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I met the guys behind JguyUSguy, Japan’s most popular site for gay foreigners living in Japan, foreigners into Japanese guys, and Japanese guys into foreigners, back in the late 90s. I was trying to get a club night started in Osaka – where I lived at the time – called Traffik, and contacted JguyUSguy by mail about promoting it.
It was a modest success, and I ran it – as the main DJ - three times. But club owner fees and the difficulty of doing a club night pretty much singlehanded put paid to it before too long. Fun while it lasted though.
Anyway, I contacted the site for support. JguyUSguy is such an institution in gay Japan that I was surprised and flattered to get mail back from one of the two webmasters – the US guy – not only offering the full support of JguyUSguy for Traffik, but about getting together sometime. Since that time we have been good friends, and, thanks to his introduction, I now have translation work that forms a large part of my income.
As highly polished and professional in nature as it is, JguyUSguy is, surprisingly, not the webmaster’s bread and butter, but a (Herculean) labor of (true) love. It has been fairy godmother to no end of international liaisons, and a valuable and necessary forum of cross cultural dialog. I say “necessary”, because of anywhere, Japan must be a place where Western ways of doing things can be so out of place, in spite of its Western-style living accouterments, that English-speaking guys really need a place where they can hook up to question, probe, get feedback, get advice, impart opinions – and plain howl.
About a year ago the webmaster introduced a membership system whereby parts of the site are accessible only to those who sign up for a modest annual fee. I know how much time he puts into the site – how much time he has put into the site over the years – for no tangible return but the satisfaction of knowing that the magic that brought him and his man together can be, and is being, transmitted to others.
If you have any interest in Japanese guys, whether you live in Japan or not, I would urge to surf JguyUSguy - if you haven’t already yet - and see the wealth of community resources on offer, and just feel the warmth – the heat, even. Enjoy!
Friday, August 15, 2008
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