TOKYO – Singer Hikaru Utada, one of the best-selling artists in Japan, has gone non-binary.
In a live Instagram broadcast on Saturday (June 26), Utada said, “It’s June and I’m not binary. So happy Pride Month.”
Utada’s imaginary best friend, a teddy bear named Kuma (Japanese for bear), is also said to be gay.
Earlier this month, Utada shared on the Bear’s @kuma_power Instagram account how traditional gender markers made the singer uncomfortable.
“I’m sick of people asking me if I’m ‘Miss or Miss’ or if I choose between ‘Miss / Madam / Madam’ for everyday things. does not relate to any of those prefixes, “the 38-year-old wrote.
“Every time I feel like I have to twist myself. I long for an alternative option, one that anyone, regardless of gender or social status, could use.”
Utada also called the gender-neutral prefix Mx, pronounced “mix”, great and hoped it would be used more widely.
Singer-songwriter-producer First Love’s debut album (1999) is the best-selling album of all time in Japan.
Utada, who has been divorced twice, has a five-year-old son from their second marriage.
The announcement was widely praised on social media.
One Twitter user wrote: âUtada Hikaru coming out non-binary as an influencer in Japan is one of the bravest things I’ve seen. “