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Queer Japan

Director: Graham Kolbeins

Courtesy of: Graham KolbeinsDocumentary | English Subtitles | Japanese | LGBTIQ | Unclassified 18+ | 99 | Japan, USA | 2019


Japan has a long history of sexual fluidity, as evidenced in a rich tradition of erotic art that continues to this day in the endlessly inventive nation’s creatively colourful LGBTQ+ scene. Small but multi-formed, it hasn’t always been easy for the activists, club owners, artists and other trailblazers who paved the way. The influence of western culture, and Christianity in particular, has created a political and social climate that pushes such individuality to the margins.

Undaunted, we meet an inspiring group of individuals pushing back. From internationally renowned erotic manga creator Gengoroh Tagame, to non-binary hentai performance artist and fetish-lover Saeborg, plus Aya Kamikawa, the country’s first elected official from the trans community, their personal stories offer an invaluable insight into the many thriving facets of queer life in Japan. Skipping from sprawling Tokyo to Okinawa Island, with intimate revelations and on- screen lingo tips along the way, it’s a joyous and empowering celebration of community.


An engagingly colourful panorama.– Hollywood reporter

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