Sachiko Takeuchi: Off the Record

Honey & Honey x Tokyo Wrestling March 2007


Sachiko Takeuchi

5. The boundaries are fading

H:
Lately, I get the feeling that the boundary between sexual identities is fading in Japan. When people respond to the manga, a lot of them say that they would consider a girl-on-girl relationship.

T:
Yes, we get a lot like that.

H:
For example, so many fans write in to say "Oh, I'd love to date a girl," or, "I'm straight, but I have a girlfriend right now."

K:
You know, compared to in other countries, I get the feeling that more straight girls here in Japan end up going out with women.

T:
Really?

H:
I think that's maybe because the boundary doesn't appear to be a solid line.

T:
That may be it.

KN:
It starts with a love developing out of a friendship...

T:
Yes.

K:
As someone who's into boyish girls, have you ever been "mistakenly" attracted to a feminine guy? (laughs) Have you ever seen these guys that kinda look like "tachi" women?

T:
Yes, I have! It's true!

K:
It's like, it's not the guy in them that I react to, but the boyish girl in them that appeals to me!

T:
Right. I totally know what you mean.

H:
Like, on the surface they resemble your type (laughs).

T:
Yes, they fall into that zone.

K:
Right now I know I'm a lesbian, but a long time ago I'd go for those guys thinking I was straight. I figured as long as I was seeing guys in that way, that made me straight - or maybe bi.

T:
I used to be the same way.

K:
But when you actually start going out, it's a different story (laughs). The minute you hold hands, it's like something else entirely.

T:
Yeah, the sexual desire just doesn't follow. With guys, that is. But at the time I just figured, "Oh that's just because I'm still too young." For the longest time I thought that someday adulthood would come upon me and I'd start feeling that way. And I waited and waited - but that day never came (laughs).

H:
You must have thought it was really strange (laughs).

T:
Yes, it was bizarre.

K:
I always get into conversations like this with other lesbians, and it seems like everyone has totally different experiences.

T:
I think that even if you throw people into these categories, like, "Here are the gay men and here are the lesbians," you'll actually find that very few people within any one group have much in common at all. Really each individual is so different. For that reason, though I think building understanding between straight people and sexual minorities is important, we need to share a little more understanding amongst ourselves - within the LGBT minority too. For example, there are many lesbians that really know nothing about FtMs, and FtMs that know nothing at all about gay men.

K:
Actually, I don't have any transgender friends. Even though I'll see them around, like in Nichome and such, I don't really have any opportunities to meet them. In Japan everything is quite segregated.

T:
I have long been very close friends with someone who was a "tachi" lesbian. And recently she transitioned and is now a man. He is a very proactive kind of guy, so he went out and made a lot of FtM friends. At first he was my only FtM friend, but over time I've come to be connected with so many others - to the point where now just about all my friends are FtM (laughs). Next thing I knew, I had no lesbian friends! (laughs)

K:
One of your stories that struck me as being a really great example of attraction was the one about the dartboard.

T:
Oh, yes!

H:
With the bull's eye target.

K:
You also wrote about how every lesbian has their own approach to dating - and you explained how lesbians go for guys every now and again using beer and coke as a metaphor. Like if you spend most your life drinking beer, and then one day go for a cola, even though you may think, "Well, cola’s not bad," you end up going back to beer because that's what you like most. I thought that was a great illustration. It was put in a very easy-to-understand way, for straight audiences as well.

T:
That was something Masako had told me. And as I was listening I thought, "Yeah, that's it!" and I ended up putting it in my manga.

K:
I totally related to it.

T:
And some of us have very specific tastes, like only going for really dark beers (laughs).

K:
Exactly (laughs). It's like now, I don't really envision FtMs within my scope on the dartboard, but it doesn't mean it wouldn't happen someday.

T:
I had always kind of seen things that way.


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