Takurei’s Room will be two years old on August 31st, 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!
■Published September 29, 2014
While I usually keep my more personal thoughts to myself, in this case, it was something that had been on my mind since coming to Japan in 2012, and I finally found a way to talk about it, even if it was just in a brief post.
During my time here in Japan, I’ve found myself asserting my heritage much more than I ever did in America. The reason being is that when I tell the average Japanese person I’m American, they draw from a pool of American stereotypes and then are shocked to find that in fact, I grew up eating rice everyday, I don’t know many older American artists songs (my father and mother listen to the Spanish and religious radio station respectively) and so on. I actually think that living in Japan has made me more proud of my heritage, because I’ve been able to share my upbringing and experiences, which allows others learn a little about diversity in the United States.
■Published November 19, 2015
Some of the posts on “Takurei’s Room” are the result of knee-jerk reactions to individuals who, with all due respect, were uninformed and allowed to publish some tasteless or even potentially damaging writing. This post of one of those reactions.
An article in the Japan Times bilingual column claimed that same-sex relationships are not only tolerated, but in the past, same-sex marriages were even allowed in Japan. The preposterous tone in the article made me livid. The author’s facts were spun to make it seem as if Japan is a bastion of tolerance and liberal thinking, and that Japan is such a refined culture that foreigners just can’t recognize this.
At the time, I had just finished reading a book called Male Bonds (男の絆・Otoko no Kizuna) by Maekawa Naoya, which told a completely different (and infinitely more researched) explanation of the line drawn between male bonding and homosexuality in Japanese culture and the importation of intolerance from the West during the Meiji and Taisho eras. Using this book, I was able to write a researched rebuttal to the original nonsense article.
The book Otoko no Kizuna is in Japanese only, but if you’re interested, you can find it here.
■Published February 29, 2016
Ah Gaycation. Of course it took a name as big as Ellen Page to make public to the world what expats in Japan have been saying forever. (Ditto on the recent Human Rights Campaign report stating that the bullying of LGBT students in Japan is of epic proportions, which shocked everyone despite foreign teachers in Japan being vocal about it for years).
All snark aside, I did enjoy the majority of the documentary, minus the gut-wrenching “coming out scene”. The producers ought to have replaced it with the hosts attending a pride event or speaking with the representatives of one of the many non-profit organizations that are working on a grassroots level to increase awareness and tolerance across Japan.
Of course, the documentary could only scratch the surface of the movement here. However, I feel it did justice to some of the main threads, such as gay themes in anime and manga not being equivalent to tolerance or understanding in mainstream culture, and that in many cases, coming out isn’t even seen as an option to many people in Japan.
If this documentary could allow people to become more interested in what’s happening in Japan and prompt them to delve in deeper (such as learning about the political and economic factors at play), then I think that Gaycation has served a good purpose.
■Published January 5, 2016
“Tell me baby what you want, what you want” goes the theme song for Fall 2015’s gay romance dramedy. Of course, it took a while for any of the characters to figure out what they truly wanted, but boy was fun watching them get there. The chemistry between the lead actors and a strong supporting cast kept me watching week after week, and it quickly became my favorite Japanese drama of 2015.
I found this series to have a lot of heart, and in many respects, it is one of the most, if not the most, progressive Japanese drama I’ve seen. If you haven’t watched it yet, I recommend it.
■Published October 12, 2015
Taku’s work life has become busier and busier, so he hardly ever has a chance to write. However, he took some time last year to share his coming out story. Both of us chose to come out to our parents during our time together, and it feels as if we came out for each other just as much as for ourselves.
I personally would like to thank the readers who have commented on his post and sent him messages of congratulations and encouragement after his coming out. Though the situation is difficult and ongoing, it was nice to hear such kind and supportive words from our readers.
That’s all for the posts ranked 10-6. Check back soon for part two, where we will reveal our top 5 posts!
Update 8/14/16 – Part two is now live! →The Best of Takurei’s Room [Part Two]