Re:turn letters

Sarma 5 Nov 2002English

item doc

Contextual note
This text was presented as part of an installation in the framework of B-Visible in Arts Centre Vooruit in Ghent.

Hello, Nao. Are you still alive?
Maribor, 8 June Yu

I have been working to live at a gay shop in Shinjuku 2 chome for an year. The all shop staff are sort of me.
Gay & lesbian people, foreigner, couple drinking in Kabuki-cho, and so on, come to our shop.
I work from 21h00 to 7h00. So I became not to have a time to meet my friends.
I have left an amateur musical group since I performed with them in last March.
Tokyo, 10 June Nao

Do your friends know that you work at there?
By the way, a friend asked me why Mishima could be fascist (or nationalist) though he was homosexual.
It is an interesting question, don't you think so? Nobody may feel strange even that a homosexual person is also a nationalist in Japan.
Budapest, 18 June Yu

About half of my friends in the musical group know of that.
First, I talked about it to some girls being on good terms with me, and they answered like "Well, so what?"
It seemed to me that they did not hate me. Then I tried to tell boys same age of me. Then, at last, I told older members.

It was my turning point when I performed Tandem flight. This work was totally different from the performances of the musical group I belonged to. While rehearsal for this, I became to be able to be convinced of my sexuality. Oops, how can I explain�Let's say, I felt it's one of the way of living.

Soon after the period, I got a boyfriend. It was the first time for both of us to get who is enough to call boyfriend.
In the beginning, I was happy even to stay with him. After while, there was something wrong. We were getting to harm each other.
It was only two months, very short affair. We discussed about our circumstances, agreed with parting, and shook hands.

But in those two months I learned the things important for my life.
It makes me happy to hear the voice of somebody I love.
It makes me feel being satisfied to kiss somebody I love.
It makes me peaceful and let me sleep well to embrace somebody I love when in the bed.
It is important for our life to know the temperature of the human body.

Since we were apart, we both fell in love with each of other persons.
We live each of our lives, being proud of that we were the first partner for each of us.

When I talk about this affair to some gay friends, they say "It is rare case of being apart to keep good feeling each other."
It seems to me that everybody is used to have disposal relationships. Either have I sometimes disposal relationships.
Sometimes I need somebody just to have sex only for his temperature. It needn't annoying process of the love affair to fill this desire.

By the way, I often hear that many artists are gay.
People may want to leave something after their life, perhaps, somebody says that gay people get out from the way of the most people choosing to leave their posterity, gay people instead leave their arts.

On the other hand, somebody may say that gay people has both feminine sensibility and masculine logic so that they can produce arts.

Though I don�t know if they are right, but among the friends like me, many of them played at brass bands when they were pupils, precisely, half of them. But this is because I was in a brass bands, too.
I send you a photo which I took by my mobile phone. This is me, in my room.
Tokyo, 20 June Nao


For producing arts, I am not sure if 'feminine sensibility' and ' masculine logic' are necessary.

It is funny that while I am travelling mobile phones get such a function, and people buy them.
What kind of relationship do you call 'disposal'?
Budapest, 20 June Yu

In Tokyo, the rainy season has set in completely. we have rain everyday.

It was good photo for that I took by the mobile phone.
Our era became great.
You can imagine that it is very easy to take some peeping photos with this. BUT, in case of that, it makes a sound "piropiron" when doing.

I am talking about disposal relationships. Precisely, this kind of relationships may be just called very short term relationships.
At least, I love them seriously while having sex. (But I sometimes compromise to choose somebody to play, so, in this case I do not love him seriously.)
Men�s sexual desire is stronger than the women�s. Men's couples more frequently have sex than woman-man couple. Also men are fickler than women.
According to a friend, it is not rare that lesbian couple have not had sex even for an year.

When in an affair, I regard that this, I have now, is only for one night or only suit this occasion, I never say this regarding to somebody accompanying with me at that time.
It is a tacit agreement at least for the gay people in Shinjuku. But it is true most of them are looking for their partner who can keep their relation longer than such occasional relationships. On the other hand they expect it.

