Danso revolution! 10 ways to experience crossdressing culture in Tokyo

Danso—women dressing and performing as men—has been an element of Tokyo girls’ underground culture for years, but with a recent boom in otaku visibility has become more and more popular. Especially big among young women who see danso as the ideal too-perfect-to-be-true guy, danso is even becoming popular among men who think they can learn a thing or two from their cool style. There are now many ways to experience danso culture in Tokyo, but you can enjoy it from abroad, too!

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Japanese high school boys hold annual beauty pageant, look as cute as ever【Pics】

Beauty pageants for boys dressed up as girls are kind of a thing in Japan now. Whether you think they’re awesome or kind of confusing, you can’t help but admit that the entrants usually manage to pull off the cute girl look surprisingly well.

This month marks the annual Miss Komaba High School Pageant, a contest that has been going on for several years now and which invites young men to dress like their female peers . Last year’s contestants were pretty good, but can this year’s pretty boys give them a run for their money? Let’s find out!

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Can you spot what’s odd about this Japanese classroom?【Video】

Japanese commercials are known all over the world for being just as entertaining as the programs they interrupt. Whether they’re ridiculously cute, heartbreakingly sad, a little confusing, or nightmare-inducingly bizarre, most commercials have something special going on.

So what about this commercial? It looks so normal at first; it’s just a bunch of high school girls hanging out in a classroom, playing a guitar, reading, whatever. But then, right in the middle, something happens. Watch it for yourself and see if you can figure it out before the reveal!

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Sailor-style school uniform outfits for men are warm, fleecy and said to reduce stress

Watch out sailor sisters! There’s a new line of sailor-themed clothing on sale and this time it’s the boys’ turn to come out and play. There won’t be any trousers or navy hats here though, because the only thing masculine about these clothes are the bodies that will be going into them.

It’s the Boku Sera (“I’m a Sailor”) range, which uses the Japanese male pronoun boku to highlight exactly what sets the clothes apart from all others we’ve seen before: these are girls’ sailor-style school uniforms, only now they’re built for male bodies.

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The “beautiful boy” Mister Bishoujo Contest is over, but who was crowned the prettiest boy?【Pics】

Two weeks ago, online voting began for the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Mister Bishoujo Contest, where the “prettiest” boys were put up for the internet to decide. Now the results are in and a winner has been declared!

And that’s not all: the contestants have put up a lot more photos of themselves in the meantime, so you can take a look at just how impressive their girl game is. Prepare to be amazed, and perhaps slightly confused, after the jump!

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Beautiful boys abound! Tokyo university introduces “Mister Bishoujo” contestants, polls now open

The internet can’t seem to get enough beautiful boys and handsome girls. Not that we’re complaining; there’s something strangely mesmerizing about people who can pull off looking like the opposite gender so well that no one can tell the difference. Plus, what’s not to like about someone just being who they are and looking good while doing it?

Well, Tokyo Institute of Technology (東工大/Toukoudai or TIT… okay, get your giggles out now!) seems to feel the same way, because, alongside their Miss Toukoudai Contest they’re having a Mister Bishoujo Contest—bishoujo being the Japanese word for “beautiful young girl”—allowing voters to pick their favorite Mr. Beautiful!

Join us after the jump to check out the contestants!

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If he’s too hot, then he must be a girl! Japanese women smitten with “hot-guy girl” model

Every once in a while, we touch upon the topic of crossdressing, and more often than not, the attention is placed on men crossdressing as women. Iconic male crossdressers such as Ladybeard and the “Sailor Suit Old Man” have been steadily gaining popularity, but at the same time, women who crossdress as men have also been bringing a new breeze into the entertainment scene in Japan.

Female crossdressing model Root has been the talk of the town in recent months, capturing the hearts of thousands of fangirls with her good looks and smooth moves. Some even think that she’s more desirable than actual male idols! More pictures of the lady charmer after the break!

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Salon ZOOM in Tokyo offers crossdressing transformations for both men and women

Perhaps you’re getting ready to cosplay as your favorite opposite-gendered character or you’re on your way to one of the dedicated crossdressing bars in Tokyo or Osaka. Maybe you just want to experience what it feels like to dress as a member of the opposite sex. Whatever your reasons for wanting to make a few cosmetic changes, there’s a beauty salon in Tokyo that would be more than happy to help you out, and promises to give you the full cross-dressing treatment you require.

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Chinese man dresses up as woman to spy in bathrooms, has no idea what women look like

It’s getting harder and harder to be a Peeping Tom. With anti-chikan policies and people becoming more vigilant at younger ages, they have to get creative if they’re going to get their illegal jollies.

But sometimes it’s possible to get a little too creative. One man in China dressed up as a woman so he could sneak peeks in women’s restrooms. But based on the costume he chose, it’s not entirely clear if he’s ever actually seen a woman before in his life.

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Cute girl or cool chap? We like both! Besides, they’re the same person anyway!【Photos】

There’s this urban legend about pictures of cute girls online which claims that “if she’s too cute, she must be a guy”. Well, after seeing so many mesmerizing cross-dressers, we can’t help but feel the same way at times. If that’s the case, then, it should be only fair to say that “if he’s too suave, he must be a girl”. Because, you know, all that stuff about equality… but mostly, these Chinese and Korean girls who look stunning dressed as guys.

