverse' or 'abnormal' sexual desire but as a 'sexual orientation.'
  48. During this period there was a parallel development among tōjisha who wished to undergo sex-change procedures. In their activism, these groups also deployed terminology that had been developed in the U.S. for describing a range of transgender phenomena. According to Mitsuhashi Junko,[64] psychologist Watanabe Tsuneo's 1986 book, Datsu Dansei no Jidai [The time of demasculinisation], was the first work to introduce the distinction between 'transsexuals' (TS) and 'transvestites' (TV) to Japan. Soon after, the categories 'TS,' 'TV' and 'TG' (transgender) and the abbreviations 'FtM (Female to Male)' and 'MtF (Male to Female)' were disseminated throughout tōjisha communities by such publications as the special 1990 issue of Gendai no esupuri [Today's spirit] on 'Toransu jendā genshō' [Transgender phenomena][65] and a special edition on 'Hana sakeru San Furanshisuko no josōshatachi' [The blossoming female-dressers of San Francisco] in the cross-dressing specialist magazine Queen.[66] This new discourse was also promulgated via the self-help groups that were founded one after another in the middle of the 1990s. Participants in these groups established a new representational framework, conceiving of themselves as tōjisha suffering from 'gender dysphoria' and 'gender identity disorder' (a condition in which their gender identity was different from their biological sex), and they began to campaign for officially recognised sex-readjustment surgery in order to be 'cured' of this condition.
  49. In response to such voices, the Special Committee for Sexual Identity Disorder of the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology drew upon paradigms developed in the U.S. medical establishment for the diagnosis and treatment of transgender phenomena in their report Seidōitsuseishōgai ni kansuru tōshin to teigen [A report and proposals concerning gender identity disorder] which was published in 1997. Via this report the view that 'people with gender identity disorder experience discord between their biological sex and their gender identity' became confirmed as 'medically correct knowledge' in Japan. This report was followed by a series of events which further disseminated this new model of feminised men—the recommencement of 'legal' sex-readjustment surgery carried out at Saitama Medical University,[67] the appearance of an FtM transgender pupil in the popular 2001 television drama 3-nen B-gumi Kinpachi Sensei [Mr Kinpachi, teacher of group B of the third year] and the enactment in 2003 of the Special Treatment Law for People with Gender Identity Disorder which recognised change of sex in the identity documents of people with gender identity disorder. One result of the new prominence given to the discourse of Gender Identity Disorder was a decrease in transgender representations referring to the 'newhalf' and 'Mr Lady' in popular magazines.
  50. Hence, around the middle of the 1990s a new consensus began to emerge in public discourse about the interpretation of transgender phenomena. Involving strands taken from various tōjisha groups, medical and psychiatric researchers, the administration and mass media, a new discourse was constituted in which transgender individuals were positioned as 'subjects different from heterosexuals, homosexuals and non-transgender individuals but not abnormal.' In this interpretational framework, biological sex, gender identity and sexual orientation were regarded as fixed, independent attributes. The core of this interpretational framework is well expressed in Dōseiai no kiso chishiki [Basic knowledge about homosexuality] published by the influential gay activist group Sukotan Kikaku as a handbook for educators:

      People have three 'sexual orientations' towards which the object of love is directed, namely 'same-sex orientation,' 'both-sex orientation' and 'other-sex orientation' and these three orientations are understood as a sort of 'quality' that exists always in a particular proportion. ... Among the indexes concerning the 'nature' of people, there is apart from 'sexual orientation' also 'gender identity.' This is a term not related to biological sex but to the question whether someone regards the self as 'male' or 'female.' Like 'sexual orientation,' 'gender identity' can in many cases not be chosen or changed and the way in which people are conscious of it varies from person to person. Although not many, there are certainly people for whom their 'gender identity' and their biological 'sex' disagree.[68]

  51. In terms of this model, human sexuality is constituted as a combination of the two fixed attributes of 'gender identity' and 'sexual orientation' and the sexual subjects are defined in relation to the terms 'gay, heterosexual male, heterosexual female and lesbian' (see Figure 6).
    Figure 6. Quadrants of Sexuality
    Figure 7. Quadrants of Trans/gender

    Similarly, sex difference between people is reduced to a combination of biological sex and gender identity and individuals are defined as 'FtM, genetic female (jun-me [pure woman]), genetic male (sumio [pure man]) and MtF.'[69] (Figure 7.)
  52. By combining the two categorisations on the basis of the axis of gender identity, a three-dimensional categorisation structure is created from the eight ideological 'cores.'

    Figure 8. Rigid 3D structure. Gay and MtF are settled in skewed position.

