Happy Uniquely Japanese Valentine’s Day! What we talk about when we talk about love & sex in Japan

It’s Valentine’s Day again in Japan or it will be soon….And while Valentine’s Day is a mutual exchange of gifts and professions of love in the West, in Japan it’s a holiday where women give expensive fine chocolate to the men they love and crappy obligatory chocolate to the men they work with or work for, known as 義理チョコ (giri-choko) or “obligation chocolates.”

According to Encyclopedia Aramata, Valentine’s Day was first introduced into Japan in February of 1958 by an employee of Mary Chocolate Co. Ltd, who had heard about the European chocolate exchanges between couples from a friend living in Paris He decided it would be a brilliant marketing technique in Japan so he organized a collaboration with Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It was an incredible….failure.  “During one week we sold only about three chocolates worth 170 yen at that time,” an employee recalled.  Yet this employee persisted, later becoming the president of the company, and by the 1980s, he and Japan’s chocolate industry, along with the department stores, had enshrined Valentine’s Day as a holiday that is “the only day of the year a woman confesses her love through presenting chocolate.” The spirit of love.

But of course, as time went by, giving chocolate became something women were expected to do for not only the their “true love” but people at work, their bosses, their friends, and even, their brothers. 義理チョコ  (giri-choko) aka “obligation chocolate” has branched off into “友チョコ (tomo-choko)”  chocolate for friends, 世話チョコ (sewa-choko), chocolate for people who’ve looked after you, 自分チョコ (jibun-choko), a present for yourself, and even the rare 逆チョコ (gyaku-choko) —the rare event when a man gives chocolate to a woman on Valentine’s Day (revolutionary).

When we say “Valentine’s Day” in Japan, it doesn’t quite mean what it means in the West. (We’ll talk about White Day in March). And if you think about it, what do we really mean when we talk about love? Japan has some very specific terms for discussing and classifying love. Although the terms can be expressed in English, the compactness of Japanese words for sex, love, and everything in between is quite charming.

Japan has many words for love and sex. It’s surprisingly rich in words for love such as 友愛 (the love between friends) and 親愛 (love between family members) and of course 恋愛 (passionate love) . Here are some of the words you may find useful as you travel through love hotel island.

The Japanese language is rich in terms for love and sex--which are definitely not the same thing here.
The Japanese language is rich in terms for love and sex–which are definitely not the same thing here.

*出会い(Deai)–“meeting people” Also used to describe dating sites 出会い系サイト and one-night stands.

不倫 (Furin)-“adultery, infidelity.” Has more of a negative connotation than uwaki

慈愛(Jiai)–compassionate love. Much like the love a parent feels for their child–a desire for the happiness and well-being of another. When the Dalai Lama speaks of love in Japanese, this is often the word used to translate his words.

 

*浮気 (Uwaki) –1) to describe someone who can romantically love many people 2) infidelity; an affair 3) being in love with in someone other than your partner 4) (old usage) cheerful and gorgeous

*恋人 (Koibito) “lover”

*熱愛 (Netsu-ai) “passionate love”

*恋愛 (Ren-ai) “romantic love” A word very popular in Japanese woman’s magazines

*恋い (Koi) “love”

*一物 (Ichimotsu) “the one thing”  According to an old joke, the definition of a man is this: a life support system for an ichimotsu (the penis).

*慈悲, 慈悲深い (Jihi) (Jihibukai) “compassionate love/sympathetic joy” This comes from Buddhism and describes a maternal love, originally means to give joy and peace to someone and remove their pain. 慈悲深い人–someone who is compassionate and finds happiness in the happiness of others.

*情熱 (jounetsu) “passion”

*ラブ (rabu) “love” pronounced Japanese style.

ラブラブ (rabu rabu) “love love” used to described a couple deeply in love.

