“Videos are a fun, creative and rewarding way to” go out “and show our pride,” he says. Clare, producer with Miho, his partner, of “L Japan”, a YouTube video blog about life for lesbian couples in Japan. Both identify themselves as lesbians.
“We decided to start with our YouTube channel because, although we found other channels of Japanese lesbian couples, we couldn't find any that reflected our situation,” Clare says in an interview with Global Voices. “Personally, I wanted to create a resource for other women like me who want to have a relationship with Japanese but think it's impossible.”
Clare is from Florida, United States, while Miho is from Nara Prefecture. Both currently live in the Japanese port city of Kobe, west of Osaka, and have been in pairs for a year and a half.
“We have videos of us speaking in Japanese about various topics, while doing some fun activities or when we go out for a walk,” Clare explains to Global Voices. “There are also videos I make alone, in English, about the world of dating between lesbians in Japan.”
Miho and Clare started with the channel in November 2019 and, for the moment, have made almost 30 videos. In the video below, the girls return to Nara to meet Miho's parents and to reflect on the new year. While the video is in Japanese, you can use the English subtitles option on YouTube.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hinD8MkAxk (/ embed)
“Miho's family in Nara accepted us. Even his grandparents, who are 87 and 91 years old, ”says Clare, who also points out that her life as a lesbian in Japan is good.
“The people of Japan do not seem to have an opinion formed on the LGBT collective, which on the one hand makes activism for causes such as same-sex marriage a bit complicated, but being on the street is something simple,” we account. “We can walk hand in hand without problems, as well as share with others that we are a couple. It's confusing for some, but we haven't had any negative reactions. ”
Equal marriage and the legalization of same-sex marriage remains a central issue for people in the LGBTQ + collective living in Japan. In February, the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, rejection applications for legalization of same-sex marriage. In the absence of national leadership on the matter, local authorities and municipalities throughout the country began to recognize more and more unions of the same sex, something that has considerable repercussions in terms of issues such as joint goods, state planning and retirements.
“Same-sex unions are not recognized in the place where we live (Kobe), but there are surrounding areas where they are, and I think it is only a matter of time for Kobe to also implement the 'union' system,” he explains. Clare “We plan to get married abroad, even if it is not recognized here.”
However, Clare explains that, in the end, the goal of the channel is to have a fun and informative look at life in Japan.
“While we promote our videos with tags like” lesbian couple “or” international couple “, what we really want is for people to see that we are not different from other couples,” says Clare.
These are the videos of Miho and Clare on the YouTube channel “L Japan”, including this presentation to Japanese lesbian jargon:
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NPjBjonNXs (/ embed)