Categories of Japanese Gay

The first thing you need to understand when coming to Japan is that you will need to recalibrate your gaydar. Many straight Japanese men read as gay to Americans because of their grooming and fashion sense. There are several gay subcultures or communities that are common in Japan. Bars tend to identify themselves as serving one or another of these communities. Below, we will give you a brief introduction to some of these types. Our guides will be able to provide you with more details so you know where to go to find what you seek.

Rugby types

These men tend toward a stocky, athletic body type and tend to dress accordingly. These men tend not to appear on American gaydar.


O-ne means older sister and these men tend toward an exaggerated femininity in language and appearance.


Kuma means bear and these men tend toward the same body type and fashion as bears in Western gay culture.


These men are closest to the ‘twink’ category in Western gay culture and tend to be thin and dress and groom themselves carefully to maintain a certain style.

For more information on these types and others as well as which bars attract which types, please ask your TGJ gay assistant. He can also tell you about ‘kanko’ (tourist) bars.

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