Tokyo makeup artist tells us why having a joso-loving lover makes the relationship “twice as fun.”

Some people might find the most surprising thing about 35-yer-old Megumi Okamoto and her boyfriend Akira to be the 11-year age gap between the two of them. But that hasn’t stopped the two from falling happily in love, nor has the fact that Akira’s hobby is joso, or dressing as a woman.

▼ Akira and Megumi

Our Japanese-language reporter Go Hattori (who’s no stranger to slipping on women’s clothing) recently sat down with the couple, who’re planning to get married soon, to talk about their unique relationship.

Go: “First off, how did you meet each other?”

Megumi: “We met at the event Rarunai, which is a big gathering for joso enthusiasts. He left a deep impression on me by performing a pole dance as Yuna, his joso persona, while wearing a ranodesru backpack.”

Akira: “It’s actually the same randoseru that I used when I was in elementary school. It’ always had a lot of sentimental value to me, but now it feels even more special because it’s part of the reason I met Megumi.”

Go: “So what do you call each other?”

Megumi: “Well, I usually use his legal name, Akira.”

Akira: “Same for me. Her name is Megumi Okamoto, so I call her Megumi.”

Go: “Do you ever get into arguments?”

Megumi and Akira: “Yes, we do!”

Akira: “We have the exact same sort of fights you’d expect from a man and woman who’re dating.”

Megumi: “We’re partners romantically and professionally/ [Megumi owns the Tokyo makeup studio Raar, which specializes in joso services, and Akira now works there as well]. So before busy joso events, we argue about work. Arguments are something you can’t entirely avoid between coworkers, or between men and women.”

Go: “So when you’re not fighting, where do you go on dates?”

Akira: “Recently, we went to Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture to see the wisteria, since they were in bloom. Naturally, I dressed as a woman. We also sometimes go on cosplay dates.”

Megumi: “A lot of the time, when we go out, we have ‘dress up dates,’ where I get spruced up too and we take pictures of each other.”

Go: “Do you go on girlish dates? Does it feel like you’re two women who’re friends would go to for fun?”

Megumi: “You could say that when you’re dating a man who cross-dresses, you get to enjoy the date two times. You can enjoy it feeling like you’re out with your boyfriend, and then you can enjoy it again feeling like you’re with a female friend. It’s really a good deal, because you get to have twice as much fun!”

Go: “What are some of the other good things about dating a guy who dresses as a woman?”

Megumi: “Through my work, I deal with a lot of men who dress as women, and as a whole they’re very clean and hygienic. It’s like they have a highly developed concept of beauty. Also, they have an understanding, and are perceptive, of subtle aspects of a woman’s psychology.”

Akira: “For example, if she’s wearing a different style of makeup than she usually does, or a shorter skirt, I think ‘She wants to look cute, so she feels like today is a special day.’”

Megumi: “Also, and maybe I’m just saying this because of my age, but if you’re a woman who’s really putting a of time and effort into your job, I strongly recommend a gentle, responsible man who cross-dresses. We divide up the chores, and I do the cleaning and laundry. He does the cooking and tracks our expenses, down to the exact yen, for both our household and business. That lets me concentrate on the makeup work itself.”

Go: “It sounds like you two are a really great match.”

Megumi: “I think that if you’re a woman who doesn’t think of yourself as classically or stereotypically feminine, a guy who cross-dresses is a great match for you, and so considering dating one would be a good move.”

Of course, that leaves the question of where to meet such a guy, but Megumi has an answer for that as well.

On May 27, Raar will be co-hosting an event dubbed the Lovely Girls’ Party for Joso Men and Women Who Love Joso Men, which is being held at the Tropical Lounge in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood. Admission is 6,000 yen (US$56) for joso participants, and 4,000 yen for women, with further details available through the official Raar Twitter account.

Event information
Lovely Girls’ Party for Joso Men and Women Who Love Joso Men / 女装男子と女装男子好きな女子の素敵な女子会
Venue: Tropical Lounge / トロピカルラウンジ
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 2-9-3, Sankei 59 Building, 4th floor
東京都新宿区歌舞伎町2-9-3 三経59ビル4階
May 27, 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Related: Raar
Top image: ©SoraNews24
Insert images: SoraNews24, Raar
[ Read in Japanese ]