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the other culture...

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the other culture...

Postby iheartca » Sun 04.17.2005 7:40 am

I'm a 22yo gay guy from Los Angeles that's planning on moving to Japan, but so far I haven't found any gay people in this website. I hope it's just that I am not looking hard enough... someone please let me know that there is gay culture in Japan... thanks... "O"
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RE: the other culture...

Postby dreamingxashley » Sun 04.17.2005 11:37 am

Youre right, you're not looking hard enough! lol. Theres a small part of Tokyo called Shinjuku Nichome which is the gay/lesbian area... or so I heard. Also heard that its not that great of a place.. but thats just hearsay to me.
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RE: the other culture...

Postby Mukade » Mon 04.18.2005 3:34 am

Yes, there is gay culture in Japan.

Not being gay, I wasn't aware of the extent of it myself until I met a lesbian couple last summer. They told me about several different gay clubs that they frequent in the Nanba area (of Osaka) alone. Two that I can remember off the top of my head were "The Pink Flamingo" and "Explosions" (don't want to know what that's about :o).

The thing about queer culture here in Japan is that people don't tend to talk about their home/private life in general (a product of the honne/tatemae phenomena), and so things like this exist without being overtly out in the open. Quite frequently, society chooses to ignore alternative lifestyles, as long as that person a contributing member of society and doesn't make a big deal about what they do in their own time.

Keep in mind, too, that with a history of Buddhism in Japan, there is no religious authority telling the Japanese that homosexuality is morally wrong.

----

FYI, the word for "transvestite" is okama.

Watch about an hour of Japanese television and you'll be surprised by the amount of entertainers (singers, comedians, actors) who are okama. I think it far exceeds the number you'll see on American television.
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RE: the other culture...

Postby Riley » Wed 04.20.2005 3:42 am

sweet lord...an entire area just for gays/lesbians...had no idea about it
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RE: the other culture...

Postby Spaztick » Wed 04.20.2005 3:14 pm

I think this deserves a rare action of mine:

O_O

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RE: the other culture...

Postby ShinDig » Wed 04.20.2005 4:37 pm

:Dlol:D
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RE: the other culture...

Postby Vengeance » Wed 04.20.2005 6:00 pm

Well, I really like that. I mean I'd rather have the fact that gay people are ignored and left to live their lives than being harrassed, beaten, and called morally wrong.

At least some countries have it mildly "right".
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RE: the other culture...

Postby Applegate » Thu 04.21.2005 1:19 pm

But at the same time Japan has a very low understanding of what homosexuality actually is. My host mother (who is one of the most wonderful, kind people I know) thought that if all gay people could get sex changes then it'd all be OK, because then they'd be attracted to the "right" people. Other students also had similar experience with their host families, which leads me to believe it's more a general confusion. The term "transsexual" as something separate from "homosexual" just confuses them. And the one-man gay minstrel show that is Kaba-chan is not exactly an example of a mature cultural concept of homosexuality in the media. In that context I do feel sorry for the kid who has to figure out a way to come out to his parents (not to mention recognizing s/he's gay in the first place).
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RE: the other culture...

Postby ohemgee » Thu 04.21.2005 5:22 pm

If what Applegate says is right, then ignorance of the majority must equal bliss for the gay community in Japan. I can't say the same thing about America though, the way we're blowing up sexual preference disproportionately.
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RE: the other culture...

Postby Vengeance » Thu 04.21.2005 7:51 pm

Exactly. Now, completely ignoring the subject might not be the best way but hey, it's the best damn way I've seen so far in any culture. It's funny how the only real difference between our histories is as someone said above - Religion. We have a completely screwed up bunch of religions (but I'm not going to get into that cos it touches a nerve with me...hate...religion..gah!).

Japan, on the other hand don't have a religion telling them to do this, don't do that, and this is just plain wrong and you'll go to damn hell for it!

Although, buddhism obviously has things to do and not to do, like most religions, it's not as strict and silly as other religions. I mean, the ten comandments (sp?)...shouldn't all those rules just plain be common knowledge? Of course it's wrong to kill someone, to steal, etc etc. The fact that they need to state them and enforce heavy punishments for those who break them, in my opinion, really tells us a lot about our beloved western culture and it's history.
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RE: the other culture...

