Japanese gay, lesbian, and transgender pride is here again this weekend, with the 7th Tokyo Pride Parade, happening on Saturday, August 14, 2010 (see Tokyo Events, Gay & Lesbian).
Tokyo was the first city in Japan to have a public gay/lesbian pride event, in 1994. It inspired a similar event that began in Sapporo City, Hokkaido, two years later: what is now known as the Rainbow Parade, Japan's longest-lived annual gay and lesbian parade.
Tokyo's gay lesbian pride parade has a rather convoluted history that - perhaps appropriately for being in Japan's political center of Tokyo - much reflects the nature of Japanese history itself, with at least a modicum of infighting that has seen the event stop and start and change names more than once.
Despite what goes on behind the scenes, the Tokyo Pride Parade, as it is now known, is Tokyo's biggest gay and lesbian and transgender party where the boys and girls party with flamboyance and style, the outrageous gleefully outweighing the chic.
The 7th Tokyo Pride Parade, like those that have preceded it, is officially classified as a "demonstration" rather than a festival, so anyone wishing to participate in the parade itself - that circles the streets of Shibuya ward - must register to participate by 10.30am on the day.
The organizers are expecting a crowd of about 5,000. Go on, make it 5,001! See you there.
Read more about the history of Tokyo Pride.