Like many young Japanese males, 29-year-old Nanami Igarashi is working hard to establish his career as he lives with his girlfriend. His hobby, however, is somewhat unique.
Igarashi enjoys putting on make-up and dressing as women. Whether it was putting on his girlfriend's make-up or wearing her clothes, he kept himself occupied while she was out of the house. Igarashi is what is called an "otokonoko" (男の娘), which is a Japanese wordplay on "otokonoko" (男の子) or "boy" that is used to refer to men who dress as women.
Born Keichi Igarashi, his mother is famed manga artist Yumiko Igarashi of Candy Candy fame. His father is Kazuhiko Inoue, one of Japan's top voice actors with credits in everything from anime (Detective Conan, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Naruto) to video games (Kingdom Hearts II, Super Robot Wars and the Japanese version of Resistance Retribution). He started out as junior member at Johnny's Entertainment, Japan's biggest boy band agency.
Igarashi is making his debut as a lady-clothes-wearing manga artist with the forthcoming essay-style manga in which he talks about the time his girlfriend discovered his secret and offers tips on things like make-up and clothes. Igarashi's parents are supportive of his hobby with his mother even providing a blurb for his book jacket.
Igarash isn't alone with the likes of professional fighter Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima getting in on the act.
Earlier this year, a new (and self-descriptive) Japanese publication called "WAaI! boys in skirts" launched, hoping to capitalize on this trend. The first issue came bundled with a pair of schoolgirl athletic shorts in a "large" size.
"I am an Otokonoko!" hits Japanese bookstores later this month.
超美少女！元ジャニーズJr.！「キャンディ・キャンディ」作者の息子が「男の娘」として漫画家デビュー！ [Yahoo! News]