Postby ohemgee » Sat 04.23.2005 2:12 am

You're too quick to place all the blame on religion for these current events. Looking at the general histories of the countries, you will see that the differences lies in seperation of church and state, i.e. the government, who is blowing things out of proportion and kowtowing to the supposed neo-conservative majority in the population.

No offense, but your comments about religion smacks of ignorance, and this is not me being a bible-thumper. You make it seem that religious groups are the worst kind of sociological grouping that human existence has ever created. There have been just as many troubles created over land and boundaries and pride and lust as there have been troubles with religion, and yet you will single it out. You might as well label the creation of city-states in Ancient Greece as terrible because it incited war between its peoples. It is human nature to be social and make social groups, and to simply call it bad negates in your mind all the good things it has brought us. It's a part of history, both past and future.
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RE: the other culture...

Postby Mukade » Sat 04.23.2005 5:55 am

Y'all should read Michel Foucault's "History of Sexuality" to get an interesting take on all of this. He basically argues that Western society (although the phenomena is not restricted to Western society - it is simply the society from which he is writing) has systematically created notions of "normal" and "abnormal" in order to create and maintain centers of power.

"I am white, healthy, heterosexual, non-nomadic, etc. - ergo, I am normal and I should be the one in charge. All coloreds, insane, gays, gypsys, etc. are abnormal - therefore, they should be shunned and ostracised from society."

A very interesting argument.

----

Seperately, I also wanted to clarify what my perception of Japanese attitudes are to homosexuality, especially on the subject of "ignoring."

When I said that the Japanese ignore the issue, I didn't mean to say that they are sticking their head in the sand and hoping it goes away (can we say "don't ask, don't tell"?).

Instead, I see it as similar to the topic of what position you "do" it in with your partner....it's just not anyone's business! In the States, if you say "oh, didja hear? so-and-so's GAY!", everyone would perk up their ears and it would be a big scandal.

Here in Japan, if you say "so-and-so's GAY!", I really think that most Japanese would be like "and what does this have to do with me?" It's just not something that you talk about. It's not anyone else's business.

Therefore, as most people don't deal with homosexuality on a daily basis, there will naturally be some ignorance as far as the topic is concerned. Why does everyone have to be completely knowledgeable on the subject of homosexuality for gays to finally have "true sexual freedom?"

I mean, if you can practice your sexual preferences in peace, without having to worry about being discriminated against because of them....isnt' that enough?!?

-----

Please feel free to disagree with me. I love nothing more than a good debate.
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RE: the other culture...

Postby Spaztick » Sat 04.23.2005 9:39 am

I think the whole "it's not our business" thing applies to Eurpean nations too. Like when everyone found out about Bill Clinton and Monka Luenski (sp?) everyone in America went nuts over it, but the Europeans thought what does that have to do with him being President. Of course, obviously it makes him a bad role model and I wouldn't want him for president, but I was just trying to say that most non-Americans will have the thought that it doesn't matter if it's none of thier business (which most of the time it doesn't).
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RE: Im not an atheist, just agnostic.

Postby dreamingxashley » Sat 04.23.2005 11:41 am

Most of the presidents have had mistresses, Jefferson is the one that comes to mind readily since he had a black woman as a mistress and had fathered seversal children by her by all accounts. Washington I believe had one, and Im sure there were several others too.

As for religion causing wars... I would say I have to sort of agree. I went to a christian high school, and went to a bible college for 6 months (wasted time *sigh*). And so that my conculsions arent really ignorant... There have been loads upon loads of wars faught in the name of someones god. Just look at all the Crusades that happened because the Pope wanted to "liberate" Jerusalem from the "heathens". There was also the christian missionaries who converted whole countries by force... and then even reading the bible you find out that the Jews went and slaughtered thousands of people - canaanite, hittites, jebusites, philitines, phoenecians, etc - because basically god told them too... of course it was "to get land/inheritance" but it falls into the same category as "god told me too (because its mine)". Im not saying that all christians are evil, and that they are the only ones who have started god-wars. The muslims and Im sure the bhuddists have even had their fair share. Im not meaning this to sound like Im chrisitan-bashing... Im not against christianity (or any religion), just ignorance and intolerance.
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RE: the other culture...

Postby Daisuke » Sat 04.23.2005 11:56 am

Try to stay on topic.
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