Tokyo Wrestlingエディターズの編集後記。編集にまつわる裏話や、世界をまたぐTokyo Wrestlingフレンズからのお便りを紹介。
Personal notes from our editors. Also discover postcards from TW friends around the world!
Notes personnelles des editrices. Decouvrez aussi les messages des Tokyo Wrestling friends du monde entier.

Archive "1009年02月"


Translated by faiyaque

Harvey Milk/Sean Penn

Hello everybody, chief editor Yuki here!

Today I went to see the premiere of "Milk", the latest picture by director Gus Van Sant. The film authentically captures the life and times of Harvey Milk, an American politician and gay rights pioneer - while framed in perspective only Gus Van Sant could provide. I thought it was absolutely terrific and easily the most moving film I've seen recently. I'll be writing about it in more detail later, so please do check back for more.

For the time being, I'd like to just quickly introduce some truly wonderful news about "Milk", though I'm quite sure you've heard. On February 25th, at the 81st Annual Academy Awards, Sean Penn was awarded an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in the film's title role. In his acceptance speech, he boldly spoke, "I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect, and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue [in] that way. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone," in a clear statement supporting gay and lesbian civil rights.

Moreover, openly gay "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black also took home an Oscar for Best Screenplay. It's a thrill to see this film - about a man who devoted his life to advocating gay rights - recognized so roundly at the Academy Awards!

●Director: Gus Van Sant ("Good Will Hunting" "Elephant" "Last Days")
●Starring: Sean Penn ("21 Grams" "Mystic River"), Emile Hirsch ("Into the Wild")
●Opens: During Golden Week at Cinema Rise, Cine Quanon Yurakucho 2-Chome, Shinjuku Wald 9, and theaters across Japan
●Official website: (Japan)

★Harvey Milk
(1930-1978)An American politician and gay rights activist. In 1977 he became the first openly gay candidate elected to public office. He served in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Milk was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone on November 27, 1978 by Dan White, another member of the Board of Supervisors. When word got out that Dan White was sentenced to only 7 years in prison, people took to the streets in what became known as the "White Night riots".

★"The Times of Harvey Milk" - A documentary on Harvey Milk
Director Robert Epstein's 1984 documentary about Harvey Milk, also known as "The Mayor of Castro Street", won an Academy award the same year for Best Documentary Feature. It includes newsreels, pictures, and actual interviews relating to the case. In addition to this film, Epstein also released "The Celluloid Closet", a documentary that takes a look at Hollywood depictions of gays and lesbians and includes interviews with film industry stars.

★To return to Tokyo Wrestling's homepage, follow the link here.



2009 February 16

Translated by faiyaque

Hello everybody, TW editor Asami here!

How was your Valentine's Day?

I spent mine at a party held by Mario's Left Tanker in Ebisu.
If those of you who have never been still think Mario's Left Tanker sounds familiar, that's because you've seen it in Tokyo Wrestling's pages several times. Most notably because the lesbian art magazine, Girls Like Us - all the way from Amsterdam - can be found at this unique shop.


The party was held to celebrate the arrival of the new 2009 Spring/Summer collection by French collective Andrea Crews, which has spent the past 10 years delivering bold fashion, as well as to launch its exhibition of one-of-a-kind art designs now available for sale in the shop.


Andrea Crews has made an international name for itself, not only for its raw expressions of art in fashion, but also for its collaborative work with Nike and artists like Yayoi Kusama. This is its first exhibition in Japan and the opening party was jam packed with media reporters, fashion industry movers and shakers and, of course, queer folks and fashionistas.


At the center of the party space stood Andrea Crews' one-of-a-kind works of art, made from re-styled second-hand materials. Guests were immediately drawn to the displays, no doubt tempted by the dramatic use of color, complex fusions, and transformative silhouettes found in these dynamic and indubitably kawaii designs!

※Fashion photography-inspired art revealing Andrea Crews latest collection is also on display.

LEO & Madoka

Bartending at the party were fancyHIM's very own fancyBOY LEO and GWNS, who joined TW for our coverage of Patricia Field's time in Japan last year for the premiere of the film "Sex and the City".

