3/June/2023 in Tokyo
"Mishima was a right-wing nationalist. But also he was gay. I found it interesting"
Some European guy said to me in some western European city a few years ago
I couldn't really understand what he'd found interesting
In fact, took me several years to understand what he meant
In Europe, "right-wing" or "nationalist" or "traditionalist" all put a significant importance on heterosexual relationship, and in this context all other types of sexuality, particularly male homosexuality, are excluded, often harshly disregarded
In Japan a different attitude exists
For example, a lot of Samurai had male partners very openly
Or, in the traditional Japanese theatre, Kabuki, a male actor uses cosmetics in order to play a female role & often Kabuki actors had (still have now) male partners
Historically & culturally, male homosexuality was not labeled so negatively here, at least not as harshly excluded from the mainstream as in Europe
So that if a conservative right-wing Japanese man is gay, this isn't really against country's "tradition" or "traditional values"
Rather, being gay could even emphasise he is more loyal to tradition
As a result, even if Mishima was a nationalist as well as gay, Japanese folks don't find any contradictions here
much less "find it interesting"
But took me several years to understand what some European person had found interesting, this fact is exactly a sign that there are quite significant & very subconscious differences in this matter between in Japan & Europe