*同性愛 (douseiai) “homosexual love”

*愛 (ai) love. “to love” 愛する (ai suru)

*好き (suki) like. Used often to express love as well. 大好き (Daisuki) “really like” Old school Japanese males never say, “I love you” (愛している) they would say, Daisuki. This line:“君が大好きだ” (Kimi ga daisuki da). “I really like you” is often the profession of love in a Japanese movie or television show on both sides.

純愛 (Jun-ai) “pure love” An almost mystical concept of love as something beyond physical or material reality. I’m still not sure what this means but it sets off lights in the eyes of Japanese women. It’s a television drama buzz word.

*惚れる (horeru) fall in love

*惚れ込む (horekomu) fall deeply in love

*一目惚れ (hitomebore) love at first sight “hitome” first sight. “hore” fall in love (see above)

満足manzoku (satisfied)

*セックス (Sex)—This is “Japanese English.” It means sex.

*前戯 (Zengi)–Foreplay. Mae (前)means before and “戯れ” means “play, goof around”.  Technically this entry should have been before Sex (セックス) on the list but then I wouldn’t be able to make this joking reference here.

*セックスレス (Sexless)—Maybe half of Japanese marriages are sexless. Who knows why? It’s a common complaint for Japanese women and some Japanese men..

アイコンタクト (eye contact)” Important in courting.

*エッチ (etchi) A cute-word for anything sexual, flirty. Usually has a fun connotation.

*男根 (dankon) “male-root” If you can’t figure out what this means, please refer to 一物 (ichimotsu)

*おまんこ (o-manko) The female genitalia, sometimes just the vagina. Also referred to as simply manko. However, we prefer attaching the honorable “o” as in “orgasm”.  Also, it’s never bad to show respect. Even amongst the closest of friends, decorum is necessary. 親しき仲にも礼儀あり

*愛人 (aijin) Lover. The aijin is usually the partner in a forbidden romance. Similar to “koibito” but more of a shady aspect.

*オーガズム (ougasumu) orgasm

オルガスムス (orugasumusu) orgasm in Japanese taken from German Orgasmus

絶頂 (zettcho) climax, orgasm in Japanese language

*失楽園 (Shitsurakuen) A very popular novel and movie about a passionate modern day affair that ends in double suicide, with the lovers found dead in each others arms in mortal post coitus bless. Yes, you wouldn’t think this would encourage people to have affairs but it did! Women’s magazines had multiple features on the books and movies.

潮吹き (shiofuki): female ejaculation. Some Japanese women release a squirt or excess lubrication on orgasm. There appears to be some science suggesting that this does happen.

鼻血 (hanaji): bloody nose. There is a strange folk-belief that when a Japanese man is sexually excited he gets a nosebleed. Go figure.

Note:

In Japan, when man or women reaches orgasm, they don’t come (来る) they go (行く/iku). Likewise, to make a man or woman reach orgasm, is to 行かす (Ikasu) “make go.”

 

楽園 (rakuen) mean paradise. 失(shitsu) means “loss” or as a verb 失う(ushinau) to lose.

 

If I was running a campaign aimed at women for Japan’s favorite 浮気(uwaki) dating site for married people, I might make a pun on this along the lines of “恋愛の楽園を失いましたか。Ashleymadison.jpで禁断の楽園を再発見しよう“ (Did you lose your lover’s paradise?Rediscover the forbidden paradise on Ashleymadison.jp) BTW, the site already had a 1,000,000 members within 8 months.

*恋い焦がれる (koikogareru)=”burningly in love” to be in love so deeply that it’s painful, to yearn for the other 恋い (love) + 焦げる (burn).

Not a negative word, but a way of expressing a deep passionate consuming love. Many men and women seem to be seeking

*ベッド (bed)—usually a roundabout way of discussing sex in Japanese female magazines

–プレイ”—(play) This is usually added to various types of sexual fetishes.

