Durian Lollobrigida, drag queen
Photo: Courtesy of Durian Lollobrigida

Meet Tokyo's favourite drag queens

These fierce and fabulous queens are the life of the party in Tokyo – and here's why we love them

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen
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While the Tokyo drag queen scene can be difficult to tap into if you don’t have someone to show you the ropes, once you’ve been introduced to the top queens and clued in to where they perform, the city is your oyster.

Watch these professional lip syncers put your weekday shower routines to shame as they slay the stages of Shinjuku. Contrary to popular belief, drag queen shows are not exclusive to the LGBT community – anyone is welcome to be starstruck by the stage presence of these multi-talented queens and their alter-egos.

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Yas Queens!

Shigata Ichikuchi
Photo: Taro Irei

Shigata Ichikuchi

It’s hard not to be a little intimidated by Shigata Ichikuchi’s nine-inch heels, but this diva is a warm and impossibly charismatic host and performer. Shinichi co-founded Haus of Gaishoku with Goma Dango and moved to Tokyo from Osaka to help expand the collective.

Shigata previously lived in Paris where she actively participated in large-scale pride events and is eager to bring international LGBT communities together. Whether she’s dressed head to toe in dominatrix leather or a lavish kimono, her acts are often accompanied by her entourage of admirers who wear matching outfits and wave fans with Shinichi’s face on them as she takes to the stage.

Durian Lollobrigida
Photo: Courtesy of Durian Lollobrigida

Durian Lollobrigida

Durian Lollobrigida owes her last name to her favourite Italian actress, Gina Lollobrigida, and her first name to, you guessed it, the king of fruits. ‘It’s stinky but tasty,’ she quips. This veteran performer has been dressing in drag since 2006, but that doesn’t mean she’s planning to slow down anytime soon. Durian attributes her uniqueness to her endless hunger for life. ‘I want to do it all!’ she says. ‘I want to sing and dance and lip sync, be a fashion model and fall in love, too.

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Goma Dango
Photo: Mark Weich

Goma Dango

Named after her favourite dessert (sweet sesame dumpling), Goma Dango is a Jackie of all trades. This curl-rocking MC is rarely seen in less than three outfits in a night, each paired with her custom statement necklaces.

Goma started performing on stage with the bilingual improv group Pirates of Tokyo Bay. She later co-founded the queer collective Haus of Gaishoku as a way to combine her comedy skills with her drag queen act and provide performance opportunities for new talents.  She’s a little ditzy, delightfully funny and we can’t help but adore her.

Vera Strondh
Photo: Courtesy of Vera Strondh

Vera Strondh

Small but mighty, sultry Vera is the life of every party. With her Ariana Grandesque up-do, she loves representing her roots by incorporating some Latina flair into her outfits and performances such as a flower in her hair or a scarlet red salsa dress.

Vera started to do drag after receiving encouragement from her co-workers at famed gay bar Eagle Tokyo in Shinjuku Ni-chome and credits her drag persona with helping her become stronger and more resilient as she learned to embrace herself wholeheartedly. Her favourite music genres are jazz and hiphop, but as a dancer of 11 years, this fierce showgirl can choreograph jaw-dropping performances to pretty much anything. A true dynamite.

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Kosmic Sans
Photo: Courtesy of Kosmic Sans

Kosmic Sans

A former graphic designer, Kosmic Sans wanted to incorporate typography into her stage name and chose to put a twist on the playful font Comic Sans. Kosmic identifies as an introvert, but got over her shyness when she discovered how much she enjoyed performing for people one year at Tokyo Rainbow Pride. 

While some might see drag as a competition, this queen is in it for the fun. Kosmic is a regular performer at Tokyo venues including Eagle Tokyo and Aisotope Lounge, but she is also known to jetset for performances overseas – Taipei one week and Paris the next!

Woshiruko Anano
Photo: Courtesy of Woshiruko Anano

Woshiruko Anano

Woshiruko Anano first discovered her drag persona in March of 2014. The experience was such a pivotal moment in her life that she even had the exact date tattooed in the anchor on her arm . She’s no stranger to the big stage, either. Woshiruko is a member of Gayshagirls, a performance group working towards increasing queer visibility whilst entertaining as many crowds as possible.

Woshiruko prides herself on her versatility. Her persona is a perfect fusion of cute and sexy, and she finds it easy to adjust her performance based on the spirit and atmosphere of the event.

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