  53. For instance, people whose biological sex is 'male,' whose gender identity is 'female' and whose sexual orientation is 'heterosexual' automatically become positioned as the sexual subject 'MtF heterosexual female.' In the small space available between these various ideological types, bisexuals, intersexuals and others are understood as intermediate types.
  54. It is important to note here that the 'variety in sexualities' produced by this interpretational framework differs greatly from the diversity apparent in the dualist framework of the postwar hentai magazines. As outlined earlier, in the 1950s paradigm, a range of sexual practices and preferences were considered to be connected to each other. Differences between 'men loving men,' 'feminised men' and 'masochist men' tended to be thought of in terms of the degree of feminisation involved, and be grasped in a flexible and continuous manner. However, in the new interpretational framework the 'genetic-male gay man' and the 'MtF transgender heterosexual woman' are considered as essentially distinct sexual identities (Figure 8). Significantly, sadism and masochism etc., which occupied centre stage in the 1950s press, are not considered 'orientations' in terms of this hard structure and have been excluded from the category of 'sexual minorities that have to be helped' in public discourse. In short, the representational framework describing sexuality in postwar Japan changed over about forty years from a flexible network which stressed the congruence between a range of 'perverse' desires to a rigid system which acknowledges only a finite number of fixed 'sexual identities.'

    Latter half of the 1990s—Re-emergence of 'queer studies' and queer solidarity
  55. However, despite the fact that this new interpretational framework which is largely derived from Anglophone models of sexuality is now widely established in the arena of public discourse, there are other voices of homosexual and transgender tōjisha who feel they have no place in this 'politically correct' system since the lived realities of tōjisha existence have a diversity and a flexibility that cannot be covered by any single framework. Hence, from the latter half of the 1990s a new 'queer studies' discourse has begun to develop.
  56. Partly, this discursive space has been pioneered by young sexuality researchers based in academia. Unlike sexuality research in the U.S. in which textual critique based on postmodern and queer theories has gained in prominence, sexuality research in Japan centres on sociology and history, based on positivist analyses using fieldwork, interviews and archival sources. There are two main strands to this research: one focuses on the gap between the rigid interpretational model of sexuality circulating in public discourse and the disjunctions and contradictions in the everyday sexual experience of various tōjisha.[70] Another strand aims to describe and analyse the everyday practices of the various tōjisha and the worlds in which they live through participant observation and discourse analysis.[71]
  57. Activists working outside the academy are also involved in developing new queer approaches to sexuality. While activists such as Kazama Takashi and Kawaguchi Kazuya, who are both leading figures in OCCUR, continue to deploy an essentialist framework describing homosexuality when engaging in public discourse, they also utilise constructionist ideas in their analyses of homophobia in the law, the bureaucracy, epidemiology, biology etc.[72]
  58. There are also activists who, without belonging to any particular organisation, are building bridges between academic discourse, activist groups and tōjisha themselves. Among the most prominent is the gay writer Fushimi Noriaki who, through books like Puraibēto gei raifu [Private gay life],[73] Kuia paradaisu [Queer paradise][74] and his magazine Queer Japan,[75] has been influential in broadening the range of opinions heard in public discourse about minority sexualities. Together with Noguchi Katsuzō, who has outlined the disjunction felt by many tōjisha toward both queer theory and theoretical essentialism, Fushimi has built bridges between theories that often tended to circulate only among specific researchers and communities and has established more effective feedback loops between theorists and tōjisha. Indeed, this formation of a discursive space in which the voices of specialist researchers, queer activists and tōjisha in general are connected, can in a way be seen as a return to the discourse model of hentai studies of the 1950s.[76] On the other hand, there seems to have been a noticeable backlash against 'shakai kōchiku shugi' [social construction of sexuality] discourses after 2000, particularly among some gay theorists.[77] This antipathy felt towards both 'politically-correct' and 'socially-constructed' discourses among the tōjisha community may illustrate the unique position of modern 'queer studies' in the Japanese context.