There are facilities called "yari-beya" (room for fucking),as a kind of the "fuzoku� (business affecting public morals). They cost 1,000yen-2,000yen (8 USD-17 USD).
Unlike prostitute houses for the men wanting girls, they needn't employ girls. The customers find somebody to have sex among the other customers.
Sometimes I used to go there.
But, not every gay people uses this facility. many of them do not use at all.
And at least in the affairs at the place like this, it is a tacit agreement basically that the affairs are only occasional.
So some people being used to go there may be used this disposal relationship.

I assured that Westerner respect their privacy than Japanese.
Or, their respection of their privacy do not always mean hiding privacy. And they even sometimes show their private life each other, but they do not interfere, that may mean to respect privacy in the I right?

I think it can be made distinction between �to respect with knowing� and �without knowing�. I've never thought this kind of things until now.

There many things that I want, like, digital camera, computer, printer, and so on. It's my trouble. I already determined which makers' or which models I want to buy, what matters worse, I know how much money I need.
But, what I want mostly is a decision which man I choose �husband� or �lover�.

Now, in fact, I keep the relations with two men.
Though I have had a boy friend who I call �husband�, I went to yari-beya just because sometimes I want to have sex with another guy. And I became to like this guy I met at the place, also he became to like me. We exchanged the phone numbers and e mail addresses. We have met many times since then.

It is getting less for my heart to throb with the joy of meeting while an year I spend the time with the �husband�. He relieves me on the other hand, I got boring with him. I already determined which I choose but I do not yet act out.
I take myself too tender-hearted to part from the "husband".
On the other hand I think that this tenderness is necessary for the life.
Tokyo, 25 June Nao

Is 'yari-beya' different from 'hatten-ba' ?And this word I have ever heard.

It is hardly to generalize to say the difference of the notion of the privacy between an Westerner and a Japanese.

Today, a friend sent me an e mail which told me to take an inspection if I felt getting sick, because she got an infection which is known by Westerner as that it infects though kissing. She created a kind of mailing list in case knowing who she sent.
Once I tried to this to say to her that it was better than HIV. But I did not. Her words looked so serious so that I should not kid her.
Zagreb, 8 July Yu

I've never got the HIV inspection.
It is not so surprising that if I am positive.
Suppose that I find myself positive by the inspection, I may send everybody who I have fucked a news letter for recommendation to get the inspection. However, there are some who I know only their phone number, who I cannot reach any more, and who I do not know even their name.

Hatten-ba (the place for the development), means larger category and yari-beya is a part of it.
And hattenba consists of two parts, charge 'hatten ba and out door hattenba.

That charged hattenba generally called yaribeya is the facility that has rockers, showers, and beds. When gay shop staff show foreigners the way to this, staffs usually use a word 'sauna'.

On out door one, yume no shima (an artificial island made from wastes also shinkiba (a part in a bay area) are well-known. The bashing (intimidation) also happened in there, some gay people were killed.
Peculiarly, WC in a station building and more peculiarly, Japan Railway Saikyo-line and so on, are counted.

When one has a relation with another person instead of his/her steady, which one has guilty conscience more Westerner or Japanese?

I want to embrace somebody also to be embraced by somebody. And it is hardly to satisfy both of these desires.
I like a small guy, under 170cm. A guy taller than 170cm is out of my view.
Because my neck gets tired when I am with somebody taller than I...just kidding.
Anyway, I am not tall so that I want small person to embrace.

I forgot the difference of area of houses between here and there. Indeed, room sharing may means just sharing bathroom kitchen, living room and so on for Westerner. And to begin with, a 12m� or 7m� room +small kitchen +small bathroom, typical apartment in Tokyo is not the place for human in their sense.

I send you a photo of Koshu-kaido (Route 20) in front of the south entrance of Shinjuku station.
Why they are so haste, and where they go.
I know I am a part of this landscape.
Tokyo, 9 July Nao

When I had been in Tokyo, I worked at places under construction. I often stood on Koshu-kaido. Indeed, I was a part of the landscape, too. I liked to see Koshu-kaido, the traffic jam, the noise, and so on.

When translating honne and tatemae into English, generally 'intentions' and 'words' are taken.
But this translation is a bit far from our sense of honne and tatemae. Perhaps, in English, there are no concepts corresponding precisely to honne and tatemae.
But attitudes what can be described as honne and tatemae actually exist in Europe, too. They do not mention these attitudes as the words.

