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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 created by the Samurai Warriors fandom[1] and used by yaoi fans to describe the submissive or "pursued" half in a male-male relationship (seme being the dominant or "pursuing" half). It is derived from the Japanese verb "ukeru," which means "to receive" (abstractly).


Initially in a stereotyped and heteronormative way, the passive male characters in a slash couple, called then by the name uke were characterized as more feminine, short in stature, slim figure and angelic face, often androgynous in appearance and with hobbies and mannerisms seen as typically female. They are usually younger than their romantic counterparts – semes – with silky hair, large eyes and prominent eyelashes. Sometimes he is portrayed as someone very charismatic, romantic and who always smiles.


In modern Japanese fandom, several other terms have arisen to replace "uke", although the term is still in use. Migi, or "right", is sometimes used to refer to the bottom partner, while hidari ("left") is used to refer to the top, with these terms deriving from the order of the ship name. More rarely, the term "neko" (slang for a bottom among the LGBT community) may be used to describe the bottom.

Sou-uke is used to describe either multiship works in which a single character is depicted as the uke to numerous other characters, or to indicate that someone is a multishipper with a single character as the focal "receiving point". The term is variously translated as "total uke" or "buttslut".

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?[2]