  59. In this paper, we have looked at representations of male homosexuality in both niche and mainstream media from the immediate postwar period to the early 2000s and demonstrated how two categories in particular, 'men who love men' and 'feminised men,' have been variously linked or differentiated according to era.
  60. We have showed how, from immediately after the war until the late 1950s, there developed a unique subcultural medium known as 'hentai' [queer or perverse] magazines which were responsible for constructing the dominant model for representing marginal sexualities in Japan in the immediate postwar period. These hentai magazines had a dual function, they both promoted 'scientific research' into perverse sexual desires through examining and analysing so-called 'perverse' or abnormal sexual acts from medical, psychological and historical perspectives while at the same time presenting their readers with titillating sexual fantasies in the form of fictional tales and real-life reports. In a way, already in 1950s' Japan, there existed a range of specialist magazines which literally aimed at defining a field of 'queer studies.'[78] In the context of these magazines, the categories 'men who love men' and 'feminised men' were largely interchangeable in meaning and were also regarded as being closely related to other perverse sexual categories such as sadism and masochism.
  61. However, in the next decade, discourse concerning marginal sexualities expanded into the popular press, the 'hentai' genre went into decline and the 'perverse studies' framework was gradually dismantled. From the late 1950s until the end of the 1960s, reports concerning 'gay boys' and 'blue boys' regularly appeared in the mainstream media and the category of 'feminised men' came to be more clearly distinguished from that of 'men who love men.'
  62. Subsequently, in the 1970s many specialist magazines for homosexual men (homo) were founded and the mainstream media began to report on the 'rapid increase of homos,' the term homo being defined as 'men who love men.' As a consequence of these developments, the continuity between the range of deviant sexualities that had been loosely gathered under the 'perverse sexual desire' framework of earlier decades was lost. The result was a growing distinction between 'sexual preferences' such as sadism and masochism on the one hand and essential identities such as 'men who love men' and 'feminised men' on the other.
  63. By the end of 1980s, 'tōjisha' communities of 'men who love men' and 'feminised men,' employing Anglophone models of gay and transgender activism, began to represent themselves as 'gay' and 'MtF' [male-to-female transgender] respectively and adopted the discourse of 'sexual minorities' in relation to mainstream society. As a result, various marginal sexualities became fixed in public discourse within a rigid three-dimensional framework of representation deployed along a combination of three axes (biological sex, gender identity and sexual orientation). More recently, a new discourse of 'queer studies' is becoming current among sexual minority communities and researchers, and lively discussion is taking place about the applicability of Anglophone sexuality studies in the Japanese context.


    We would like to thank Chūō University's Sengo Nihon Toransugendā Shakaishi Kenkyūkai [Social history research group on Japan's postwar transgender history] for the use of their archive when conducting research for this paper.

    [1] Makoto Furukawa, 'The changing nature of sexuality: the three codes framing homosexuality in modern Japan,' in U.S.-Japan Women's Journal English Supplement, no. 7, (1994):98-126.

    [2] In contemporary English, the term 'hentai' has been borrowed to refer to Japanese pornographic animations and comics, but in Japan it is used primarily in the sense of 'perverse' or 'queer.' See Mark McLelland's article in this edition of Intersections for a discussion of Japanese and English uses of hentai.

    [3] Today the word 'fūzoku' usually connotes sex industry or sexual services for men, but according to Nagai Yoshikazu, this usage was not dominant until the 1980-90s, and 'even after the postwar period, the word "fūoku" firstly reminded people of social phenomena like a vogue or a fashion;' Nagai Yoshikazu, 'Fūzoku,' in Sei no yōgo shū, ed. Inoue Shōichi and Kansai Seiyoku Kenkyūkai, Tokyo: Kōdansha, 2004, pp. 91-94, p. 92.

    [4] e.g. Itō Seiu and Takahashi Tetsu, 'Zadankai – tengoku ka jigoku ka: Dansei dōseiaisha no tsudoi,' in Ningen tankyū, January 1951, pp. 70-83; Takahashi Tetsu, 'Dōseiai no shin-en ni nozomu,' Amatoria, May 1952, pp. 156-69; Tsujimura Takashi, 'Kōetsu ni tomonau seme no shōdō shinri: Dai 1 kai zadankai,' in Kitan kurabu, January 1953, pp. 100-111; Shikiba Ryusaburō, Hara Hiroshi, Gen'ichi Yonome, Toyokichi Shamisen, 'Dai zadankai hentai fūzoku jū-ō dan,' in Fūzoku zōshi hizōban, December 1953, pp. 102-117; Ōgiya Afu, Ueshima Tsugi, Miwa Yoko, Kawakami Seiko, Saijō Michio, 'Josei no homo makaritōru,' in Fūzoku kagaku, March 1955, pp. 148-57.

    [5] Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes, London & New York: Routledge, 1992, pp. 6-7.

    [6] Yamada Ichirō, 'Seppuku tsūshin,' in Kitan kurabu, April 1955, p. 313.

    [7] Fūzoku kagaku, Feburary 1954, 'Preface,' n.p.

    [8] Fūzoku kagaku, May 1954, 'Preface,' n.p.

