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.