Much to my surprise, my research of feudal Japan revealed a culture in which homoeroticism thrived. Not only wasn’t it oppressed and made criminal, it was a vibrant, inherent part of samurai culture.
There was a high demand for beautiful young men who could play a female role (onnegata) in sexual relations. The people who filled this role were young kabuki actors, all of whom by law, had to be male. Men played the female roles as well.
Towns without a theater relied on traveling troupes of kabuki actors who played their roles on the stage and then served the samurai customers who came to them for erotic arts. These traveling actors were known as tobiko, the Japanese word for flying fish, so named because they jumped from town to town, performing in both areas.
One of the romantic heroes of the pairing in this story is Genji, one such flying fish. Genji dreams of one day falling in love with a handsome and honorable samurai with whom he can settle down. When his path crosses with one such ronin, Daisuke, Genji doesn’t dare to dream that life could turn out the way he wants it to, so he dismisses his afternoon of passion with Daisuke as just that and moves on. Only, Daisuke isn’t going to make it that easy for him.
I hope that you will read Flying Fish and if so, that you’ll love Genji and Daisuke’s story of the rocky road to finding what’s most true in their hearts.
Do you love samurai films and if so, what’s been your favorite?
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you will keep in touch.
Sword and Silk: Book One
In eighteenth century Japan, during the golden age of samurai and of the Kabuki theater, young actors known as “flying fish” traveled the countryside, performing for audiences by day and giving their bodies to their samurai patrons at night.
Genji Sakura is one such flying fish, yet he dreams of finding the man he can give his heart to and leave the loneliness of his itinerant life behind. Though he loves theater, he doesn’t love every part of his profession, especially some of the patrons. So when a handsome ronin comes upon him stealing some solitude for a bath in a hot spring and their encounter turns passionate, Genji’s surprised and delighted.
Daisuke Minamoto’s past fills his life with a bitterness that grips his soul and makes him dangerous. Yet passion takes him when he spies on a graceful young man bathing naked in a hot spring. He has always loved women, but he can’t deny the call of his heart.
After an afternoon of sexual bliss, his heart and soul are tormented and torn. Keeping this miraculous lover will require giving up the one thing that has kept him alive for years: his hatred for the lord who murdered his wife. If he loves another, how will he go on and who will he become?
A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.
First Edition published by Loose ID LLC, 2009.