    [9] This flexible interpretative framework of sexual desire, in which people adopted and appropriated various sexual resources, is not reason to suppose that every hentai magazine reader in the 1950s derived the same pleasure from this framework. It is particularly unclear how the magazines' female readership (if any) related to this framework. As Mark McLelland (Queer Japan from the Pacific War to the Internet, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004, p. 84) has pointed out, the actual gender of some readers/contributors who present themselves as female is unclear. One such example of a 'female' contributor who later turned out to be male is 'Kita Reiko.' Kita repeatedly wrote about 'Lesbos Love' [resubosu ai] fantasies in Kitan kurabu in the early 1950s, but later it was disclosed by his ex-colleague that 'she' was the male editor Suma Toshiyuki (Tsujimura Takashi, 'Hanashi no Kuzukago,' Kitan kurabu, November 1959, p. 18). So in this case we can point out that 'her' confessions of 'wanting to bind naked females' are female-female sexual fantasies based on a heterosexual male gaze. It is unclear to what extent female readers may have been alienated by these disclosures or by the overwhelmingly masculinist bias of most reports about Lesbos love. However, bearing this in mind, we suggest the following two points. Firstly, looking at the mixture of contributions which suggest they are written by women as well as those that contain no clear gender markers, we conclude that it is difficult to claim that all of the 'female' readers/contributors are actually male. Furthermore, despite the fact that not all contributions pertaining to the love of Lesbos were written by genuine woman-desiring women does not mean that these stories had no use for such readers. The most important point is that women readers were able, at least textually, to imagine a chain of other women-loving women readers (and thereby imagine some sense of community). (McLelland in fact makes a similar point, see Mark McLelland, 'From Sailor Suits to Sadism: Representations of "Lesbos love" in Japan's Postwar "Perverse Press",' in U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, no. 27, (2004):27-50. He points out that there are several instances in which articles concerning Lesbos love that were probably written with a male audience in mind served as a catalyst for women to write letters to the editor asking that the magazine help women-desiring women make contact with each other—in a manner similar to the 'sodomite' clubs founded by the magazines for homosexual men). We would like to express our sincerest thanks to Naomi Fujiki, Maree Claire and Akiko Shimizu for their comments on issues pertaining to female readers' perspectives at the 'Sexualities, Genders and Rights' conference in Bangkok, July 7-9, 2005. We would also like to note the valuable research being conducted on the relationship between lesbian representation and women's liberation in mass magazines by Sugiura Ikuko. See, 'Ippan-zasshi ni okeru "rezubian" no hyosho: Sengo kara 1971nen made,' in Gendai fuzoku-gaku kenkyu, no. 11, (2004):1-12; and '1970, 80nendai no ippan-zasshi ni okeru "rezubian" hyosho: Rezubian feminisuto no tojo made,' in Sengo Nihon joso/ doseiai, Tokyo: Chuo University Press, (forthcoming 2006).

    [10] Yamada Ichirō, 'Seppuku tsūshin, p. 313.

    [11] Sei M.T., 'Mazohisuto tsūshin,' in Fūzoku zōshi, October 1953, p. 121.

    [12] Suga Ryōta, 'Dokusha tsūshin,' in Kitan kurabu, January 1958, p. 168.

    [13] Kurani Naruhito, 'Bakakyō tsūshin sōkessan,' Kitan kurabu, April 1961, pp. 163-67, 165.

    [14] Kurani Naruhito, 'Bakakyō tsūshin sōkessan,' p. 164.

    [15] Numa Shōzō, 'Aru mazohisuto no techō kara,' in Kitan kurabu, June 1953, p. 72.

    [16] 'Tsuma no uma ni naru otoko' in Kitan kurabu, July 1954, preface illustration.

    [17] Sei A.H. , 'Dokusha tsūshin,' in Kitan kurabu, October 1953, p. 105.

    [18] Fujiyama Hideo, 'Kokuhaku: Nayamashi no jōba zubon,' in Kitan kurabu, December 1958, pp. 63-66, p. 61.

    [19] Nishijima Minoru, 'Donna otoko ga mazohisuto ka,' in Fūzoku zōshi, December 1953, pp. 79-81.

    [20] Nishijima, 'Donna otoko ga mazohisuto ka,' 79; Hanajiri Kimitomo, 'Sadisuto to mazohisuto,'in KK tsūshin, January 1953, p. 1; 'Abu kurabu no hitobito,' in Fūzoku kagaku, January 1955, 'Preamble,' n.p.

    [21] Ōta Tenrei, Daisan no sei, Tokyo: Myogisha, 1957 (reprinted by Tokyo: Ningenno Kagakusha, 1981), pp. 28-29.

    [22] Shūkan jitsuwa to hiroku, 1963, pp. 26-28.

    [23] The performances of Le Carrousel in Japan continued for three years until the entire cast died in a plane crash on their way back to Europe in 1966.

