Why I Adopted My Husband: A Fun Manga Primer on LGBTQ Issues in Japan

Posted in: Comics, Manga, Review | Tagged: comiket, doujinshi, LGBTQ, manga, tokyopop, Why I Adopted My Husband, Yuta Yagi


Why I Adopted My Husband Yuta Yagi is a fun and funny autobiographical manga about how he and his partner made their union legal in Japan.


Why I Adopted My Husband has a self-explanatory title. Manga and Light Novel titles are good for that. Yuta Yagi’s autobiographical “essay manga” (as they’re called in Japan) does precisely what the title says, which is a story of how he met his partner, lived with him for twenty years, and how they got married in a country where there’s no gay marriage, but exploited a legal loophole to get the legal protections of a marriage. And it’s light, fun, cute and funny. It’s also an instruction manual for how adult couples can adopt each other in Japan.

Why I Adopted My Husband: Tokyopop Publishing Manga Love Story Memoir
“Why I Adopted My Husband” cover art: TOKYOPOP

Yagi begins Why I Adopted My Husband with an introduction to what gay men are like dispelling the stereotype of campy, buff guys or teddy bear daddies. Yuta and his partner Kyota look like any other ordinary person on the street in Japan. They’re both otakus and dispel the outmoded stereotype that they are unkempt, slovenly, shut-in nerds who would get arrested if they lurked near schoolyards. The chapters cover how they met at a Comiket, the largest comic con in Japan, where Yuta regularly sold his doujinshi (amateur, self-published manga), their courtship, moving in, reaching middle-age together, their decision to get married, and working out whether to get a legal contract before deciding legal adoption was the better option. Then there’s the thorny issue of coming out to their parents and how to handle a homophobic father who might get angry.

Why would a gay couple adopt each other in Japan? Because without legal marriage, partners are not recognized as family members by law, which would result in many problems. If one partner suffers a medical emergency, the other wouldn’t have a say in their care or treatment. There would be property and inheritance issues If or when one partner dies. The dead partner’s family could take possession of the deceased’s property and leave the surviving partner with nothing. Adoption solves those issues. The older partner becomes the parent, and the younger partner becomes the adoptee. This legal loophole has become commonplace for LGBTQ couples in Japan, and Why I Adopted My Husband shows why and how. It even shows you how to fill in the forms for legal adoption in Japan.

If you know nothing about what homosexuality or LGBTQ people, Why I Adopted My Husband is a perfect introduction and learning tool. It also teaches you about Japanese culture, how many family traditions are ingrained into law, and how that’s both a comfort to people and can hinder LGBTQ people who want to live their lives. It’s cute and funny and gets the points across with a spoonful of sugar instead of a hammer.

Why I Adopted My Husband is out from Tokyopop.

Why I Adopted My Husband


Why I Adopted My Husband: Tokyopop Publishing Manga Love Story Memoir

Review by Adi Tantimedh


10/10

Why I Adopted My Husband Yuta Yagi is a fun and funny autobiographical manga about how he and his partner made their union legal in Japan.


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