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Synonyms: bottom
See also: seme, yaoi, Weepy Uke Syndrome, Height Rule, Big Guy, Little Guy, Size Kink
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Uke is a term originating in martial arts and used by yaoi fans to describe the submissive or "pursued" half in a male-male relationship (seme being the dominant or "pursuing" half). Derived from the Japanese verb "ukeru," which means "to receive" (abstractly).


Stereotypically an uke can often, though not always, be recognized by art style -- he is often shorter, younger, and physically weaker than the seme, drawn with androgynous/feminine features like big eyes, and frequently has long or otherwise "pretty" hair. (These attributes vary widely, however -- in particular, both seme and uke characters have been drawn with nearly any kind of hairstyle imaginable.)

Fan Comments

  • "Of course, then there's the whole seme/uke business, which comes off as the authors having to put the characters into what are really thinly-veiled male/female roles so that it's easier for their heterosexual female target audience to identify with them. I mean, could you get any more heteronormative?" [1]

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


  1. ^ comment at slash going mainstream?; Archive (Fanthropology 2006)