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13 November 2021

Torai Masae (1963 - ) activist

Torai Masea was raised in Tokyo.  He completed transition to male with surgery in the United States in 1987 and 1989. 

In 1987 he had appeared as a trans man on television and in magazines, which resulted in hundreds of letters, and replying became too much work. On his trip to the US in 1989 he found Louis Sullivan’s FTM Newsletter. In 1994 he founded FTM Nippon and with it a newsletter. He quit his job in that the job and running FTM Nippon were too much. However it took most of his savings, at a time when he had not paid off his surgery debt. He was also looking after his sick parents. Other trans men sent in material, and it was published in the newsletter and he then created FTM Nippon Press to publish books by them pseudonymously. 

He translated books by Jamison Green and published them with permission. 

In May 2001 he led a group of transsexuals who filed lawsuits in four family courts to have their family register details changed, with success in 2004. 

He is the author of several books on transsexuality.

  • Torai Masae.「男から女になったワタシ」 [I Who Have Become a Man from a Woman]. Seikyu-sha, 1996.
  • Andrew Matzner.“FTM in Japan: Interview with Masae Torai”. TG Tapestry. 91, Fall 2000. Online.
  • Hiroshi Matsubara. “Sex change no cure for torment: Surgery an option but transsexuals still face legal walls”. The Japan Times,Jun 20, 2001. Online.
  • Torai Masae “Japan: A Sexually Unique Country”. In Tracie O’Keefe& Katrina Fox (eds). Finding the Real Me: True Tales of Sex & Gender Diversity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003:68-75.
  • Torai Masae.「男の戸籍をください」 [Register Me as a Man]. Mainichishinbunsha, 2003.
  • Mark McLelland. Queer Japan from the Pacific War to the Internet Ag Rowman & Littlefield 2005: 207.
  • Mark McLelland. “From the stage to the clinic: changing transgender identities in post-war Japan”. Japan Forum,16,1, 2004: 16.

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