    [24] Mitsuhashi Junko, 'Sengo nihon <Toransujendā> shakai no sobyō' in Sengo nihon <Toransujendā> Shakaishi I, Masami Yajima (ed.), Sengo Nihon <Toransujendā> Shakaishi Kenkyūkai, 2000, pp. 6-23, p. 10.

    [25] Both pictures are taken from Tomita Eizō, Gei, Tokyo: Tokyō Shobō, 1958. Tomita was known as 'the authority on gay boys' at the time and often wrote about his experiences of having sex with gay boys, while he never regarded himself as 'homosexual,' 'bisexual' or 'gay.' The two gay boys here both worked at the famous gay bar Aoe.

    [26] Kuroda Shirō, 'Mazohizumu heno izanai,' in Kitan kurabu , May 1958, pp. 34-37, p. 36.

    [27] Hara Tadamasa, 'Kuroda Shirō shini yoseru,' in Kitan kurabu , July 1958, pp. 36-37, p. 36.

    [28] Shirozukin Fukumenshi, 'Gendai mazohizumu geijutsu hihyō,' in Kitan kurabu rinji zōkan , November 1959, pp. 68-168, p. 164.

    [29] Shimokawa Kōshi, 'Hentai no sōgō depāto "Kitan kurabu" kara "SM serekuto" ga ubugoe wo ageru made: SM senmonshi,' in Bessatsu takarajima: Sei media no 50 nen: Yokubō no sengoshi kokoni gokaicho!, Tokyo: Takarajimasha, 1995, pp. 48-55, p. 48.

    [30] Fushimi and Tagame make clear that before Barazoku there had been many specialist male homosexuality magazines which were not sold in book stores but distributed only to registered members. See Fushimi Noriaki, 'Gei no Rekishigaku' in Fushimi Noriaki, Gei to iu keiken, Tokyo: Pot Shuppan, 2002, pp. 272-83; Tagame Gengoro, Nihon no gei erotikku āto vol. 1: Gei zasshi sōseikino sakkatachi, Tokyo: Pot Shuppan, 2003, p. 21.

    [31] In the previous membership magazines the terms 'homo,' 'dōseiaisha,' 'danshokuka' and 'sodomia' had been used, but Barazoku placed the representation of 'homo' to the fore and the other specialist homosexual magazines followed suit.

    [32] According to Kōsuke Mabuchi (Zoku tachi no sengoshi, Tokyo: Sanseido, 1989), the earliest usage of the suffix – zoku for a vogue term emerged in 1948 when the term 'shayō-zoku' (taken from Osamu Dazai's novel Shayō, 1947) emerged to refer to the disinherited aristocracy who were faced with loss of status after Japan's defeat in WWII. Soon the suffix – zoku began to be used to refer to rebellious youths who took delight in violating existing moral standards.

    [33] There were many articles that represented male homosexuals as barazoku, including 'Shinjuku barazoku komy ūn no seikyō buri: Homo yangu ga shiminken to supēsu wo motomete zokuzoku shūgō,' in Shūkan pureibōi, 31 August 1976, pp. 40-41; 'Kimimo barazoku ni naranaika?' in Shūkan pureibōi , 8 May, 1979 pp. 172-73; and 'Ōba Kumiko no reipu bamen vs. Barazoku pawā!' in Shūkan posuto, 19 November, 1982 preamble photo section). Others used the term homozoku, including 'Otoko ga otoko wo hantosuru yūmei hoteru pūrusaido no natsuno jin: Hoteru de deatte manshon de midareru homozoku no natsuno rejā ni sennyū shita,' in Shūkan posuto, 3 August 1973, pp. 64-66; and 'Homozoku zen-in shūgō! Daihōru de dōkō no kekki wo itosuru otokono michi,' in Asahi geinō, 6 September 1973, pp. 132-35. SEX ryōseizoku for instance, was found in 'Naui onnanoko ga kozotte chūmoku! Motetakattara...: SEX Ryōseizoku "Bai" Sekusharu,' in Shūkan pureibōi, 22 July 1980, pp. 164-67.

    [34] Chibibarazoku featured in 'Kimi wa karerano "Tsuyōianiki" ni nareruka: Chibibarazoku karano suggoku kawayui tegami no nakami,' in Shūkan pureibōi, 1977, July 19 pp. 168-72; urabarazoku in '"Onna manken urabarazoku" no kiyoku tadashī sekai towa,' in Shūkan Pureibōi, August 30 1977, pp. 44-45; and yurizoku in 'Joshik ōsei ni man-en! Sērāfuku rezu yurizoku,' in Heibon panchiō, 25 October 1982, pp. 72-75; and 'Yurizoku SEX wo ou: Joshikōsei no kareina purei,' in Heibon panchi, 6 June 1983, pp. 68-71.