I can show you another example.
there is a characteristic everyday word in Japanese amae -in verb, amaeru which originally coming from an attitude that babies want their mothers. We use this word also for describing the attitude that even adults depend and expect on somebody's helping or cherishing. A Japanese psychiatrist, Takeo Doi, wrote a bestseller book, Amae no kozo (literally �The structure of amae ,the English version title �The anatomy of dependence�) which explained the nature of Japanese.
According to this book, there seems no word corresponding amae in Europe. T.Doi formulated his idea of the nature of Japanese from this linguistic observation. It looks interesting to think of the human behaviour.
But I think it is sometimes problematic that he sometimes say that, comparing Westerner, Japanese tend to amaeru, cherish the feeling of amae, and tolerate the attitude of amae. Because, in short, in Europe, people also amaeru as well as in Japan.
Sorry. It�s a bit boring.
Zadar, 9 July Yu

For this time I just send you some photos and that's I have something to talk.

Last Tuesday, I parted from the �husband� because I chose the �lover� to settle this situation.

Then last weekend, I met �lover� and made love. But while doing, I felt that I could enjoy this relationship only in the situation I had the �husband�.
I could not embrace him like before.

I am stupid.

I will try to keep this relation. But I may be going to part from him in this year, perhaps. I am not sure if I will come back to the �husband�.

Photos; the stairs in Shinjuku station; in Mos Berger Shop after I ruined the foods, 9h00am today.
Tokyo, 19 July Nao

Do you know this old song written by Miyuki Nakajima, a singer-songwriter, saying "give me back the bundle of letters I have written to you. Don't read them with another girl"?
When I listened this song I felt what's on a hell anybody who shows boy or girl friend the letters written by one's ex really exists.
I was about finding this kind of people while this travelling.
One night, a girl started showing me her photo albums. She told me her memory. I enjoyed seeing photos and hearing her talking. And I said to her that I was glad to feel knowing of her. By the way, that night was last chance for me to persuade her. Because she had a steady, as you can imagine, there were several choices for us.
After showing the photos, to my surprise, she said "Now, we go for the letters!" with light hearted feeling.
I only smiled to answer. I do not know what it means to see the letters. Seeing my attitude, she once hesitated to do. And again she said "let's go for the letters."
And I only smiled. Eventually she didn't. Did she examine my will? Did my attitude disappoint her perhaps?
I am sort of you. I often miss my will not because I am Japanese, but just because of my personality.
Do you want to know if something happened on the night?
Happened, and that's all.
Vienna, 20 July Yu

I lived in Tamagawa-josui, a bedroom community. It takes 40 minutes by the train from Shinjuku. Though I do not know why, I still keep a copy from a boring photo which I took when I was in there. New high-rise apartments, a graveyard, and a new monorail way.

A friend who saw Tandem flight told me that the last scene that a girl asked a boy which he imagine a boy or a girl when he masturbate, and the boy who rejected another boy you acted answers 'girl', looked homophobia of this story.
How did you think about it?
Vienna, 23 July Yu

In Tokyo, rainy season has totally gone, then here become the subtropics. Somebody will die. Too hot.

I recently become not to be sure what I want to do.
To begin with, I have never been sure about it.

It may be just an uneasy emotion.
I was absent without notice at my job.
I will be fired.

My body refuses to go to the job. It has an attack of anaemia, a stomach-ache, also a fever.
There is a boss rather I call him a queen. And I cannot do well with him.
He is very rude to say only 'come' and 'kyu' to the customers. But he complaints "what kind of man are you not to greet to the customers?" to me.

The last scene of Tandem flight is not represents homophobia. I thought that was natural conclusion for the story. And that's it.

By the way, when I masturbate, I imagine a man.

Are you still alive?
Sarajevo, 16 August Yu

I'm alive.
I am aware of that my life just become repeat of the job, fitness, eating and sleeping. Sorry I've not written to you.

