Intersections of same-sex marriage and Japanese Americans

The U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark 5-4 decision in favor of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges June 26, affirming that all states must recognize same-sex marriages. The fight for same-sex marriage, with roots in the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York, took decades of activism before gaining the public’s approval and support, including […]

Same-sex couples to be recognized under plan by Tokyo’s Shibuya ward

TOKYO — Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward plans to issue certificates recognizing same-sex couples as being in “relationships equivalent to marriage,” becoming the first local government in Japan to do so. The plan is set down in a draft statute incorporated in a fiscal 2015 budget unveiled Feb. 12. The draft statute is to be presented to […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Queer non-Nikkei figures in Japanese American history (part II)

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of an ongoing series. Monika Kehoe’s experience with Japanese Americans served as a foundation for her later career, which involved working as an administrator and teaching English to diverse international populations (a point that will be discussed in depth later on). As she noted in the introduction to […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Queer non-Nikkei figures in Japanese American history

Editor’s Note: This is the first part in an ongoing series. Ever since I began writing “The Great Unknown” in 2007, I have had the pleasure of contributing an annual queer heritage column, which explores the nature of sexuality and the experience of lesbians and gays in Japanese American history. This year’s installment recounts the […]

“Miwa: A Japanese Icon” Tonight at the Castro

In Japan, Miwa Akihiro is a household name. The 76-year-old, openly gay, bleached blonde, drag queen, actor/author/singer is a regular face on Japanese television, known for making outrageous, cutting and (sometimes) insightful comments on news and culture. In the U.S., he is known mostly known for his film roles—playing the femme fatale in Kinji Fukusaku’s […]

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