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WARNING:NOT FOR THE FAINTHEARTED)Tokyo Transsexual Cooks and Serves His Own Genitals at Public “Ham Cybele” Banquet, Police Shrug, “It’s Not Illegal”
Posted: 26 May 2012 05:12 AM   [ Ignore ]
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On Sunday, April 13, Tokyo illustrator Mao Sugiyama (who goes by the nickname “HC”), publicly seasoned and braised his own genitals on a portable gas cartridge burner, and then served them to five eager diners who each paid about $250 for the meal (a sixth was a no-show). The genitals had been returned to the asexual Sugiyama, frozen and double-bagged in plastic, following elective genital removal surgery on his 22nd birthday in early April.

After initially considering eating them himself, Sugiyama offered the meal on Twitter in mid-April to the first person willing to pay 100,000 yen (about $1,250). But after the notoriety that his tweet caused, he organized a public banquet, dubbed “Ham Cybele – Century Banquet,” at the “Asagaya Loft A” event space in the Suginami Ward of Tokyo. “Century” in Japanese is a homophone for the Japanese word for “genitals”; “Ham Cybele” refers to the Anatolian mother goddess, prefixed with an appropriate word for tough meat to create a phrase whose initials match Sugiyama’s artist name of HC.

The day before the event Sugiyama tweeted, “I’m starting to thaw them out,” and posted this photo (warning: not for the squeamish). On the day of the event a crowd of about 70 mostly twenty-somethings gathered, five to a table, to listen to a piano recital and panel discussion before the dinner.

Although only five servings of the genitals were available, the other diners were served alternate beef- and crocodile-based dishes. The cooking was done by Sugiyama himself, dressed as a chef, under the supervision of a licensed food preparation specialist.

Full Story with photos.

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Posted: 26 May 2012 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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sick

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Posted: 26 May 2012 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Wow, five servings.
Some men only have enough for a…...

hmm, no I’m not going there.

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Posted: 26 May 2012 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The concept of ‘eager diners’ for such an event… Um… Yeah…

I think I’ll be having mac and cheese tonight.

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Posted: 27 May 2012 08:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Isn’t cannibalism illegal in most places?

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Posted: 27 May 2012 09:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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gray - 27 May 2012 08:08 PM

Isn’t cannibalism illegal in most places?

Only if somebody went through the trouble of enacting a law specifically against it.

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Posted: 27 May 2012 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Accipiter - 27 May 2012 09:38 PM
gray - 27 May 2012 08:08 PM

Isn’t cannibalism illegal in most places?

Only if somebody went through the trouble of enacting a law specifically against it.

I think it’s likely a grey area when someone… does that.

I think that they should be charged with ‘improperly disposing of medical waste’ however.

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Posted: 28 May 2012 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The article specifically adresses the cannibalism point, by the looks of it it isn’t illegal in Japan, probably because, as as Accipiter notes, the Japanese legal system has never felt the need to pass a law against it. Not to mention the diners all specifically consented to being fed the artist’s genitals, which discounts any issues of people eating genitals without knowledge or consent or anything like that.

Robin, you might have a point about the disposal of medical waste though, assuming that’s also an offence in Japan, which sounds plausible. In the UK they could probably use the ‘Breach of the Peace’ charge, which can be used for any behaviour ‘likely to cause offence or alarm to the public’ if memory serves, regardless if anyone actually was offended. Very vague law, which is why it’s a bit of a catch-all, used where other offences might be a bit hard to prove. (One of those controversial ones, a Civil Servant friend of mine is dead against the charge as used, as in his experience it’s often used in conjunction with all sorts of profiling based on combinations age, social class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, subcultures and similar. For example, a group of white, middle class university students from a ‘nice area’ might get off with a warning for getting a bit loud and exuberant in public after a night’s drinking, whereas a group of working class youths from an ethnic minority might find themselves in court facing a fine and a criminal record for the same thing, as an example. But I digress, quite spectacularly in this case!)

