Hard Gay Performing Good Deeds

At first glance you might think that Razor Ramon Hard Gay is a Japanese version of the Village People. In fact the ex-pro wrestler takes on the streets of Tokyo doing good deeds with his patented hip-thrust and Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” playing as the theme song. Masaki Sumitani introduced his character in 2002 and finally rising to stardom in 2005 on a Saturday night Japanese variety show. Let us take a look at some of the origins behind Hard Gay (no pun intended) and what he’s all about.

Excerpt from Wikipedia

Hard Gay

The most well-known character developed and portrayed by Sumitani is Hard Gay, introduced in 2002, as whom he finally rose to national prominence in 2005. The term “Hado Gei” is a Japanese reference to American gay subculture in similar fashion to, say, “punk”. In Japan, gender subculture with distinct dress style are in fact trans-gender or drag, which in Japan is referred to as “Gei “. In turn, the term “hard gay” became the reference to more masculine oriented “drag” seen to be prevalent in America. The comedy, which is not obvious to Westerners, is derived from the fact that Hard Gay is foreign and therefore, can get away with most outrageous behavior or comment. The fact that Hard Gay does not portray any Japanese gay subculture also explains why the sketch was allowed to be aired on Japanese TV, which has its own code of political correctness.

According to some accounts the name “Hard Gay” was the suggestion of Sumitani’s senior comedian in the Yoshimoto Kogyo group, Kendo Kobayashi, in reference to his hard dancing. The name has also been described as a pun on ?, gei, which means “skill” or “art.” However, to develop his character, Sumitani visited gay bars in Doyama-cho, Osaka’s biggest gay area, and his costume, which consists of hot pants, a small vest, and cap, all in black PVC, along with aviator sunglasses, was purchased at a shop called VFTQ in Minami-Horie, Osaka, which specializes in gay fashion. Hard Gay makes regular use of a number of catch phrases in his act; he usually makes his entrance in front of the camera shouting “ Haadogei desu” (“Hello, this is Hard Gay”), with arms thrust out and a spin afterwards. His self-introduction is then followed by his famous dance moves. He often shouts “Hoooooo” or “Foohhhh!” , a running joke in his performances. He often stops people saying unfavorable things to him by shouting “Sei sei sei sei sei” with his palm in front of the person’s face. Whether this means anything is debatable, although Sumitani has commented that “sei sei” is something that comes out from his mouth when he is not happy, and that he does not mean “say” as in to speak something, although one might compare this action to the popular “talk to the hand” gesture. A possible interpretation might be that the origin lies in the word urusai (lit. “noisy,” meaning “Be quiet!”), which is often pronounced urus in Kansai dialect, shortened to sei. Another theory is the word sei written by kanji , meaning “quiet.” Also, sei , means “sex” or “gender” in Japanese.

BBC “Hard Gay” Interview

The BBC’s Jonathan Ross interviews Hard Gay.

Anna Suzuki

Since most of the United States, in my opinion is still very much homophobic, I’ll answer the first question that probably popped into your head. No he is not really gay. It was “determined” that the persona he portrayed was all a gimmick as he was caught in the midst of a date with Anna Suzuki a Japanese actress and swimsuit model whom he married in 2006 and had a child with in 2008.

As you can imagine, HG has been criticized for his stereotypical depiction of gay men and for building a career on using extreme antics to “parody” a social minority. Such is understandable since there are people out there who cannot decipher the difference between comedy and reality either by their belief system, sheer stupidity or both.

Switching from comedy to full-time wrestling he became one of the top faces with HUSTLE promotion but his wrestling career came on an abrupt end in 2009 as he suffered multiple fractures on his left ankle when he dove from the ring at Korakuen Hall. He needed 12 metal bolts inserted in his left foot to hold it together and even required skin grafts to repair it.

According to an article in Japan Zone, HG is set to return to television as he was cast as a regular on the TBS variety show “Sekai Waraeru! Journal.” He said that he made as little as ¥7,000 ($75) a month. Fortunately he was supported by his wife former Idol Anna Suzuki. He has since retired from wrestling and says that he aims to be a two-hit wonder.

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