    [35] 'Zenkokude 300 mannin iruto iwareru "Onnano iranai otokotachi",' in Shūkan josei, 28 February 1978, pp. 44-57.

    [36] 'Nanto gaikokujin ni daihyōban! Tokyō Shibuya ni shutsugenshita chōgōka homo hoteru ni honshi kishaga sen-nyū! "Senzai homo 300 man-nin" sui kin shūmatsu wa manshitsu to iu hanjouburi!?,' in Shūkan posuto, 30 March, 1979 pp. 197-200.

    [37] 'Kasei homo kimimo sonohitori ka!?: Ima zenkoku no yangu ni gekizō,' in Shūkan pureibōi, 2 March 1976, p. 140.

    [38] 'Koibitoga homodato hakken shita Keikosan no odoroki: Gekizou suru homo dansei wo miwakeru kotsu,' in Shūkan josei, 5 August 1975, pp. 60-63.

    [39] The origin of the Japanese expression Daisan no sei [third sex] is not clear, but one possibility is that it derives from the translation of Simone de Beauvoir's Le Deuxiéme Sexe, published in 1953 in Japan. On the other hand, Ōta Tenrei's Daisan no sei, published in 1957, suggests that this term derived from Plato's Symposium (pp. 26-27). Later Akiyama Masami claims that Magnus Hirschfeld was 'the origin of the word "the third sex" in his book Hentai gaku nyūmon, Tokyo: Daini Shobō, 1971, p. 46.

    [40] 'Onna ni natta otoko to naraseta isha: Yūseihogohō ihan ni natta seitenkan shujutsu no hamon,' in Shūkan bunshun, 25 October 1965, pp. 108-11.

    [41] 'Mr. Karūseru Maki no yōna onna: "Blue Boy" 300nin ni miru seiri to shinri,' in Josei jishin, 8 November 1965, pp. 30-35, p. 34.

    [42] 'Nihonban Kurisuchīnu Otoko kara onna he: Kyabarē no onna kashu de saishuppatsu,' Shūkan yomiuri, 4 October 1953, pp. 16-18.

    [43] 'Karūseru Maki ga morokko de seitenkan shujutsu wo,' in Shūkan heibon, 10 February 1973, pp. 163-64.

    [44] 'Ishoku kikaku yōen zadankai: Otokokara onnae! Seitenkan "Josei" ga sekirarani seiseikatsuwo kokuhaku!' in Bishō, 26 August 1979, pp. 101-03.

    [45] 'Shōgeki eiga "Kurūjingu" ni miru hā:dogei no jittai: A, nigirikobushiwo sōnyū shiteiru!' in Shūkan josei, 6 January 1981, pp. 204-06; 'Shijō purebyū honkaku hādogei eiga "kurūjingu" ni miru honba amerika "Otokotachino sekai",' in Asahi geinō, January 8 1981, p. 194.

    [46] For example see Shūkan josei, 6 January 1981, p. 205; Asahi geinō, 8 January 1981, p. 194. There was only one article that saw the 'hard gays' in the film as a 'minority' and introduced the majority of others as 'soft gays' who 'in Japan are called okama' and 'are delicate and feminine men' ('Otokodakeno daitokai shinwa "hādo-gei" jōrikude nihondanji oro-oro,' Shūkan pureibōi, 3 February 1981, pp. 42-43, p. 42). However, even in this case the connection of 'soft gay=Japan=okama' is made.

    [47] A toruko [Turkish bath] is nowadays called soapland and is essentially a sexual business in which sexual activities are engaged in during the process of being helped to bathe by a hostess. A nōpan kissa [pants-less café] is a particular coffee shop in which the waitresses serve wearing an apron but no underwear. Male versions of these arrived on the scene in 1981.

    [48] For example see 'Tsuini shutsugen! "Otoko" no tameno burūbōi Toruko,' in Shūkan pureibōi, 3 February 1981, p. 130; 'Tsuini kokomade kita nōpan būmu,' in Shūkan bunshun, 30 April 1981, p. 66.

    [49] 'Kakure homosexual wo hitomede minuku,' Yangu redi, 12 October 1981, pp. 126-30, p. 127.

    [50] '"Homokai no Asahi Shinbun" Barazoku 100gō kinen madeno akusen kutō,' Shūkan bunshun, 16 April 1981, pp. 135-38, p. 135.

    [51] 'Nihonde hajimete!! Hādogei fūfu ga nyūseki kekkon,' in Bishō , 28 March 1981, pp. 52-58, p. 57.

