chapter  2
17 Pages

What masculinity?: transgender practices among Japanese ‘men’

ByWIM LUNSING

In this chapter, I investigate various phenomena concerning transgender practices among Japanese men. Taking as wide a view as possible, I examine the cultural tropes constructing transgender in relation to actual practice and the reasons people may have to engage in them. In conclusion, I discuss the questions of whether and how crossing gender boundaries may influence gender constructions and therefore the relation between the sexes. The stories I offer are partly based on in-depth interviews and participant observation I conducted in 1992-3, 1996 and 1999 and partly on published interviews and other publications. Names given are those under which those concerned are actually known, unless otherwise indicated.