The documentary Shinjuku Boys by Kim Longinotto is about three women, Gaish, Tatsu, and Kazuki. They all three decided to live their life as what they think they really are. They consider themselves as “Onabe”. Onabe are women who desires women as their partners, and which is not actually acceptable to the society of Japan. In this paper, I would like to introduce how they struggle being themselves in the Japanese society. The Japanese refuse to use the word lesbian because they don`t accept lesbian exist in Japan.
The three women in the documentary works in the nightclub New Marilyn as a host who serves drink to women costumers, as a man. They show how they are more like a man by their hairstyle, how they dress, their language, how they talk, and how they treat women. Their customers are women who are frustrated from work, and are looking for love and care. However they see Onabe as their ideal man, we can also say that the customers are just looking for fun. “Onabe” still is a woman in terms of biology, and eventually costumers have to marry a real man, so a serious relationship is hard to be made here.
These three leading women in this film are searching for acceptance in a harsh society, and the only way they can do this is in Japan is by working in a nightclub like New Marilyn. Their norm is far away from the norm of the Japanese society and therefore they live in a difficult way. As a conclusion, Japanese society made this atmosphere that denies the existence of “homosexuality” in women that made their lives difficult. Japan has to move forward, and change the way they look at it to western way of perceiving in the future.