Are there gay people in Japan
Gay Guide Japan
Sex with minors (17 and younger) is strictly prohibited in all prefectures in Japan. Voluntary, private homosexual acts between adults are not punishable. The reason for this can probably be found in Japanese history. Over 200 years ago, the samurai warriors habitually practiced anal intercourse ("shudo") and viewed it as a higher form of love. Homosexual acts were discouraged during the Meiji period due to Christian influence, but they were not made a criminal offense. At the moment the social attitude is mostly like a version of "don't ask, say nothing". In April 2011, despite the ongoing taboo, Taiga Ishikawa, an openly gay politician, was elected to a Tokyo district parliament for the first time. There are no anti-discrimination laws - in the city of Osaka it is even forbidden to rent cheap city apartments to people of the same sex. The current development of gay social life is gratifying. A parade is held in Sapporo every September, while the annual Tokyo Gay Festival seems to be on hold for the moment. There are also gay street parties in Nagoya (June) and Shinjuku Ni-chome (August). The Tokyo International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival is also held here every July. Many gays are forced into double lives by pressures from family, work and society. Another serious problem is the increase in HIV infection among men. Politically independent interest groups and gay information centers are working hard to encourage gay men to have "safer sex". In general, however, Japanese sexual morality is considered to be open - the protection of privacy and the right to do what you want in it are sacred to many Japanese. Homosexuality is often very clichéd - and even many homosexual Japanese do not identify with the Western image of homosexuality. In manga culture, homosexual relationships are an important component, but here, too, very entrenched role models can be recognized. Gay mangas, which are aimed at female readers, often consist of two androgynous men - usually one is dominant and one is submissive-sensitive. Characters in manga for gay readers can often be attributed to the bear scene. Foreign tourists are generally given a lot of freedom that the Japanese are not allowed to do. Nevertheless, one should of course respect the customs of the country. Many gay bars are often labeled "members" only in order to deter heterosexuals. Gay bars are often very difficult to find. Most urban addresses consist of the name of the district and three numbers, e.g. for a bookstore in Tokyo: Shinjuku 2-12-3. The first number means the store is in Shinjuku's 2nd district. The second and third numbers indicate the local block (12) and the building (3) itself. As a guide, there are occasionally green signs on lampposts and electricity pylons that indicate the district and district. There are blue plaques with the exact address on the houses themselves. Tokyo has the only gay district in Japan: Shinjuku ni-chōme. Here the gay traveler will find bars, saunas, sex clubs and hotels.
Location: Between Sea of Japan & western Pacific Ocean
Country code: JPN
International country code: 81 (omit 0 from area code)
International country dialing: 001, 0061 or 0041
Language: Japanese. English (commercial language)
Religions: 80% Buddhist or Shinto
Climate: Spring (Mar-May) is cherry blossom season. Autumn (Sep-Nov) is an ideal time to travel, with pleasant temperatures and the autumn colors. Winter (Dec-Feb) can be very cold.
Major gay cities: Tokyo, Osaka
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