    [52] Mitsuhashi Junko, 'Nihon toransujendā ryakushi (1)-(3)' in Toransujendarizumu Sengen: Seibetsuno Jikoketteito Tayōna seino kōtei, ed. Izumi Yonezawa, 2003, pp. 96-129, p. 110. The term 'newhalf' was supposedly coined by the singer/song writer Kuwata Keisuke to describe Osaka 'gay boy' Beti [Betty]. 'Half' (hāfu in Japanese) usually signifies a person of mixed race. In this instance, a 'newhalf' signifies a person of mixed gender.

    [53] 'Watashi wa umareta tokikara onna desu: Wadaino nyūhāfu Matsubara Rumiko (20sai),' in Shūkan josei, 16 June 1981, preface photo section.

    [54] 'Karemo Gyo! "Uwasano koibito" wa Roppingi No.1no okama bijin date,' in Josei jishin, 30 April 1981, pp. 182-84, p. 183; 'Shuen joyū ni erabareta rakkī gyaru wa okamachan Matsubara Rumiko,' in Shūkan sankei, 11 June 1981, pp. 58-60, p. 60; 'Makai no bijo!? Matsubara Rumiko (22): Insāto Intabyū,' in Heibon panchi, 15 June 1981, pp. 44-47, p. 44.

    [55] Heibon panchi 1981, June 15, p. 44; 'Korega wadai no Matsubara Rumiko jō?: Nyūhāfu to shōshite uridashichū,' in Shūkan asahi, 19 June 1981, pp. 164-65, p. 164. As one more characteristic of the discursive strategy of Matsubara Rumiko, we must mention that often she also differentiated herself from feminised men from times past. In the first magazine article in which she was taken up, she was represented as an 'okama' (Josei jishin, 30 April 1981, pp. 182-84), but other reports argued that 'names like okama and gay boy are nor befitting this woman,' (e.g. 'Minna damasareta gei bijin Matsubara Rumiko "Hanjōki",' in Shūkan posuto, 29 May 1981, p. 52; Heibon panchi, 15 June 1981, p. 44). She herself stated that okama was 'third rate and sad' and that she 'hated' it ('Wadaino nyūhāfu Matsubara Rumiko: Bijo henshin e no maruhi tekunikkku,' in Josei sebun, 25 June 1981, p. 55), and argued that she 'went beyond the Miwa Akihiro and Carrousel Maki of the old days' (Heibon panchi, 15 June 1981, p. 44) to be a 'newhalf,' which was very different from 'gay' ('Nyūhāfu Matsubara Rumiko tte...?' in Josei jishin, 25 June 1981, preface photo).

    [56] Shōkan sankei, 11 June 1981, p. 60.

    [57] 'Fūzoku purofesshonaru seijono kōshin: Nyūhāfu no A kankaku purē Mitosama no chouzetsu kaikan Manami (Nyūhāfu Kurabu),' in Hanashi no channeru, 7 July 1989, p. 29.

    [58] Okama kurabu: Okama no seitai chōsa (ed.), Okama kurabu, Tokyo: Datahouse, 1986.

    [59] Okama kurabu, p. 147.

    [60] 'Tsuini ogoto ni dansei torukojō arawaru!: Ijō ninki? Futtō "Edojō" Ayahime kun no mitsugino aji,' in Asahi geinō, 5 February 1981, pp. 70-73, p. 72.

    [61] Tokyo district court, 'Songai baishō jiken Tokyō Chisai Heisei 3 nen (wa) 1557 Heisei 6/3/30 Minji 17bu Hanketsu,' in Hanrei jihō, Tokyo: Hanrei Jihōsha, 1994, p. 80.

    [62] Mark J, McLelland, Male Homosexuality in Modern Japan, London: RoutledgeCurzon Press, 2000, pp. 32-37.

    [63] 'Fudangi no gei,' in Maruko Pōro, Feburary 1994, pp. 114-33.

    [64] Mitsuhashi Junko, 'Nihon toransujendā ryakushi (1)-(3),' p. 116.

    [65] Tsutamori Tatsuru (ed.), Gendaino esupuri (277): Toransu jendā genshō, Tokyo: Shibundō, 1990.

    [66] February 1994.

    [67] A discussion of the legal nature of sex change surgery prior to the sex readjustment surgery at Saitama Medical University can be found in Hitoshi Ishida, 'Yomigaeru burūbōi saibanno : Seitenkan shujutsuto sono ihōsei ni kansuru zasshi mediawo mochīa monogatarironteki gensetsu bunseki,' Hō to sekusharitī, 'Seiteki mainoritī to hō' Kenkyūkai, 2002, pp. 85-117.

    [68] Itō Satoru, Dōseiai no kiso chisiki, Tokyo: Ayumi Shuppan, 1996, no. 22, pp. 39-41.