I was interested in the fact that the article refers to HC, the artist, as ‘he’ throughout. At the end of the article though it notes that although they refer to him as a transexual, he really considers himself not a female, but a third gender, neither male nor female, sort of like the Hijra of India. I’m kind of glad they mentioned that, as until that part I had thought this was another infuriating example of the media getting itself and everyone else mixed up whenever dealing with transgender and transexual people, e.g. determinidely referring to TG or TS people as the gender they were born with in spite of their wishes.

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Posted: 28 May 2012 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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C. McArthur - 28 May 2012 12:55 PM

I was interested in the fact that the article refers to HC, the artist, as ‘he’ throughout. At the end of the article though it notes that although they refer to him as a transexual, he really considers himself not a female, but a third gender, neither male nor female, sort of like the Hijra of India. I’m kind of glad they mentioned that, as until that part I had thought this was another infuriating example of the media getting itself and everyone else mixed up whenever dealing with transgender and transexual people, e.g. determinidely referring to TG or TS people as the gender they were born with in spite of their wishes.

I’d imagine that it would be standard practice to report on such people as whatever birth gender they were, unless the person specifically states some other preference.  The reporter knows that the person at least was that gender at one point, while doesn’t have any indication to the contrary for the present.  And they have to call the person something.  The only other options are to use no pronouns at all (which could be clunky and awkward), or else to use “it” (which would probably not be appreciated by anybody involved).

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Posted: 29 May 2012 03:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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The penis was alive, not dead.
QED: No cannibalism.

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Posted: 29 May 2012 03:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Accipiter - 28 May 2012 07:41 PM
C. McArthur - 28 May 2012 12:55 PM

I was interested in the fact that the article refers to HC, the artist, as ‘he’ throughout. At the end of the article though it notes that although they refer to him as a transexual, he really considers himself not a female, but a third gender, neither male nor female, sort of like the Hijra of India. I’m kind of glad they mentioned that, as until that part I had thought this was another infuriating example of the media getting itself and everyone else mixed up whenever dealing with transgender and transexual people, e.g. determinidely referring to TG or TS people as the gender they were born with in spite of their wishes.

I’d imagine that it would be standard practice to report on such people as whatever birth gender they were, unless the person specifically states some other preference.  The reporter knows that the person at least was that gender at one point, while doesn’t have any indication to the contrary for the present.  And they have to call the person something.  The only other options are to use no pronouns at all (which could be clunky and awkward), or else to use “it” (which would probably not be appreciated by anybody involved).

The term I’ve heard for ‘third gender’ folks is ‘genderqueer’, which pretty much translates to the biological and psychological equivalent of ‘it’s complicated’.

There’s been a host of folks trying to come up with ‘gender-neutral’ pronouns, or ones describing hermaphrodites/intersexed/genderqueer situations. None of them have really caught on. The closest to any common ground would have to be Spivak pronouns, though those always look a bit odd. I’ve always preferred using the ‘singular they’ for such instances.

I will point out that in the online furry community, there’s quite a few folks with hermaphrodite characters. The pronouns ‘Hir’ and ‘Sie’ are common, with ‘Shi’ being often used for shemales (female bodies, male genitals). There was one person who used ‘Hym’ to describe the gender condition of ‘too fluffy to tell’.

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Posted: 30 May 2012 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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That’s what I mean Accipiter, when I had read the start of the article mentioning a transsexual who was formerly male as ‘he’, it seemed a bit wrong that HC wasn’t being called ‘she’, but when I got to the paragraph about HC’s gender identity it made sense, as you say it’s hard to see what else would be used. Robin, your information about the Furry community’s solution to the issue with characters is interesting, I have to admit I’ve never had a lot of contact with that subculture before, so it’s new to me.

I had a good lecturer at university who was a fairly respected expert on gender, sex, sexuality and surrounding issues, who had been headhunted from doing fieldwork with an NGO, he told us about groups like India’s Hijra, Samoa’s Fa’fafine and others which was really quite interesting. Those groups are generally born males, but for different reasons are considered by themselves, and at least some others (the concept of the Fa’fafine for example is deep rooted in the traditional culture of Samoa apparently, although presently I’ve never been so I haven’t seen that first hand. Hijra are more marginalised though.), to be not male or female, but an entirely third gender with distinct attributes.

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