Drawings of Danshoku Dino by Kumada Poohsuke...

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Drawings of Danshoku Dino by Kumada Poohsuke (熊田プウ助)

Danshoku/nanshoku (男色) is a centuries-old Japanese term for male-male sexuality, originally imported from China, that literally translates to “male colors.”  Danshoku Dino (男色ディーノ) is a pro wrestler whose tongue-in-cheek persona is that of a theatrically lecherous gay man. 

As demonstrated by this video, “The Top 10 Moves of Danshoku Dino,” most of the wrestler’s moves, including the “Cock Bottom,” “Testicular Claw,” and “Diving 69″ involve kissing, sitting on, or rubbing his crotch in opponents’ faces. Dino’s ravenous appetite for men is played for laughs, and the gay panic responses of disgust his actions in the ring elicit smack of homophobia, but his commitment to over-the-top homoeroticism is second to none. If Dino doesn’t identity as gay in his private life, methinks the lady doth protest too much. 

I love Kumada Poohsuke’s cute drawings of Danshoku Dino, because they opt to take the performer’s sexuality at face value. Poohsuke looks at the wrestler’s meaty, pouchy body and flamboyant fundoshi through the male-male gaze that professional wrestling mocks with characters like Dino and Hard Gay. Poohsuke is re-appropriating “danshoku” from Dino.