Flash & Roxi
※DJ Flash & Roxi

DJs including fancyHIM resident DJs Anita San and kaskay, were also on hand at the party space spinning musical magic. Pictured above are Flash & Roxi - featuring Rachel, director of the chic shop ilil. They looked honey-sweet and set the party on fire with super-hot pop and electro tunes.

※Mario's Dik underwear

The 2009 Spring/Summer line for Mario's Dik is also making its way into the shop - including the rousing undies seen above.


Back issues of Girls Like Us are also available at Mario's Left Tanker. Readers who haven't yet checked out Mario's Left Tanker might want to drop by this coming spring!

● TEL: 03-5466-7773
● Open: 12:00 pm - 8:00pm; closed on Wednesdays

★To return to Tokyo Wrestling's homepage, follow the link here.



fH BOYS/LEO&Shizuku
※Leo and Shizuku working the door at the cutting edge
party, fancyHIM. These guys are HOT!

2008 February 12

Hello everybody! Editor Asami here.

I just wanted to deliver a glimpse of last Saturday's fancyHIM party.

Now, you can be sure to find Tokyo Wrestling staff hanging about at every fancyHIM event, but lately I've been around at the club helping out with photography. Last week, as I was enveloped in the music of DJ Hideo (popular for his selections seasoned with a new-wave taste) and DJ Hardcore Love (known for his lounge style), I couldn't help but notice that each of them chose to spin the lead tune, "Not a Love Song" fresh off Uh Huh Her's new debut album!

Uh Huh Her

Incredible! The fancyHIM DJs have got total synchronicity when it comes to select tunes! They both rocked the club with the remix version of "Not a Love Song" - made especially for the dance floor. I expect this song will be rocking the speakers at more clubs now. Trust me, you'll want a chance to hear it yourself if you haven't already!

※Leo's fashion pick this month is inspired by American street artists such as Keith Haring. Leo's presence alone is pure art!

★For Leo's blog (in Japanese), click here. If you're into queer, you'll love what the blog's got.

※After finishing work at the stylish women's bar MOTEL#203, stylist & DJ Peli comes dashing into fancyHIM. She's as cute as ever!

★To return to Tokyo Wrestling's homepage, follow the link here.



※Film commentator LiLiCo, known from the Japanese TV program Oosama no Buranchi (King's Brunch), and I discussing "Bound" for the talk event portion of the evening. LiLiCo's lively character really had the audience revved up before the show!

2009 February 9

Hello TW readers. Chief editor Yuki here!

We just finished the All-Night "L" Films & Talk Event with LiLiCo two Fridays ago on January 30th.

Even though it was a weekday, and a bad-weather-ly one at that, the theater was inundated. We were thrilled to see women of all ages, styles and backgrounds in the venue and would like to thank everyone who came for braving the rain to join us! I was nervous early on in the night about being on stage with someone as colossal as LiLiCo, but her spirited personality was absolutely infective - it melted away my jitters and fired up the venue.

Apparently a huge fan of Gina Gershon herself, LiLiCo mentioned that her own tough style in the 90s (including short, blonde hair and an affinity for leather jackets) meant people often told her that she resembled Japanese female pro-wrestler, Shinobu Kandori. I liked that story. It was also cool to hear that LiLiCo appreciates Jenny Shimizu's hotness! Overall, at the event I found that LiLiCo was witty, radiant and absolutely fun to be with. Next, I do hope to catch her in Shinjuku's Nichome sometime!

※A very glamorous LiLiCo captivates guests at the theater.

Since recording for her show King's Brunch started early the next day, LiLiCo had to leave the event after our talk, but I stayed and immediately settled in to a seat to catch "BOUND". It was my first time seeing the film on the big screen and, sure enough, it lived up to its reputation for spectacular audio and camera arrangements and the experience was everything I had anticipated and more!

Also, it was great to see a venue filled with such a diverse assortment of "L" girls (then again, there could have been straight women in the audience, too...).

Since the event was on a weekday I expected most folks would return home by last train, but to my surprise over half of attendees stuck around until the wee hours of the morning. Well, that is when we weren't dashing over to Nichome for a little bit, right? I had a great night too - enjoying Shinjuku and everyone's warm, terrific company. We'll have to get together again soon for another event!


