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Newhalf, the Japanese ladyboy

Amanda Valentine Dela Cruz
This post was last updated on .

Plenty of words are used to define transgender women. Some are even deemed offensive in other countries yet are perfectly normal for the countries these words originated from. This is why if you’re planning to date an asian ladyboy, you must know what words may or may not offend her and how to address her properly.

Today, you’re going to learn about semantics that are encompassing the Japanese ladyboy… in particular, the word NEWHALF (ニューハーフ). We’re also going to discuss them as individuals and everything about their world.

What is a newhalf?

It is a word that’s popular in Japan to pertain to a transgender woman. Although the word taken literally can also define transgender men, it is mostly used for trans women.

Added to that, it’s also commonly used for transgender women who still possess a peen.

a newhalf
Photo by Heshan Perera on Unsplash

Internet’s language however, makes it seem like it is synonymous to the word shemale because when you do a quick Google search of the word, you’re going to see a majority of transgender women adult content.

Newhalf, the word from a Japanese literal sense means someone who’s half woman and half man and has been widely used in the country and originally did not have any ill intents. However, in today’s world, it’s not as normal as it used to be anymore.

Newhalfs in Ancient Japan

Before the popularization of Abrahamic religions, they already existed. In the Edo period of Japan, accounts of male to female individuals have extensive records in the history books.


Kabuki is a term used to describe men dressing up as women to perform in shows.

This may be considered synonymous to modern day’s cross-dressing or drag performances but what we also don’t know is how these kabukis live behind the scenes.

a Kabuki
Image by guillermo gavilla on Pixabay 

What we do have in the records is one of the onnagata actors Yoshizawa Ayame, who dressed up and behaved as a woman even outside the theater.


Edo’s red-light district Yoshiwara was also filled with trans-masculine workers.

Image by Masashi Wakui on Pixabay

They’re also apparent in onabe bars since the 1960s.

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Is it offensive?

If you want to stay on the safe side, please avoid using the word newhalf. It may be acceptable if you’re a Japanese transgender woman or someone who’s from Japan but generally, it is nowadays seen more of a derogatory word rather than just a slang.

two japaneses people
Image by tookapic on Pixabay

Yes, you may argue that the origin still has more weight than the present connotation… however, you have to realize that in life, nothing’s constant but change. There are many other words that were not as offensive back then as they are today but why take a risk when you can simply use something as safe as a transgender woman.

What do Japanese people call Transgender Women?

Now that the word is not what it used to be anymore, you may be wondering what Japanese people are using nowadays to address transgender women.

Nope, you have not guessed it right. In Japan, it’s still okay to call transgender women newhalf. They’re also called tranny and ladyboy and these terms are not as offensive as they are in the west.

a Japanese ladyboy
Photo by Bach Tran on Unsplash

In Thailand, ladyboy and kathoey are still widely used. In the Philippines, a lot of people still call transgender women bakla which is an umbrella term used to define transgender women and gay men.

Other terms that you could look up are:

  • Transsexual woman
  • Trans woman
  • Hijra (India)
  • Bakla / Bayot (Philippines)
  • Waria (Indonesia)
  • Travesti (Latin America)

The evolution of these words still have not caught up to the majority of the population in the east. However, with all due respect, if you already know the negative connotations that these words hold, it’s better for you to just be the bigger person and address transgender women as women.

What does Futanari have to do with the Japanese ladyboy?

Futanari in a literal sense in Japan is used to pertain to hermaphrodite people. However, it evolved into a word that’s widely used to sell transgender women adult comics or Futanari Manga. Nowadays, instead of it being known as a word to use for hermaphrodites, its literal meaning became peengirl.

a trans woman
Photo by Moreno Matković on Unsplash

This is why when you do a search in google for Futanari in Google Images, you will be flooded with a lot of adult content that includes characters depicting transgender women with peens.

Famous Japanese Newhalfs

There are plenty of famous Japanese transgender women. Some are even government officials. Although the semantics haven’t quite evolved, the respect for transgender women in Japan is constantly growing.

