trans

Beauty queen and “too cute to be true” Japanese model Ami Takeuchi released her first idol DVD on May 17 at a handshake and photo event for fans. Takeuchi’s DVD is not only the model’s first – it’s also being touted as the first ever idol DVD by a “new half” – the Japanese term for a trans female.

And at the launch event, Takeuchi spoke of the need for change, and her hope that Japanese society can become a place where it is easier for trans people to come out.

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Monthly “Propaganda” event in Tokyo is a paradise for the trans and crossdressing communities

As another one of those tricky wasei-eigo words, “new half” refers to transsexual individuals and those people who identify more with the opposite gender. A new Japanese term has also established itself within the past several years to denote the same thing–男の娘, which is pronounced as otoko no ko (the usual way to say “boys”) but written with the kanji for otoko no musume (“young women-men”; musume refers to “young ladies” as in the name of the sensational idol group Morning Musume).

Thanks in large part to the prevalence of otoko no ko in popular manga, social media sites, and video games, casual crossdressing events are enjoying a relative boom of popularity in Japan, and nowhere is this phenomenon more visible than at the monthly Propaganda event held in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Best of all, there are no strings attached–everyone is welcome, from professional drag queens to adults just looking to experiment with a different way of having fun! More details after the jump.

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