During the talk show LiLiCo and I discussed sex expert Susie Bright's contributions to "Bound" as well as the directors' incorporation of butch and femme into the film. Anyone interested in these points should check out the audio commentary included on the new DVD release of "Bound" (commentary on the DVD below is only in Japanese).
For more on the Japanese DVD, see:

Photos by charlotte kirschbaum

★To return to Tokyo Wrestling's homepage, follow the link here.




2009 February 5

Hello, chief editor Yuki here...

I'm sure you've heard the incredible news!

Just a few days ago, on February 1st, Iceland appointed Johanna Sigurdardottir (former Minister of Social Affairs) from the Social Democratic Alliance as its newest prime minister. Sigurdardottir is Iceland's first female prime minister - and openly gay. The 66 year-old veteran politician has two adult sons from a previous marriage and currently lives together with her civil partner, a journalist and playwright. Just on the heels of America's first African-American president, the world now has its first openly gay head of state; And a lesbian at that! 

Here at Tokyo Wrestling we're as happy as we could be; we're ready to pop a bottle of our best champagne to celebrate! Right along with all the continuous streams of recent lesbian news, this impresses us once again with the feeling that the times we live in are indeed changing dramatically with each new day.

Also, the fact that politicians within Iceland's government have demonstrated open and unshakably modern attitudes with regard to the news has been additionally encouraging. One such inspiriting example can be read in BBC's international coverage, where the Social Democratic Alliance general secretary flatly responds to questions with, "I don't think her sexual orientation matters".

Recently France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Denmark, and other European countries have begun to establish partnership systems for same-sex couples, while the gay mayors of Paris and Berlin have also become widely-recognized in global news. Furthermore, most everyone knows the daughter of former US Vice-President Dick Cheney is an out lesbian who has conceived a child through artificial insemination. The number of LGBTs in politics around the world is certainly too great to be known!

There are still many gay and lesbian people around the world unable or afraid to come out (such as here in Japan, where very few do), but over the last few years we have heard more and more about lesbians in the news - from Jodie Foster's almost full disclosure of her sexuality to the recent embroilment over same-sex marriage in California, while stars such as Lindsay Lohan and Cynthia Nixon, known for her role as Miranda in "Sex and the City" have come out about their same-sex relationships.

At Tokyo Wrestling we hold the profound hope that, as more LGBT news makes its way into the Japanese media, popular understanding of LGBT lives will be radically changed. We know that, inevitably, the stigma of sexuality felt by queer folks in Japan will lift and we will each be freer to make our place in the world just as we are.

Let this news be a reminder to us all, there is a whole world of (regular) gay and lesbian folks out there, just like us!

★To return to Tokyo Wrestling's homepage, follow the link here.



The Romance of Astrée and Céladon

2009 February 4th

Hello everybody. Chief editor Yuki here.

On Sunday, January 25th I attended the second scheduled screening & talk event for the French Film "The Romance of Astrée and Céladon", and thought I'd post a brief note about it.

All in all 4 talk shows have been arranged for the film, and each one is comprised of different guests. Personally, I just had to see famed manga author Riyoko Ikeda, best known for her gender-bending work "The Rose of Versailles", speak along with French literature scholar Shohei Chujo.

I grew up in Switzerland and I can remember watching the tremendously popular animated television series "The Rose of Versailles" on French commercial television. The program was broadcast in many countries - and watched by many children - around the world. I still vividly recall my own fascination with the story's blurred gender lines, and the opportunity to attend a talk event featuring the author of such a queer masterpiece was thrilling for me!

The Romance of Astrée and Céladon

At the event, I saw that Riyoko Ikeda is a very graceful and intelligent woman, with an attractively soft and articulate manner of speaking. Apparently she and Shohei Chujo had differing opinions on the final, quite remarkable scene of "The Romance of Astrée and Céladon".

Since I don't want to give away what actually happens in the film, I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say that both of them had considerable feeling for how the film ended and were roused into an enthusiastic conversation. (Also, since the talk show took place before the screening, they too seemed chagrined to be unable to talk about the final scene in detail!)

The film's ending itself has its own queer bent; I whole-heartedly recommend that those of you who are curious see this film for yourself!

The next talk event will feature Shogo Kariyazaki.

