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Gender bending in Japan

Do our genitals define us? Increasingly, they do not. Is sexuality more complicated than male/female? Increasingly, it is. Or maybe not increasingly: Maybe the only thing that’s changed over the ages is how much of our true selves society lets us show...Individuals proudly proclaim themselves genderqueer, bi-gender, agender. Last month an Australian court approved the right to officially label oneself “gender nonspecific.”

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

26th July 2013 12:35

Alessia Valenza

Japan, where same-sex marriage is hardly an issue, let alone a right, would offend the biblical God less than other places — which is ironic, because Japan is among the modern world’s least Judeo-Christian countries. Sexually, though, it is — on the surface at least — overwhelmingly male/female.

Is the surface deceptive?

“Cool Japan” — manga- and anime-land — springs to mind as evidence that it is. Japan in fact was “cool” long before government PR machinery invented the label.
Myth takes us back to the formless void, where among the first generations of gods and goddesses are Izanagi (“He who Invites”) and Izanami (“She who Invites”). The biblical God’s creation of the universe is awesome and mysterious. Not so Izanagi and Izanami’s begetting of Japan, recounted in the eighth-century chronicle “Nihon Shoki.”

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