Joining the list is Japanese Twitter user, RiM, who looks idol-material both as a guy or as a girl!

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‘Josou’ specialist Naoko Tachibana opens crossdressing photography retrospective in Tokyo【Photos】

Naoko Tachibana is a photographer and professional ‘josou’ specialist who has helped over 1,000 men to try out crossdressing, giving styling and fashion advice as well as shooting stunning photos of the completed transformation. And josou itself – male to female crossdressing – is the theme of a new solo exhibition of Tachibana’s photographic work, which opens at the Vanilla Gallery in Ginza, Tokyo this month.

Join us after the jump for a peek at the promotional shots for the exhibition, featuring Ladybeard and more!

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Ladybeard x Sailor Suit Old Man star in “dream collaboration” at school!

Frequent readers of our site should by now be familiar with Ladybeard, the eccentric jack-of-all-trades whose amusing antics we’ve covered multiple times, and “Sailor Suit Old Man,” the affectionate nickname of an infamous cross-dressing Japanese man.

You may remember the duo’s previous epic collaboration on the streets of Harajuku in Tokyo, but for fans of the unusual duo we’ve got good news–the pair have teamed up once again and are ready to share their latest round of funny photos! We proudly present the “Ladybeard x Sailor Suit Old Man dream collaboration at school.”  

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“We don’t want to be girls. We just want to be cute!” The future of crossdressing in Osaka

Tokyo’s Onna no ko kurabu, or Girls’ Club, has a simple mission statement: it’s a place where anybody can enjoy dressing in girls’ clothing. The bar’s staff aims to help men who may be crossdressing for the first time, providing clothes to choose from as well as a dedicated make-up service.

And now, Girls’ Club is spreading the cuteness a little further, with the opening of a second store in the heart of Osaka’s entertainment district.

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Somebody call mall security! Grown man dressed as little girl shows off for shoppers

Last weekend, shoppers at Q’s Mall in the Abeno district of Osaka were treated to an appearance by this (unidentified) middle-aged man dressed in the typical garb of a Japanese junior school student. Unfazed by the public gaze, he posed for pictures and smiled for shoppers who paused to take in his… unusual choice of attire.

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Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school

The whole concept of an all-boys high school is kind of cruel when you think about it. You take a bunch of young men who have only recently hit puberty and are practically oozing hormones out of their pores and lock them in a prison-like environment filled with nothing but other males for the majority of their teen lives.

So it’s understandable that at least one Japanese all-boys high school, faced with an utter lack of girls to ogle, chose to get a little creative… by holding an annual beauty pageant to determine the prettiest “girl” in school.

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Monthly “Propaganda” event in Tokyo is a paradise for the trans and crossdressing communities

As another one of those tricky wasei-eigo words, “new half” refers to transsexual individuals and those people who identify more with the opposite gender. A new Japanese term has also established itself within the past several years to denote the same thing–男の娘, which is pronounced as otoko no ko (the usual way to say “boys”) but written with the kanji for otoko no musume (“young women-men”; musume refers to “young ladies” as in the name of the sensational idol group Morning Musume).

Thanks in large part to the prevalence of otoko no ko in popular manga, social media sites, and video games, casual crossdressing events are enjoying a relative boom of popularity in Japan, and nowhere is this phenomenon more visible than at the monthly Propaganda event held in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Best of all, there are no strings attached–everyone is welcome, from professional drag queens to adults just looking to experiment with a different way of having fun! More details after the jump.

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Ao-nyan: Japan’s super-feminine model who’s, yes, actually a guy 【Photos】

Earlier this week, we talked about Thailand’s Tom subculture. Stemming from the word “tomboy,” Toms are women who follow the fashion trends and speech patterns of men, oftentimes so completely that they win over the romantic affections of other women.

Today, we’re crossing over to the other side of things with a look at rising Japanese celebrity Ao-nyan, whose feminine looks and girlish style are winning fame and fans, even though the model is a guy.

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Tama Toys, the makers of the “my first makeup set” for otokonoko, have been steadily expanding their lineup targeted at men who have a thing for dressing up as girls, and they just made a new breakthrough with their new latest product, sanitary panties for men. The product even comes packaged with a sanitary napkin enclosed because we all know males menstruate too.

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Seeing double? Twin-like couple wed in the most controversial marriage in Russia【Photos】

Are your eyes playing tricks on you? Maybe.

Take another look at that picture up there. They’re not twins, not even sisters. They are romantically involved, and they might be best friends, but they’re definitely not gay. The couple pictured above are husband and wife. Which one is the husband? Find out after the break!

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Live out your secret idol fantasies with Dolly Kanon for 3DS

We’ve seen plenty about virtual girlfriends, fun little apps that provide you with all the charms of an attractive girl (well, almost all) without the inconvenience of having to deal with a real person. Well, what if you’ve been waiting for the crossdressing male version…?!

In Dolly Kanon, the newly announced Nintendo 3DS game from Happinet, you can take on the role of musical producer as you manage your secret cross-dressing boyfriend’s career as a music idol!

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