A photographic celebration of the queer community in Japan

It’s Pride Week in London, and it feels fitting to turn our gaze to the queer communities of Japan thanks to a stunning photography book, Edges of the Rainbow. The lofty tome by Michel Delsol and Haruku Shinozaki is published by The New Press, and provides an intimate look at the oft-hidden world of modern LGBTQ people in modern day Japan.

According to the publishers, Japanese society’s historically conservative outlook has previously made coming out challenging, but “a number of queer cultural figures are opening up new horizons, and a growing majority of Japanese people believe that homosexuality should be an integral and open part of society.”

The book shows more than 150 colour and monochrome photographs documenting the lives of a number of fascinating folk flying the rainbow flag loud and proud: a gay Episcopal priest; a lesbian couple who talk about their life choices at universities and on radio and TV; a trans woman pop idol and civil rights activist; an intersex author; a gay all-male music group that addresses LGBTQ culture through their electro act, among many others.

It’s an uplifting and resolutely positive portrait of the multifarious forms of queerness in Japan, with each image telling a thousand stories of bravery, honesty, and fun.

Ai Haruna leaving the hair salon, Copyright © 2017  by Michel Delsol, originally  appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Ai Haruna leaving the hair salon, Copyright © 2017 by Michel Delsol, originally appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Chiga, owner of woman only bar, Copyright © 2017  by Michel Delsol, originally  appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Chiga, owner of woman only bar, Copyright © 2017 by Michel Delsol, originally appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Friends of Chiga's at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of her bar, Copyright © 2017  by Michel Delsol, originally  appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Friends of Chiga's at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of her bar, Copyright © 2017 by Michel Delsol, originally appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Shingo from Apotheke singing from the lead float at the Kansai Rainbow Parade, Copyright © 2017  by Michel Delsol, originally  appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Shingo from Apotheke singing from the lead float at the Kansai Rainbow Parade, Copyright © 2017 by Michel Delsol, originally appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

1) Akta community group portrait, Copyright © 2017  by Michel Delsol, originally  appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

1) Akta community group portrait, Copyright © 2017 by Michel Delsol, originally appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

2) Akta community center, entrance hallway, Copyright © 2017  by Michel Delsol, originally  appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

2) Akta community center, entrance hallway, Copyright © 2017 by Michel Delsol, originally appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Chiga with Robot mannequins, Copyright © 2017  by Michel Delsol, originally  appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Chiga with Robot mannequins, Copyright © 2017 by Michel Delsol, originally appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Cover. Copyright © 2017  by Michel Delsol, originally  appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Cover. Copyright © 2017 by Michel Delsol, originally appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Keiki with friend, Copyright © 2017  by Michel Delsol, originally  appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.

Keiki with friend, Copyright © 2017 by Michel Delsol, originally appeared in Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan, published by The New Press.