●The Romance of Astrée and Céladon
●Opens: Saturday, January 17 at the Ginza Theatre Cinema and other theaters across Japan
●© Rezo Productions / C.E.R.
●Distribution: Alcine Terran
●Official homepage (Japan):

【Talk Event: Line Up】

Sunday, January 18:
Talk event starts at 7:00 pm; Film scheduled to start at 7:15 pm
Guests: Nameko Shinsan (columnist & manga artist), Maho Shimao (columnist & manga artist)

Sunday, January 25:
Talk event starts at 6:50 pm; Film scheduled to start at 7:05 pm
Guests: Riyoko Ikeda (manga artist & vocalist), Shohei Chujo (scholar of French literature)

Saturday, January 31:
Talk event starts at 6:50 pm; Film scheduled to start at 7:05 pm
Guest: Hideo Shinozawa (Emeritus Professor at Gakushuin University)

Thursday, February 19:
Film starts at 6:50 pm (no previews); Talk event scheduled to start at 8:40
Guest: Shogo Kariyazaki (flower arrangement artist)

■Venue: Ginza Theatre Cinema

★To return to Tokyo Wrestling's homepage, follow the link here.



Jenny Shimizu

2009 February 1

Hello, chief editor Yuki here.

Have you had the chance to check out our interview with Jenny Shimizu yet? It seems to be getting a lot of hits - especially from Japanese readers - which goes to show how close Jenny Shimizu is to many of our lives.
The first time I struck upon Jenny Shimizu was when I still lived in Switzerland before coming to Japan. I remember noticing her in the Calvin Klein ads - and also later hearing rumors about her relationship with Madonna.

I was a teenager at the time and didn't yet see myself as a lesbian, so in a way I didn't have the personal knowledge or social information necessary to recognize her as a fellow dyke. However, I remember the tremendous respect I felt for her as a model who had succeeded in making an impression on the world while still squarely defying beauty norms.

Switzerland was anything but fashion aware in those days - and yet Jenny Shimizu's name would very often come up in conversation. That's how recognized in the mainstream she was. Also, many butch women in Japan have told me how significantly she impacted their lives.

The first time I met Jenny Shimizu was 3 years ago at a lesbian event in Los Angeles. When faced with a model that dominated the world of fashion in the 1990's, I was sure that nothing would make me happier than to be able to talk to her. However, at the same time, I worried that she wouldn't be interested in speaking to me if I walked over to say something.

But, despite my apprehension, I found that she was extremely friendly. She expressed interest in the fact that I was a writer from Japan and I could see just how dear Japan was to her as a country.

We have several friends in common, so it seemed that I would run into her to each time I went to LA. And every time we met, she was as friendly as ever.

Jenny had actually agreed to an interview several years back, but whenever I was in the US scheduling conflicts and other chance misfortunes kept us apart. Still, we kept trying and when we finally met for that chat I had long been waiting for, in March of 2008, I was elated - to say the least.

One wonderful discovery was the fact that over the 3 years we had been in contact, Jenny and I developed a sense of familiarity that gave the interview a casual vibe. I felt that the conversation turned out to be quite relaxed and open. Though I was convinced we were vexed by poor timing early on, looking back I now know that things couldn't have turned out better. Jenny was really so kind that, to this day, of all the interviews I've done, I have a particularly soft spot for this one.

It was really exciting to hear her talk about life right there in the middle of the supermodel scene at its peak in the 1990s and I was very happy to get a glimpse at some of what cool LA culture was like at the time. I think that the amazing nature of her experiences shines through in this interview - as does her warm personality.

Also, I got the feeling that Jenny was at a more laid-back point in her life because she seemed to have a more relaxed and tranquil aura about her, compared to when we first met. Sure enough, as we were talking she mentioned, "I have a steady girlfriend and I'm absolutely happy." I met her girlfriend later on in the year at Dinah Shore Weekend, and she was charming. In the past rumors have linked Jenny to Madonna and Angelina Jolie - and she may have the image of a playboy, but in conversation Jenny mentioned that she's been thinking of settling down. This we'll hear more about in Part 2 of the interview....

As a bonus, here's Jenny Shimizu’s famed Calvin Klein commercial.

★To return to Tokyo Wrestling's homepage, follow the link here.