|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Lesbian bars show that girls just wanna have fun
Shukan Asahi 7/31 By Ryann Connell
Lesbian bars are establishments that serve the needs of women who love women.
But, Shukan Asahi says, those who think lesbian bars are simply places to go and have a drink are well and truly wrong.
The weekly notes that the growing number of lesbian bars in Tokyo are attracting more customers than ever before, and what goes on at the establishments is more than mere boozing.
In fact, while some customers at lesbian bars are women looking for their next partner, they can also be places where women can get together and talk, as well as somewhere where a mother and daughter can improve their relationship.
“Recently we've had a lot of younger customers,” says the operator of a lesbian bar in Tokyo's Shinjuku 2-Chome district, long the gay mecca of Japan.
“About 10 years ago, there were only about three lesbian bars in Shinjuku, but in the past five years about 10 new ones have popped up.
There's also a greater variety of bars, so customers travel around to choose the type they like.”
Shukan Asahi notes that there are many different types of lesbians, each denoted by a particular word.
For instance, a neko plays the role of the female in a woman-to-woman relationship, while a tachi is assigned the male part.
Sukadachi are women who act like males but dress like women.
Their counterparts are zuboneko, or women who appear like men, but they take on the female role.
Then there's nonke, the word used to describe heterosexuals.
But regardless of what type the women are, it seems they have their ups and downs just like everyone else.
“When I was a high school student, my mom caught me at it with another girl and discovered I was a lesbians,” says Yukari, a tachi and regular lesbian bar customer.
“My parents didn't want to know me for a while and the girl broke it off with me because of the embarrassment I'd caused her.”
For some, though, parents don't pose a problem.
Mari, a neko in her teens, even brings her mother along with her when she hits the lesbian lairs.
Unlike Yukari's mother, Mari's parents are more supportive.
“Mari likes her partners to be good-looking,” her mother says.
“I hope she can find a cute little girl here at the bar.”
Yukari's friend, Yumi, says she's keeping her sexuality a secret from her parents, but that hasn't stopped her from having her share of troubles.
“I don't have a girlfriend at the moment and I'm really lonely,” she says.
“I'm stuck with going out with nonke women all the time.
It depends on how you do it, but those women can be seduced about 80 percent of the time.
But it's much harder to find a partner than it is for heteros.
That's why I like these bars so much.”
With such a clientele and more women being open about their sexual preference, wouldn't most lesbian bars be making a huge buck?
“I thought lesbian bars would have a steady income because they cater to a particular client,” one operator says.
“ But things have been really tough recently.
If a girl finds a partner, they tend not to come back again.”(RC)