Weekend gravure

So fate has delivered to me a small stack of 80s June magazines, documenting the early days of yaoi as a cultural force in Japan. Some of them appear to have belonged, at one time, to a "Private Gay Library."

Unfortunately they're in pretty rough condition and the binding makes them difficult to scan non-destructively, but I'll do what I can.

In the meantime, check this out -- predating Sandman by six years!

'For Morpheus'

Actually, I guess it's more like a Sandman/Hobbit crossover. The next page has some more photos and a poem by NISHIWAKI Junzaburō:

Rise and surface
O Muse
Thou hast of late in poesy
too deeply been concealed
The music of thy pipes the man of Abydos hears not
Let thy throat's curve the man of Abydos's
very heart become
'For Morpheus'

Popularity factor: 5


Sweet Stuff! I've read in "The Love of the Samurai" that some Mangaka adapted shudo legends for the June. The one they mentioned was the life of one of Oda Nobunagas boy-retainers who died in the blaze with him.

Unfortunately, that single sentence is all I've ever found about that particular interesting footnote in the history of Shounen Ai comic.


I'm just going to come right out and say it: I sort of found that poem moving.

So when you have a classical vision of Egypt absorbed through romantic English poetry reproduced by a modernist Japanese poet and then printed in a gay-themed comics magazine, is orientalism? Or is it Futuresport?


Kakanian: I shall investigate!

Brian: I think I'm going to have to vote Futuresport. That or crypto-occidento-romanticism.


After buying a book by him, losing it in a move, and forgetting what his name was in the first place, I just rediscovered Nishiwaki last week.

I think he's awesome, which just proves how much of a teenage girl I am at heart.


Ack! I need to start dropping by more regularly again.

When did you first learn about Nishiwaki?

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