Navigation

Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Yaoi Manga comics break sexual taboos for young Swiss

Japanese mangas depicting love stories between men – written, drawn, and read by girls – have been popular in Japan for more than twenty years. Now ‘yaoi’, which has become its own literary genre, is also attracting fans among Swiss teenage girls and igniting dialogue about sexuality in the process.

In Lausanne, the Tanigama bookstore, which specialises in mangas and other Japanese animation, devotes an entire shelf to yaoi. The section is mostly visited by young girls. While the books depict homosexual relationships between men, yaoi is not popular among homosexuals.

In fact, yaoi is designed by women for women. Female readers originally turned to yaoi out of frustration with mangas targeted at their demographic, such as shojo, which portrayed women as submissive.

Opening a dialogue

Swiss public television RTS met young female fans of the genre, such as 13-year-old Lucille, who explains why she likes yaoi. “I find them cute. They teach you to have an open mind and that you can’t choose for others.”

Her mother Mona finds that the books can help open a dialogue about sexuality and gender. “There may be young people who are questioning their sexual orientation. They may find it reassuring that even in mangas we are talking about it in a serious way, without ridiculing."

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line


SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

SWI swissinfo.ch on Instagram

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.









Click here to see more newsletters