As originally reported by The Japan Times, a small shop in the Kichijoji area of Tokyo is bringing attention to the LGBT community with rainbow themed products in a section of the store. A small shop made up of goods from local artists, the owner, Haruka Imatoku, hand picks the items to be put on display. She said to the Times that she wanted to create a space to highlight the work of artists that stuck out to her, and allow the creators the exposure they deserved.
Imatoku also stated how she saw the need to display the work of LGBT artists in Tokyo. An ally, Imatoku has made several friends in Tokyo’s LGBT community and wanted to give her support by offering a space in her shop dedicated to showcasing LGBT goods. Encouraging but not requiring a “rainbow” color scheme, she hopes to bring LGBT people to the attention of other Japanese who might not know much about the community.
Since the shop is located away from Tokyo’s main gay-friendly areas, it also provides customers with a discreet shopping experience, but many come happily to see what new items are on display. This trend of shops expanding merchandise to include the LGBT community is becoming more common as the country gears towards 2020. Read more about Imatoku’s shop