After English and Chinese, Japanese is the most widely represented language on the internet and yet few studies have been made of how communities in Japan engage with this new technology. This article looks at the internet both as a virtual space in which Japanese and foreign gay men can meet as well as a means for making offline assignations. The author reflects on his own use of the internet in his research on gay communities in Japan, suggesting that the internet has made it possible to reach out to and work with a wider variety of Japanese gay men than was previously possible. It is suggested that gay men’s use of the internet in Japan is illustrative of Appadurai’s argument that this new technology provides a unique opportunity for relationship building between individuals who are otherwise deterritorialized, diasporic and transnational.
ANZSRC / FoR Code
2002 CULTURAL STUDIES