    [69] In transgender tōjisha communities, generally the terms 'junme' (pure female) and 'sumio' (pure male) are used to refer to people whose biological sex and gender identity agree.

    [70] For instance Ino Shin'ichi (''Queer Studies no shatei,' Kuia Sutadīzu '97 Queer Studies '97, Tokyo: Nanatsumori Shokan, 1997, pp. 106-19; 'Sekusharitī to jendā no atsureki: Jendā konshasu na gei sutadīzu ni mukete,' in Sociologos, vol. 21, 1997, pp. 44-58; 'Shutai·Aidentitī·Ējenshī: Batorā riron no saikentō,' in Gendai shiso, vol. 28, no. 14, Tokyo: Seidosha, 2000, pp. 247-55; 'Kōchiku sareru sekusharitī: Kuia riron to kōchikushugi,' in Kōchikushugi to wa nanika, ed. Ueno Chizuko, Tokyo: Keisō Shobō, 2001, pp. 189-211);Kusayanagi Chihaya, 'Mondai keiken no katararekata: Kureimu mōshitate kenkyū no rekishitekiseikaku to gendai,' in Shakaigaku nenshi, vol. 39, 1998, pp. 19-36); Sugiura Ikuko, 'K-san wa "Toransu" ka: Seiteki aidentitī no rikai kanōsei,' in Kaihō shakaigaku kenkyū, vol. 13, 1999, pp. 53-73; Takeda Mia, 'Aidentitī kategorī ni taisuru "gyappu" kara "oriai" e: Hi-iseiai josei no sei-ishiki chōsa oyobi intabyū yori,' in Sociologist, vol. 5, no. 1, 2003, pp. 67-115); Tsuruta Sachie, '"Kokoro no sei wo miru" toiu jissen: "Sei dōitsusei shōgai" no "seishin ryōhō" ni okeru seibetsu kategorī,' in Nenpo shakaigaku ronshū, vol. 16, 2003, pp. 114-25.

    [71] For instance Ishida Hitoshi and Taniguchi Hiroyuki, 'Homobā ni jūji suru wakamono tachi,' in Kawaru wakamono to shokugyō sekai: Toranjisshon no shakaigaku, ed. Yajima Masami and Mimizuka Hiroaki, Tokyo: Gakubunsha, 2001, pp. 167-81, and 196-97; Mitsuhashi Junko, 'Gendai nihon no toransujendā sekai: Tokyo Shinjuku no josō komyunitii wo chūshin ni,' in Shakaikagaku kenkyūjo nenpō, vol. 7, Tokyo: Chuō Daigaku Shakaikagaku Kenkyūjo, 2003, pp. 85-115; Sunagawa Hideki, 'Shinjuku Nichōme ga shōsha suru iseiai shakai,' in Kurashi no bunka jinruigaku (4): Sei no bunmyaku, ed. Matsuzono Makio, Tokyo: Yūzankaku, 2003, pp. 196-225; Tomoyuki Kaneta '"Kamingu auto" no sentakusei wo meguru mondai ni tsuite,' in Shakaigaku ronkō (24), 2003, pp. 61-81.

    [72] Kazama Takashi, 'Kōteki ryōiki to shiteki ryōiki toiu kansei: Fuchū Seinen no Ie saiban no bunseki,' in Kaihō shakaigaku kenkyū (13), 1999, pp. 3-26; Kawaguchi Kazuya, '"Fushizen na" dōseiai,' in Kaihō shakaigaku kenkyū (17), 2003, pp. 59-86.

    [73] Fushimi Noriaki, Puraibēto gei raifu, Tokyo: Gakuyō Shobō, 1991.

    [74] Fushimi Noriaki (ed.), Kuia paradaisu, Tokyo: Shōeisha, 1996.

    [75] For instance, Fushimi Noriaki (ed.), Queer Japan (Vol.1): Meiru bodī kuia no 90 nendai, Tokyo: Keisō Shobō, November 1999.

    [76] Fushimi's preference for the zadankai or round-table model of discussion, for instance, is similar to that prevalent in the early 1950s hentai magazines.

    [77] For instance Katsuzō Noguchi, 'Kuia riron to posuto kōzō shugi: Han keijijōgaku no chōryū toshite,' in Queer Japan (Vol. 3), Fushimi Noriaki (ed.), Tokyo: Keisō Shobō, 2000, pp. 192-219.

    [78] This is not merely a coincidence of translation. While there are many differences between the 'hentai' magazines' representational framework and today's 'queer studies' (e.g. the psycho-medical bias of the former), the hentai genre does anticipate the notion that sexuality is not a fixed identity as well as a vision of queer solidarity beyond sexual orientation or gender identity.


This paper was originally published in Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, with the assistance of Murdoch University.

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