Records of men who have sex with men in Japan date back to ancient times. Western scholars have identified these as evidence of homosexuality in Japan.
Though these relations had existed in Japan for millennia, they became most apparent to scholars during the Tokugawa or Edo period. This term was widely used to refer to some kind of male to male sex in a pre-modern era of Japan.
During the Meiji period nanshoku started to become discouraged due to the rise of sexology within Japan and the process of westernization. A variety of obscure literary references to same-sex love exist in ancient sources, but many of these are so subtle as to be unreliable; Timarchus homosexuality in japan consideration is that declarations of affection for friends of the same sex were common.
Nevertheless, references do exist, and they become more numerous in the Heian periodroughly int the 11th century. For example, in The Tale of Genjiwritten in the early 11th century, men are frequently moved by the beauty of youths. In one scene the hero is rejected by a lady and instead sleeps with her young brother: Genji, for his part, or so one is informed, found the boy more attractive than his chilly sister".
The Tale of Genji is a novel, but there are several Heian-era diaries that contain references to homosexual acts. Some of these contain references to Emperors involved in homosexual relationships with "handsome boys retained for sexual purposes".
Nanshoku relationships inside monasteries were typically pederastic: Both parties were encouraged to treat the relationship seriously and conduct the affair honorably, and the nenja might be required to write a formal vow of fidelity. Outside of the monasteries, monks were considered to have a particular predilection for male prostitutes, which was the subject of much ribald humor.
There is no evidence so far of religious opposition to homosexuality within Japan in non-Buddhist traditions. During the Tokugawa period, some of the Shinto gods, especially HachimanMyoshin, Shinmei and Tenjin"came to be seen as guardian deities of nanshoku " male—male love. Tokugawa-era writer Ihara Saikaku joked that since there are no women for the first three generations in the genealogy of the gods found in the Nihon Shokithe gods must have enjoyed homosexual relationships—which Saikaku argued was the real origin of nanshoku.
From religious circles, same-sex love spread to the warrior samurai class. In addition, both parties were expected to be loyal unto death, and to assist the other both in feudal duties and in honor-driven obligations as duels and vendettas.
Although sex between the couple was expected to end when the boy came of age, the relationship would, ideally, develop into a lifelong bond of friendship. Male prostitutes kagemawho were often passed off as apprentice
Timarchus homosexuality in japan actors and catered to a mixed male and female clientele, did a healthy Timarchus homosexuality in japan into the midth century despite increasing restrictions.
Many such prostitutes, as well as many young kabuki actors, were indentured servants sold as children to the brothel or theater, typically on a ten-year contract. Relations between merchants and boys hired as shop staff or housekeepers were common enough, at least in the popular imagination, to be the subject of erotic stories and popular jokes. Young kabuki actors often worked as prostitutes off-stage, and were celebrated in much the same way as modern media stars are today, being much sought after by wealthy patrons, who Timarchus homosexuality in japan vie with each other to purchase the Kabuki actors favors.
These activities were the subject of countless literary works, most of which have yet to be translated. However, English translations are available for Ihara Saikaku who created a bisexual main character in The Life of An Amorous ManJippensha Ikku who created an initial gay relationship in the post-publication "Preface" to Shank's Mare et seqand Ueda Akinari who had a homosexual Buddhist monk in Tales of Moonlight and Rain Likewise, many of greatest artists of the period, such as Hokusai and Hiroshigeprided themselves in documenting such loves in their prints, known as ukiyo-e "pictures of the floating world", and where they had an erotic tone, shunga "pictures of spring.
Men who were purely homosexual might be called "woman-haters" onna-girai ; this term, however, carried the connotation of aggressive distaste of women in all social contexts, rather than simply a preference for male sexual partners. As Japan progressed into the Meiji era, same-sex practices continued, taking on new forms. However, there was a growing animosity towards same-sex practices.
