We’re counting down the top ten most popular posts since the inception of Takurei’s Room two years ago. In part one, we counted down the posts ranked 10-6, and today, we will be covering those placed 5-1. Which posts will come up on top? Read on and see!

If you haven’t read part 1, be sure to read it first!→ The Best of Takurei’s Room [Part One]

5. Expat and Gay in Japan: Living in the Closet

■Originally Published February 23, 2015

The idea that various sexualities and genders exist is not a widespread idea in Japan, and in this article, I attempted to explain how straightness is often assumed in Japan, as well as some of the issues that can arise in a culture where things like relationship status can be a common topic of conversation and/or speculation.

As an expat in Japan, it feels like there are exactly three topics of conversation. The weather, your impressions of Japan, and your relationship status. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been asked “do you have a girlfriend”, “what kind of women do you like”, “do you like Japanese women” and so on. You can answer the first question with a simple yes or no, but the other ones require weaving a web of nonsense for several minutes while hoping that the topic of conversation changes quickly.

Of course, I hope that queer Japanese people will eventually gain the courage to come out if/when they feel it is necessary, but I’ve experienced first hand some of the reasons why it can be so difficult. Many queer people don’t want to/can’t come out because society as a whole doesn’t understand them, but society can’t become comfortable with and learn how to interact with queer people until those individuals speak up.

Thankfully, through the work of NPOs and municipal governments, the realization of a society that is accepting and understanding of queer individuals is progressing little by little.

4. Glossary of Gay Terminology 

■Originally Published May 13, 2015 (2nd Edition released in March 2016)

Back in my high school days, I remember going to Borders with my friends and reading through the Japanese slang dictionaries, snickering at the “mature” expressions and vocabulary in books like Making Out in Japanese.

Keeping these fond memories in mind, I set out to translate an extensive list of Japanese gay terms that I found online. In the process, I found myself doing a lot of research as I learned the historical and linguistic roots of the terms.

The Glossary of Gay Terminology quickly became my most extensive translation project ever. I also had the assistance of Taku and friends both in Japan and abroad help me out with polishing the finished product.

If you haven’t already downloaded the latest copy, by all means, give it a read.

3. Expat and Gay in Japan: How to Find Gay Bars (and more!)

■Originally Published August 17, 2015

Japanese gay bars cater towards different clientele and vary in terms of amenities and atmosphere. If you’re feeling spontaneous, you can of course just head to the gay district and trust your eyes and ears to find a lively venue. But for those who like a little bit of planning, G-Click has you covered.

The site allows you to search for bars and other establishments according to very specific criteria. Search by neighborhood, clientele type or age group, bar theme, and most importantly, if there is karaoke or not.

I hope that this tool has helped our readers to better navigate gay nightlife across Japan!

2. Expat and Gay in Japan: An Introduction

■Originally Published June 26 2014 on fuku-rico.com, reposted to Takurei’s Room on September 1, 2014

The article that started it all. As I mentioned in part one of this “Best of” list, some of my writings are reactions to others misinformation, whether it is intentional or due to a general lack of knowledge or cultural fluency.

At the time, there were hardly any recent articles in English about what it was like for gay people (nationals or expats) in Japan. And among the most recent articles I could find was one written by a straight man who apparently thought it would be fun to infiltrate a Japanese gay bar for the sake of writing about his lukewarm experience. It seemed that his Japanese language limitations kept him from interacting with the staff and patrons in any meaningful way. And to make matters worse, his piece rehashed the same old story about monastic same-sex relationships, which don’t really matter much in the modern day, since LGBT activists aren’t going around saying “insert historical figure’s name here had gay sex! Give us our rights!”

About eight months later, Shibuya’s announcement that it would offer partnership certificates as an attempt to alleviate discrimination and create LGBT awareness launched Japanese LGBT topics into mainstream news, leading to more widespread coverage of these themes by new sites and bloggers alike.

And now to reveal our number one!

1. Expat and Gay in Japan: Dating a Japanese Guy

■Originally Published October 11, 2014

Expat and Gay in Japan: Dating a Japanese Guy is our most-read post! It is any surprise? According to statistics, this is the page where most people land when reading Takurei’s Room for the first time.

The post is a combination of our personal experiences and trends that became evident during my interactions with the Japanese gay community and when speaking with other interracial couples. I also wanted to highlight some hurdles that couples may face, such as communication issues, needing to be secretive, or other societal stressors.

I’ve updated and tweaked the post time after time, reevaluating some of my conjecture or to better reflect our experiences our relationship evolves. We also receive many e-mails about this post, with opinions ranging from “wow this is spot-on” to “I actually think it’s more like this”. I greatly appreciate the amount of feedback that we’ve received, and it’s been fascinating to hear about the nuances of other peoples experiences. Keep an eye out for further updates!

And there you have the top ten most popular posts on Takurei’s Room!

As we move towards our third year, I hope that this blog will continue be a valuable resource to those who wish to learn about LGBT experiences in Japan.

What did you think of the list? Were there some other posts that you really enjoyed that didn’t make the cut? Are there some topics that we haven’t written about that you would like to read? Do you have any questions for Taku and I? Feel free to contact us anytime.

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