The Best of Takurei’s Room [Part One]

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Takurei’s Room will be two years old on August 29th, 2016!

To celebrate this milestone, I’ve decided to put together a list of our top ten most popular posts. The results were decided solely based upon the number of views received. Part one will cover the posts ranked 10-6, and part two will cover those ranked 5-1.

I’ve also taken some time to reflect on each post, including my motivations or the events that lead to each one. Please enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at Takurei’s Room!

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My first view of Tokyo on the way to JET orientation in 2012

Today marks four years since I moved to Japan.

The first three of those years I spent as a JET Program ALT in Kitakyushu, assisting in English classes at local schools. It was for the most part an enjoyable and comfortable job, and living in a moderately-sized city afforded me a lot of freedom. Sometime during my time living in Kitakyushu, I came to know Taku.

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“LGBT people grant marriage its utmost shine” – Otsuka Takashi on the Importance of Same-Sex Marriage in Japan

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“LGBT people grant marriage its utmost shine” – Otsuka Takashi on the Importance of Same-Sex Marriage in Japan

Huffington Post Japan 4/9/2016

As the efforts of local governments to introduce same-sex partnership systems and local enterprises guarantee equal treatment to same-sex couples in regards to marriage welfare programs makes progress, the understanding of LGBT people has been improving across Japan.

This movement, inspired by the implementation of Shibuya Ward’s “partnership system” in 2015, shows no sign of stopping. However, this comes as no surprise. The American gay liberation movement of the 1960’s, which sought the acquisition of rights for gay individuals, found its way to Japan around the same time. One could say that today’s LGBT movement in Japan is an extension of earlier activism.

After all of these years, what does Otsuka Takahashi, the creator of gay rights activism in Japan, feel about the present trends surrounding LGBT individuals? How does he feel about same sex marriage?

We spoke with Otsuka Takashi’s about things such as his participation as a gay personality on the radio show “Snakeman Show” from 1970, work as an editor of Takurajima Book’s gay-themed three-part series in the 90’s, as well as the trends surrounding the gay community around the world and in Japan in Part 1 of our interview.

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“You’re not alone” – LGBT Youths Address Students at School Visits

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“You’re not alone” – LGBT Youths Address Students at School Visits 

Yahoo News 4/28/2016

“I was uncomfortable taking baths with everyone, and I didn’t attend school trips or excursions.”

Yamashita Subaru (25) reflects on his middle school days. “At that time, I didn’t know who I was. Now, I recognize that I’m attracted to men and that there’s no need to hide it.”

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LDP: “We have a duty to facilitate the understanding of LGBT”

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LDP: “We have a duty to facilitate the understanding of LGBT”; Proposes Legislation

TV Asahi News 4/28/2016

The Liberal Democratic Party has turned it attention toward eliminating discrimination towards Lesbian, Gay and other sexual minorities, claiming it is “the government’s obligation” to create understanding amongst the nation’s citizens, and has created an outline for such legislation.

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Otsuka Takashi, Pioneer of the 90’s Gay Boom, on LGBT Progress in Japan

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Otsuka Takashi, Pioneer of the 90’s Gay Boom, on LGBT Progress: “We must take action lest we allow the movement to fade”

Huffington Post Japan 4/2/16

Fuelled by the introduction of same-sex partnership systems in various municipalities across Japan, the conversation surrounding LGBT people and sexual minorities has become prominent in recent days. But as a matter of fact, a similar level of prominence was also attained over a quarter of a century earlier, in the 1990’s.

Originating from a special issue of a magazine called “CREA”, which published a feature in February of 1992 titled “Gay Renaissance 91”, there began a so-called “gay boom”. One of the individuals behind this gay boom was Otsuka Takashi.

From the 1970’s Otsuka began participating as a gay personality on the radio program Snakeman Show. In the 1990’s, he worked as an editor on publisher Takurajima Book’s three part series, Gei no Okurimono (ゲイの贈り物), Gei no Omochabako (ゲイのおもちゃ箱), and “Gei no Gakuen Tengoku (ゲイの学園天国) which went on to become best sellers, and has helped to spread positive information regarding the gay community through other literary works. At his bar, “Tac’s Knot”, opened in 1982 in Shinjuku, Otsuka is seen by his patrons as a mentor figure.

After all of these years, how do the current developments surrounding LGBT people around the world in Japan appear to Otsuka? We decided to take a moment to speak with him. 

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“Glossary of Japanese Gay Terminology” (Second Edition)

Glossary of Gay Japanese Terminology (Second Edition)

In May of 2015, we announced the release of the first “Glossary of Japanese Gay Terminology”, and today,  I’m proud to announce the second edition of our ever popular e-book.

My goal with the second edition was to refine the original, removing superfluous bits and tweaking some of the definitions for clarity. As opposed to adding new words, I actually decided to cut out many of the words that I believe made the glossary bulky and lack focus. I decided to stay true to the title and try to keep the words limited to terms that are characteristic of modern Japanese gay culture, while including older words that reflect some of the history of gay culture in Japan.

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GAYCATION Japan: Review

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Many of you have no doubt heard that VICELAND has launched the first episode of the documentary series GAYCATION, where Ellen Page and Ian Daniel embark on a journey to learn about and explore LGBT culture in different countries. The first episode was based in Japan, with the hosts bar crawling through Ni-Chome, interviewing individuals working for a more accepting Japan, and learning first-hand the struggles of LGBT people here.

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