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May 26, 2017 Comments Off on “Edges of the Rainbow” Examines LGBTQ Japan With Glorious Photos Views: 432 Arts, Arts & Entertainment, Books, Books We Love, Photography, Queer - Japan

“Edges of the Rainbow” Examines LGBTQ Japan With Glorious Photos

Chiga is the owner and manager of Gold Finger, an all-woman bar in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. She wanted a place where lesbians could find friendship and love -- where they could be themselves. Here, Chiga plays with two robotic dolls, displayed in the streets, on her way to her bar. Photo: Michel Delsol

Chiga is the owner and manager of Gold Finger, an all-woman bar in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. She wanted a place where lesbians could find friendship and love — where they could be themselves. Here, Chiga plays with two robotic dolls, displayed in the streets, on her way to her bar.
Photo: Michel Delsol

We are inundated with press releases every day for a variety of things that range from marijuana infused lubes to marijuana infused party nights at dubious night clubs that also tend to be infused with marijuana. Once in awhile, we get press about classier stuff…like this cool coffee table photo book from The New Press that was just released this month. The book is called EDGES OF THE RAINBOW and it takes us to the heart of Japan’s LGBTQ community chronicling the lives of several fascinating subjects. It’s the latest in a series of such books that examine LGBTQ lives around the world.

Check out the press release and a few of the photos of the subjects they profile…we particularly like “Mandy”. She looks like she’d be a hoot to hang with!

EDGES OF THE RAINBOW: LGBTQ JAPAN
BY MICHEL DELSOL AND HARUKU SHINOZAKI
The LGBTQ community in Japan has faced its challenges. Even as some religious and warrior orders have a long and recognized tradition of same-sex love, to be considered different, to be “the nail that sticks out,” makes coming out difficult. Despite the conservative strain within Japanese society that encourages the LGBTQ community to remain unseen, a welcome change is happening on the ground. A number of queer cultural figures are opening up new horizons, and a growing majority of Japanese people believe that homosexuality should be an integral and open part of society.
The latest in a series of beautiful, affordable photobooks that look at LGBTQ communities around the world, Edges of the Rainbow (The New Press, May 2017) is a photographic celebration of the queer community in Japan. Through over 150 color and black-and-white photographs, and accompanying texts, acclaimed photographer Michel Delsol and journalist Haruku Shinozaki have brought together a fascinating group of individuals to create an unforgettable and uplifting look at a proud and resilient community on the margins of Japanese society.
In Edges of the Rainbow we are introduced to a gay Episcopal priest; a lesbian couple who talk about their life choices at universities and on radio and TV, a trans woman pop idol and civil rights activist, an intersex author, a gay all-male music group that addresses LGBTQ culture through their electro act, among other inspiring and motivated people who are all living their lives openly and truthfully.
Yoshiki is a gay Episcopal priest. Every Sunday, he conducts a prayer and worship service for the LGBTQ community in a "church" in Ni-Chome, the LGBTQ district of Tokyo. Right: Yoshiki guides university students on a gender and sexuality historical landmark tour of Tokyo. Photo: Michel Delsol

Yoshiki is a gay Episcopal priest. Every Sunday, he conducts a prayer and worship service for the LGBTQ community in a “church” in Ni-Chome, the LGBTQ district of Tokyo. Right: Yoshiki guides university students on a gender and sexuality historical landmark tour of Tokyo.
Photo: Michel Delsol

Mandy is the owner of a cabaret club in Roppongi in central Tokyo. The club is famous for its all-male Broadway dance revues and drag shows. "Find yourself and do what you want to do. A man is a creature who always works and makes money ... so do what you enjoy." Photo: Michel Delsol

Mandy is the owner of a cabaret club in Roppongi in central Tokyo. The club is famous for its all-male Broadway dance revues and drag shows. “Find yourself and do what you want to do. A man is a creature who always works and makes money … so do what you enjoy.”
Photo: Michel Delsol

The book has been well received in the Japanese LGBTQ community. Gon Matsunaka, the producer of Out in Japan writes that “Edges of the Rainbow shows us this simple fact: that gender diversity is an ordinary part of this world. The people so intimately and beautifully reflected here are living their lives as who they really are. Their pride makes us all proud.”
Previous titles in this on-going series include: Delhi: Communities of Belonging by Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh; Five Bells: Being LGBT in Australia by award-winning Australian photographer Jenny Papalexandris, and Pride and Joy: Taking the Streets of New York City by celebrated practitioner Jurek Wajdowicz.
Edges of the Rainbow, and the other five titles in the LGBTQ series, are designed by Emerson, Wajdowicz Studios (EWS). The photographs presented in each book are made possible by a commission from Jon Stryker: philanthropist, architect, and photography devotee. The series is made possible in part by a grant from the Arcus Foundation.
Ai Haruna is a pop idol and well respected civil rights activist. Haruna is a trans woman -- also known in Japanese as a "newhalf." She is one of the hosts of the prime-time show about fighting prejudice, Barrier Free, on Japan's national public broadcating network, NHK. Photo: MIchel Delsol

Ai Haruna is a pop idol and well respected civil rights activist. Haruna is a trans woman — also known in Japanese as a “newhalf.” She is one of the hosts of the prime-time show about fighting prejudice, Barrier Free, on Japan’s national public broadcating network, NHK.
Photo: MIchel Delsol

Michel Delsol was born in Paris and works in New York City. He has received the Judges Award from the Society of Publication Designers, as well as awards from Px3, Prix de la Photographie Paris, and the International Black & White Spider Awards. He is co-author, with Haruku Shinozaki, of Edges of the Rainbow (The New Press). Born in Japan and raised in Tokyo, Haruku Shinozaki is a journalist who lives in New York. She is co-author, with Michel Delsol, of Edges of the Rainbow.
Other titles in The New Press Series:
Pride & Joy: Taking The Streets of New York City

By Jurek Wajdowicz

 

Delhi: Communities of Belonging
By Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh
 
 
Lyudmila and Natasha: Russian Lives   
By Misha Friedman
 
Five Bells: Being LGBT Australia

By Jenny Papalexandris

 

Bordered Lives: Transgender Portraits from Mexico

By Kike Arnal

 
About the Publisher: The New Press publishes books that promote and enrich public discussion and understanding of the issues vital to our democracy and to a more equitable world. These books are made possible by the enthusiasm of our readers; the support of a committed group of donors, large and small; the collaboration of our many partners in the independent media and the not-for-profit sector; booksellers, who often hand-sell New Press books; librarians; and above all by our authors. Read more here.
For more information, go here: http://thenewpress.com/books/edges-of-rainbow

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