The gay shop that I work at constantly opens and only closes a day in a week even in Bon festival or in New year's day. Nothing changes in this shop.
Even in bon festival, the customers come to our shop as usual.
Perhaps, many of customers are come from countryside and hanging in Tokyo while their Bon holidays. For them, Shinjuku 2chome can be their destination.
I was busy at the job in the last night also.
Tokyo, 17 August Nao

I finally gave up the job at the shop and I am doing nothing.
I enjoy my holiday and I started knitting.
Because I felt my lack of exercise and I wanted fix my stiff neck and shoulders, I started the fitness. And I enjoy seeing beautiful bodies at there.
I do not run. I do not ride on a bicycle. I do weight training with dumbbells.
I do not want to spend oxygen and burn my grease with bicycle exercise. I once measured with a good device to measure grease. It told me that I need 4kg grease more to be standard! But I am not sure it is necessary.

My ideal body? It's difficult to say, perhaps, like swimmer, wide shoulders, thick chest, separated berry muscle.
Because it looks nicer for the partner under me when making love in normal position if my upper body is well-developed. Therefore, how I want to be looked by the partner is my ideal body, let's say, sexy.

Next Sunday Tokyo gay parade will be held.
I participated and walked with them in the Summer last year.
I will do again.
2 years ago, I just saw them and they attracted me because they seemed to be joyful very much.
I like the atmosphere of this that it looks like a festival rather than a political demonstration.
Last time, I really enjoyed walking, so I am looking forward to taking part in.
Tokyo, 6 September Nao

To begin with, in Japan, they do not know that homosexual people really exist. Precisely, they know this kind of people exist but they assure that this kind of people is not their neighbour.
It seems to me that, at least, it is necessary to show them how many homosexual people exist and we have to be visible so that we do the parade.
Some intellectuals working at a political activities writes that we cannot deal with political things without noticing our existence to the people.
It seems to be right.
But, for a person like me, just a gay without concerning politics, the parade is just a joyful festival to meet my old friends and nice people.

A stooping old people is beautiful.
A fat middle age couple is also beautiful.

Everybody can find each of their happiness, and there is no necessity to be fixed the conditions for the happiness by somebody, otherwise, many people just become unhappy. Why politicians are not awaken of this fact.

The happy life does not always mean that finishing the job at 17h00;then drinking with pretty girls at a bar, and sleeping at a house remaining loan.

I am not good at political talking.
What is 'bourgeois'?
Tokyo, 12 September Nao

Indeed it is pronounced burujowa in Japanese way I have ever heard this word but I do not know this meaning.

To begin with, it is impossible to imagine that Japan Communist party becomes the Government party. They are always minor as I regard.
And every member of the Democratic party look like sexist. Why they are not awaken of that if they support same sex marriage they can reduce their rivals, because every parties are so similar now.

Indeed the politicians in Japan recently become to be concerned with their popularity. Especially, after Mr. Koizumi came up.
Some daytime TV programs for housewives treat some women politician as stars' scandals. Does any other country exist that this kind of TV programs relay the Congress?

I am knitting a thick sweater with Canadian taste pattern of rein deer, condors, snows and so on. I wanted to try it for long time but it costs too much, like 10,000yen for the materials, so that I could not do. But finally, I am trying without concerning the cost. For this time, the pattern is so impressive that a big eagle spread his wings on the back.

By the way, I parted from "lover" in last week.
Two years ago, I liked R and sometimes we met at that time. But one day I got an e mail from him that noticing he got a boy friend. So, I felt myself I got broken heart, and started relation with "husband".
Recently when I put old mails in order, I found mails from R and I felt them sweet, so I sent him a mail to say "long time no see, how are you?" He replied. We exchanged e mails several times, then had a dinner.
At that time, I still kept the relation with �lover�. But I felt �lover� was not congenial, I determined to transfer to R.
R knows about this.

I do not talk with �lover� anymore. We had a quarrel. Rather. It was a war.
I do not like to pick a quarrel, but when somebody do to me, I will take it.
Why he called me bullshit.

By the way, in this weekend, I had a cameraman to take my photos. This cameraman works at some gay magazines. And I like his work.
I paid much money.
He took these photos in a hotel in Chiba-port square and his studio.
It is incredible that these are me.
It is a magic.
Tokyo, 25 September Nao