Aya Kamikawa

She is not only highly-respected in Japan’s trans community. This lady is also the first openly trans person to win elected office in Japan.

Aya Kamikawa
Twitter – @KamikawaAya

Her platforms revolve around :

  • the rights of women
  • the elderly
  • children
  • handicapped
  • gay
  • lesbian
  • bisexual
  • transgender individuals

Ai Haruna

Ai’s journey to stardom started when she won the most prestigious international beauty pageant for transgender women Miss International Queen in 2009.

Today, Ai Haruna is a superstar in Japan. She’s a TV personality, singer, and model who’s also a household name in Japan.

Kayo Satoh (佐藤かよ)

Japanese women are known for their porcelain skin and doll-like beauty. Kayo was blessed with these features and more. Born in Nagoya, she ran away from home at a young age as people from her town didn’t understand her gender identity.

Kayo Satoh
Twitter – @KayoPolice

During her escape, she stayed with a friend who graciously lent her clothes and she worked as a clerk at a clothing store for women. There, she was discovered and is now a fashion model who’s famous in a fighting game community.

Can Japanese Transgender Women change their gender Markers?

Sadly in Japan, its views on gender identity are not as advanced as its views on technology.

In Japan, transgender people may only change their legal documents if they’re :

  • 20 years old and above
  • sterile
  • have no children under 20 years old
  • have passed a psychiatric evaluation that diagnoses them to indeed have a gender identity disorder

Although this is more advanced than other countries, it still leaves an individual’s gender identity to the hands of other people. The silver lining, however, is that Japan’s government help pays 70% of one’s gender reassignment surgery granted that they pass the requirements to obtain the financial aid.

Are Transgender Women Respected in Japan?

Japan is still a modern country at the end of the day.

Most people mind their own business and couldn’t care less of how other people identify themselves.

In Japan, there are even bars that exclusively have transgender women hostesses.

A lot of transgender women are also welcome in the workforce.

Although the laws need to be revised in order to provide transgender people of utmost dignity and rights, Japan is still fairly a safe place to live and thrive as a transgender individual.

Where to meet them

As discussed in the section above, you may find Japanese ladyboys working as hostesses in karaoke clubs and tea houses. You may also randomly find them working in malls and other establishments.

They are quite passable because of their small frame, delicate features, and smooth skin. It may be harder for you to spot one. If you’re looking to date Japanese transgender women, your best bet would be My Ladyboy Date.

a Tokyo street
Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

My Ladyboy Date not only has the best looking single transgender women. It’s also a safe place to find the love of your life. The reason being is because it’s the first decent dating website made for ladyboys and men who are into them. The moderators are working round-the-clock ensuring that scams, fakery, and extortion don’t occur on the website.

No matter what kind of person you’re looking for, you may find it on My Ladyboy Date. As long as your intentions are genuine and you’re not on the website just to use transgender women for your carnal desires, you’re going to find love.

We analyzed Google Trends data to compare the popularity of various terms that refer to transgender women in Asia and in the world. This is what we found out.

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About the author

Amanda Valentine Dela Cruz
Amanda Valentine has been a writer for My Ladyboy Date for over 10 years. She writes various topics on trans dating and other trans-related content. Her personal experiences as a transgender woman have given her a unique point of view on trans topics. She has written 5 books on trans women’s relationships and has made it on Amazon’s best-seller list. Her book “Dating Transgender Women for Gentlemen” reached #3 on the Transgender Studies category on Amazon. Her love for writing started when she won a poetry contest in 4th grade which made her pursue a career in literature.

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Comments (4)

  • Interesting and informative, would like to chat with this exotic type!
  • I am looking for a very new ladybody, a girl that has just become what she wants to be loved respected honoured, for the women she is, young slim beautiful seeking just one man to love her as a life partner
    • Hi Max, I suggest you sign up on our website you will surely find what you are looking for there 💜
  • Vinnny Broun
    so cool!

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