Japan is not a homophobic puritan culture, but it still has a long way to go regarding LGBTQ visibility and equal rights. The fact is that finding outright public support for LGBTQ persons from Japanese celebrities is difficult, but we may look at their work history and nuanced decisions to make informed inferences and consider their affiliations and endorsements.
1. Kiko Mizuhara
It's no secret that Kiko Mizuhara enjoys going to gay clubs and surrounding herself with LGBT people. The model is good friends with Italian-Japanese stylist Nicola Formichetti and often publishes photos of herself with drag queens worldwide on Instagram. Mizuhara described Shinjuku's Ni-home district, called "gay town," as "the most enjoyable spot in Japan!" in an interview with Dazed Magazine.
2. Maki Goto
Maki Goto, a former singer, gave an exclusive interview to the popular men's adult magazine "BADI" in 2011. Her acquaintance, a local drag queen who works in the Shinjuku Ni-chome district, interviewed her. Maki thanked her homosexual admirers for their continuing support throughout her career and talked about how much fun she had hanging out in the Ni-chome district during the conversation.
3. Shigeaki Kato, NEWS
Shigeaki Kato, a member of NEWS, has actively endorsed same-sex marriage and raised awareness about LGBTQ problems, He has a music suggestion segment on his radio show "Sorashige Book," and he once presented the song "Same Love" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Shigeaki praised the song and video, both of which are about same-sex marriage. He also frequently discusses and recommends LGBT-themed films. Shigeaki went to the Ni-home district in 2014 for an Ariyoshi Special to shoot a story on how homosexual and transgender individuals celebrated their Christmas holidays. Shigeaki came up with the concept for the programme on his own, and he was quite open-minded about it, treating everyone he interviewed with respect and decency. Finally, in his most recent work, "Ants without umbrellas," there is a short tale called "Nibe mo naku, yorube mo naku" that deals with homosexuality and its acceptance.
MISIA has been an outspoken advocate of LGBT rights for a long time. In 2014, she won the "Tokyo Superstar" award, a cultural award in the music category. MISIA's NHK radio show "MISIA Starry Sky of Radio" has devoted a whole episode to LGBT problems. The show included a diverse group of persons from the LGBT community who were able to share and debate their experiences and opinions.
5. Matsuko Deluxe
A television personality Matsuko Deluxe is a homosexual guy who is well-known for his cross-dressing on stage as well as his pro-gay words and sexuality. However, this celebrity as a top artist is undoubtedly crucial in disseminating the LGBT community's message. He said “People whose thoughts you can’t understand are scary; those who go against one’s wishes are even scarier. People recognize others as enemies if they feel fear towards them. To think about sexuality means thinking about human beings. The more you think about it, the more you feel you are different from others. This is not because you are gay or because you are lesbian. This is because YOU are different from everyone. There is no need to fight with those who feel fear. Instead, what we must fight against is the foolishness of those who cannot accept people “different” from them. …That’s what I keep telling myself again and again”
6. Ayumi Hamasaki
If you've followed singer Ayumi Hamasaki's career, you're probably aware of her support for the homosexual community. Photographer Leslie Kee, erstwhile stylist Alvin Goh, and producer/drag queen Timothy Wellard are among her most regular collaborators. The music video for her 13th album Party Queen's song "how gorgeous you are" was hailed as the first Japanese music video to include gay kissing (of actual couples). Lico, Ayu's former backup dancer who choreographed for AKB48 and SMAP and previously performed for Namie Amuro, transitioned from male to female after leaving the singer's group in 2007. In 2014, she co-starred in the music video "XOXO" with Hamasaki.
7. Akie Abe, Wife Of The Current Prime Minister Of Japan
In 2014, Japan's first lady Akie Abe - wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – elected to participate in the third annual Tokyo Rainbow Pride event to demonstrate her support for the LGBT community. As the procession with over 3,000 participants swept through the streets of Tokyo's Shibuya area, the then 51-year-old wife of the very conservative premier appeared in all white on a float with a drag queen. The first lady is known for her liberal leanings, which she uses to counteract her husband's militaristic beliefs.
8. Koda Misono
Misono, a TV personality and singer, performed at the "Tokyo Superstar" awards in 2014. From 2010 to 2014, the "Tokyo Superstar" awards honoured persons who helped raise the profile of the LGBT community in Japan and supported projects/organizations that promote diversity. Misono expressed her delight at the existence of such an event, calling it "wonderful" and "extremely significant." She's learned a lot since meeting more friends in the LGBT community, and she's looking forward to being more engaged in the future.
9. Dean Fujioka
The opening theme of "Yuri!!! On Ice," a famous anime that is categorised among numerous sports anime and manga that males enjoy, opens with a splash of colour as sketch renditions of the major characters skate to Dean Fujioka's theme song "History Maker." The song is an electronic power ballad that builds pace as the characters dance across the screen, with the phrase "We were born to make history" repeated over and over, alluding to the eponymous character's desire as a figure skater as well as the show's nature.
10. Kyoko And Mika Kano, Kano Sisters
As stated in W magazine in 2002, Kyoko Kano of the Kano Sisters said of their sexuality: "Mika is a traditional Japanese girl, whom I like, but I prefer to play on the field. Perhaps I'm bisexual. I believe it is unethical to live just for the benefit of mankind." The sisters have often attended LGBT-related events and fundraisers, as well as written about it on their blog.