Despite the animosity, nanshoku continued, specifically the samurai version of nanshokuand it became the dominant expression of homosexuality during the Meiji period. Nanshoku practices became associated with the Satsuma region of Japan. The reason being that this area was deeply steeped in the nanshoku samurai tradition of the Tokugawa period. Also, when the satsuma oligarchs supported the restoration of power to the emperor, they were
Timarchus homosexuality in japan into Timarchus homosexuality in japan of power, allowing nanshoku practices to be brought more into the spotlight during this time period.
Satsuma also made up the majority of the newly created Japanese navy, thus associating the navy with nanshoku practices. Though during this Japan briefly adopted anti-sodomy laws in an attempt to modernize their its code, the laws were repealed when a French legalist, G.
Boissonade, advised adopting a similar legal code to France's. Despite this, nanshoku flourished during the time of the Sino and Russo-Japanese wars. This was due to the association of the warrior code of the samurai with nationalism.
This led to close association of the bushido samurai code, nationalism, and homosexuality. After the Russo-Japanese war however, the practice of nanshoku began to die down, and it began to receive pushback. Eventually Japan began to shift away from its tolerance of homosexuality, moving towards a more hostile stance known as nanshoku. The Keikan code revived the notion of making sodomy illegal. This had the effect of criticizing an act of homosexuality without actually criticizing nanshoku itself, which at the time was associated with samurai code and masculinity.
The Keikan code came to be more apparent with the rise of groups of delinquent students that would engage in so called "chigo" battles. These groups would go around assaulting other students and incorporate them into their group, often engaging in homosexual activity.
Sexologya growing pseudo-science in Japan at the time, was also highly critical of homosexuality. Originating from western thought, Sexology was then transferred to Japan by way of Meiji scholars, who were seeking to create a more Western Japan.
Sexologists claimed that males engaging in a homosexual relationship would adopt feminine characteristics and would assume the psychic persona of a woman. Sexologists claimed that homosexual would degenerate into androgyny in that the very body would come to resemble that of a woman, with regard to such features such as voice timbre, growth of body hair, hair and skin texture, muscular and skeletal structure, distribution of fatty tissues, body odor and breast development.
Despite the recent trends that suggest a new level of tolerance, as well as open scenes in more cosmopolitan cities such as Tokyo and OsakaJapanese gay men and lesbian women often conceal their sexuality; with many even marrying persons of the opposite sex.
Japan has no laws against homosexual activity and has some legal protections for gay individuals. In addition, there are some legal protections for transgender individuals. Consensual sex between adults of the same sex is Timarchus homosexuality in japan, but some prefectures set the age of consent for same-sex sexual activity higher than for opposite-sex sexual activity.
While civil rights laws do not extend to protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation, some governments have Timarchus homosexuality in japan such laws. The government of Tokyo has passed laws that ban discrimination in employment based on sexual identity. The major political parties express little public support for LGBT rights.
Despite recommendations from the Council for "Timarchus homosexuality in japan" Rights Promotion, the National Diet has yet to take action on including sexual orientation in the country's civil rights code. Some political figures, however, are beginning to speak publicly about they themselves being gay.
Kanako Otsujian assemblywoman from Osakacame out as a lesbian in While same-sex marriage is not legalized at the national level, the Shibuya District in Tokyo passed a same-sex partnership certificate bill in to "issue certificates to same-sex couples that recognize them as partners equivalent to those married under the law.
A number of artists, nearly all male, have begun to speak publicly about being gay, appearing on various Timarchus homosexuality in japan shows and other programs, their celebrity often focused on their sexuality; twin pop-culture critics Piko and Osugi are an example.
Some entertainers have used stereotypical references to homosexuality to increase their profile.
Hard Gay HGa comedian, shot to fame after he began to appear in public wearing a leather harness, hot pants, and cap. His outfit, name, and trademark pelvis thrusting and squeals earned him the adoration of fans and the scorn of many in the Japanese gay community.
Ai Haruna and Ayana Tsubakitwo high-profile transgender celebrities, have gained popularity and have been making the rounds on some very popular Japanese variety shows. A greater amount of gay and transgender characters have also begun appearing with positive portrayals on Japanese television, such as the highly successful Hanazakari no Kimitachi e and Last Friends television series.