Recently the “Prince of Taiwan” (me) and his wife, “Dr. Burma Superstar” (Rosanna), had the opportunity to vacation in Taipei and Tokyo for two and half weeks. Unlike our previous times in Japan, which was all tour bus and tour guides, this time we decided to just dive into the city and just do what the locals do. We stayed at the Sunshine City Prince Hotel in Ikebukuro, which is considered northern Tokyo. We just hung out, shopped, ate, all at places we see the locals doing, and that is when i made an observation – the idea of the “handsome” Japanese man is considered by many as that of a drag queen.
Picture this, you are at a red light, and in front of you stands a person, also waiting. This person is wearing skin tight jeans, neatly tucked into ankle length boots. This person is also wearing a trendy bag, clutched at the shoulder. The hair is teased up like a supermodel from the 80s, and there is a silk scarf wrapped around a slender neck. Now, you are probably thinking, damn this girl is probably fine, so you pretend to move ahead of her in order to take a look at that pretty face. BAM! You look and it’s a goddamn dude. Erection lost. Did I also mention that this dude was wearing foundation, eyeliner, and some form of lip gloss?
I asked around and was told that this wasn’t a “gay” thing – it is just what is considered “hot” right now for young men in their teens to early thirties. I don’t’ know what girls see in this trend… maybe because they can share bags and jeans and hair products with their boyfriends? I don’t know. All I know is that when I see couples roaming about Shinjuku, and the man has a more expensive bag than the girl, something is wrong. The Japanese male has a long history of masculinity in their history, from the awesome ninja and samurai to the kamikaze pilots during WW2. How did the idea of a handsome man turn from “master samurai with his two foot katana” into “drag queen with makeup and a Chanel bag?”
I love Japan and all it has to offer, but I am also a proponent of changing the worldly image of the Asian male from meek and geek to that of a tough, muscular, leading man status. And this crap doesn’t help. Help me, fellow Japanese men – put away the eyeliner and put on about 10 pounds of muscle.
JChen is “just another Taiwanese brother trying to get his piece of the pie”.