News Sushi #103: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond

News Sushi #103 Hamish keeps serving the best News Sushi!
Hooray! More News Sushi for you to enjoy!
Editor Note:It is Friday and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon to be Intergalactic Famous, News Sushi from our very own, Hamish Downie. Hamish brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan.

Thank you (ありがとうございました) Hamish, for your insights.

こんにちは!Which means “Hello”!

And we are back! A new column (and a new Prime Minister – Mr Suga)…

I’ve had a couple of messages saying they missed this column, so I’m bringing it to you again. One of the reasons you haven’t seen this in your feed lately is that I was having a hard time finding things to write about for the column. As you may know, I try to focus on the positive, and there hasn’t been a lot of that going around. What there has been going around is creative people doing amazing things, so I hope you are keeping up with my “5 Questions with” interview series!

Let’s start with some new music from Thea Jane Riley:

Some of you might have seen Japan’s “roller-coaster” highway around the internet. It’s pretty amazing to look at from front on, but you might be disappointed to find out that from side on, it’s a very gradual incline. That said, it makes for a very trippy video:

Now for some more music, this time from local Osaka singer and long time Universal Studios Japan cast member, John Woodard III covering “Strange Fruit”:

He’s such an amazing singer, and like Thea Jane Riley, will be appearing on the soundtrack to my upcoming (and I promise, almost finished) feature film, “Matcha & Vanilla”. Furthermore, it’s a song I wrote the lyrics for!

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I met Gengoroh Tagame! He was absolutely lovely and adorable. I hope he likes my comic! So star struck right now!! Thanks @huegelb ❤️ #gengorohtagame #gaymanga #bara #gaycomics #outfest #aquariusgays #gayartist

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You might recognise the above artist as the author of the “My Brother’s Husband” manga, but you may not know that he also writes homoerotic manga (which I can’t show here)… but, which you can see if you are in Shibuya, Japan at the exhibition, “An Ode to Tom” from The Container Art Gallery. As you can probably tell from the name, it’s an exhibition of Japanese artists who have been influenced by Tom of Finland. Please check out the following press release:

An Ode to Tom

三島剛 | 田亀源五郎 | 児雷也
Goh Mishima | Gengoroh Tagame | Jiraiya

21 September — 30 November, 2020

The Container is delighted to announce a satellite exhibition, An Ode to Tom, to the Tom of Finland exhibition at Shibuya Parco.

Both exhibitions were curated by The Container’s director Shai Ohayon, and were designed to provide an insight to LGBTQ issues in Japan and to raise awareness.

The satellite exhibition features three Japanese artists whose work is influenced by the iconic artist Tom of Finland: Goh Mishima, Gengoroh Tagame, and Jiraiya. All three artists have spoken openly in the past about drawing inspiration from Tom of Finland’s imagery and political activist works, and represent also two generations of homoerotic artists in Japan.

For more information:

And now for something completely different:

Are you hungry and in Kyoto? Then perhaps this new cake shop next to a soba restaurant will be the place to go to:

A little throwback to the time I was interviewed for an article on how to save money for Drag Queens on a financial site:

That’s me on the far left saying “yaaaasss” (which I’ve never said, but I’m sure if I was a young drag queen, I would have). The cartoon was made from a photo of my last performance ever in Shibuya at the J-Pop Cafe. I’m the least famous person interviewed, which certainly ruffled some feathers when I shared it among my former colleagues on the “Lost Gay Newcastle” facebook page. But, one of my Drag mentors, and Newcastle Drag legend, Verity, stood up for me, which was the best part of this whole experience.

I also recently appeared on the lovely podcast The Film Geek Collective talking “The Wizard of Oz” among other things:

I hope to interview him for 5 Questions soon.

And with that… it’s probably time to say cheerio!


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Oh you pinched out? Confess! . 拡大した人、白状しなさい。 . Photo by @rjbphotog . #handstand #oahs

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2 responses to “News Sushi #103: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond”

  1. Jon3 Avatar

    I will now be following yo.. This was fun!!

  2. Ben Ragunton Avatar
    Ben Ragunton

    Your comment will be mentioned in episode #295 of TGGeeks Podcast!

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