性愛 (sei-ai) Erotic love, eros (sex/gender 性 +  love 愛)

For example, 赤ちゃんプレイ (Aka-chan purei)—When the guy likes to be diapered like a baby, possible shaved completely nude, and nurse, sometimes with a woman who’s actually lactating. I could tell you a really strange story about a police raid on a place specializing in this type of service but I’ll skip it.

 

*遊び (Asobi) “Play”—this can refer to sex, an affair, a one-night stand. It has a wide usage in Japan and adults “play” just as much as children. Hence the costume fetish in Japan—

コスプレー (cosupurei—“costume play”)

 

密事 (mitsuji)—An old word but a literary one for discrete affairs.

*禁断の愛 (kindan no ai) Forbidden love

*密会 (mikkai) secret meeting

*ばれない (barenai) to not be discovered, to get away with something

*絶対ばれない (zettai barenai) “absolutely no one will find out”

REVISED: February 14th, 2018

The 10 Worst Films About Japan*: You Might Only Live Twice But Are These Movies Worth Seeing Once?

In honour of Japan’s Celebration of Cinema Day, December 1st, we’ve reposted some reviews and articles on classic films. Some good, some bad, some epic and some considered to be the worst films in Japan by our caustic guest movie review,毒舌姫, 庄司かおり様

 

by Kaori Shoji

1) Memoirs of a Geisha  (2005)

 

Directed by Rob Marshall and starring Zhang Ziyi as a ravishing prewar geisha by the name of Sayuri (‘white lily’), this particular vehicle sinks to basement level lows of pigeon-holing and cultural misunderstanding. As a Japanese female I just don’t feel like forgiving this one – the emotional damage is irrevocable. To make things worse, national acting treasure Ken Watanabe makes an appearance and seals his fate as an enabler for Hollywood filmmakers to cater to the white male fantasy regarding all things Japanese – namely, geishas. The one bright spot is Kaori Momoi as a hard-as-nails proprietress of a geisha house. The lone authentic presence in a film hyped up on false pretensions.

 

2) The Last Samurai (2003)

The Last Samurai parody, The Last Jedi!

Just as Japanese women could never escape the geisha issue, Japanese men will always be associated with the samurai. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Hollywood just HAD to up and star Tom Cruise as a disillusioned ex-Union soldier who finds redemption and rebirth in the samurai racket in Meiji era Japan. The story (penned by Jon Logan) is just wrong on so many counts one forgets to feel offended. Most discouragingly, the film was wildly popular on both sides of the Pacific, which goes to show you: the samurai racket (like the geisha racket) is good business. How it affects the yen rate is anyone’s guess.

3) Lost in Translation (2003)

Don’t get me wrong – I love Sofia Coppola as much as the next girl movie afficionado. But the thoroughbred filmmaker of the Coppola clan whose sensibility radar is always spot-on when it comes to charting the emotions and mindscapes of the under-29 woman, ran into some major static at the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku. As a poignant and appropriately jaded love story between Bill Murray as the slightly weary Hollywood actor come over to shoot a commercial, and Scarlett Johansson (who was all of 18 at the time) “Lost..” is a 4-star affair. But Coppola’s cut-out portrayals of Tokyo are sterile and silly and the Tokyoites who make brief and regrettable appearances…spare us the embarrassment please. No wonder the Murray-Johansson couple hardly ever venture out of the hotel.

 

4) You Only Live Twice 

The Japanese have had always had a soft spot for James Bond but after Sean Connery spent time here for this movie, he became Main Man 007 man as far as the archipelago was concerned. At the time of the film’s release (1967), Connery was sited in fashion magazines as the dude in the suit, who never, ever wore undershirts and whose hairy chest held a ferocious appeal, especially to Japan’s first Bond girls Akiko Wakabayashi and Mie Hama. He left behind a massive inferiority complex from which the nation’s male populace never fully recovered. Shame on you, Bond-san.

5) Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Okay, so this isn’t a movie about Japan, but as a depiction of a Japanese male it’s practically the cinematic equivalent of a hate crime. The Hollywood classic that stars  Audrey Hepburn as It Girl of Lower Manhattan, Holly Golightly and the buffy George Peppard as her neighbor slash would-be lover, the film is absolutely delightful. But once Mickey Rooney comes on as a mysterious Japanese man called “Yuniyoshi,” we start feeling a leetle uncomfortable. Rooney is outrageously made-up: protruding teeth, slanting eyes behind thick glasses and spiky black hair heavily pomade-ed. So as a poster boy endorsing Japanese internment during WWII, Yuniyoshi-san is perfect. Otherwise we can do without him, thanks very much.

 

6) Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

You can’t grow up in Japan and not know the loyal dog Hachiko (he went to Shibuya station everyday to greet his master coming home from work) or choose the dog’s statue in front of Shibuya Station as a meeting spot. Hachi is to the Japanese what Cheerio’s may be to the American – so much a part of our daily fabric that it seems weird, really weird when Hachiko shows up in a Hollywood movie starring Richard Gere. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom (whose feature debut is called “My Life as a Dog”), the whole thing feels forced, contrived and highly artificial. Hachiko doesn’t belong in a manicured suburban town among all those white picket fences, and Gere as the college professor who opts to be his American master, well…the word “jarring” comes to mind.

 

 

7) Wasabi (2001)

 

 

Around the time this film was released, France had a kind of amorous fling with Japanese culture and one of the byproducts was this film by Gerard Krawczyk. The equivalent of an haute couture dress souped up on Akiba culture, the film has great ideas and (probably) benevolent intentions. Unfortunately they don’t quite work together. Too bad, as it pairs Jean Reno as a Parisian cop once married to a Japanese woman, and our very own Ryoko Hirosue in a role pitched halfway between a pouting, flighty anime girl come to life and Reno’s comprehensive guide to Tokyo. The result is a chaotic hodgepodge of vignettes that show up the city as a kind of noisy, plasticine pleasure palace.

Ultimately, the film caters to a frayed stereotype: that given the choice, a Japanese will choose brutality over love, and death over life

 

8) The Pillow Book  (1996)

This is an ambitious undertaking by British auteur Peter Greenaway, but his sensibility that created such visually resplendent (and often grotesque) pictures like “Drowning by Numbers” and “The Belly of an Architect,” failed when it came to a rendition of  “The Pillow Book” (a collection of essays by 10th century court scribe Seishonagon). For lovers of the truly weird, the film provides much fodder: Vivian Wu stars as the extremely sensuous Nagiko, who inspires her calligraphy master dad (Ken Ogata) to paint characters all over her face and body. Later, she meets her match in Jerome (Ewan McGregor) who proves himself masterfully creative with the brush as he is with other uh, physical skills. For the record people, this has nothing to do with Seishonagon’s book and still less with calligraphy.

Try reading the actual book instead. Sei Shonagon was the Kaori Shoji of her day: acerbic, funny, and a great essayist.

 

9) Ai no Corida (In the Realm of the Senses) 

When this opened in Paris back in 1976, people lined up for hours for the pleasure of seeing one of the most controversial films of the 20th century. In Tokyo it was banned from opening at all and when that was cleared many theaters refused to show it. Based on the real-life story of servant girl Sada Abe (Eiko Matsuda) and her master Kichizo Ishida (Tatsuya Fuji), “Ai no…” takes Japanese eros to a whole new dimension.  Director Nagisa Oshima is masterful in his no-holds-barred depiction of an all-consuming sexual obsession between a man and a woman. But ultimately, the film caters to a frayed stereotype: that given the choice, a Japanese will choose brutality over love, and death over life.

 

10) Rhapsody in August (1991)

1991-Rapsodia-en-agosto-Akira-Kurosawa-USA-1
Somehow Richard Gere makes it into at least two of the worst ten movies about Japan. Hopefully, he can be in more before the decade ends.

A well-crafted story commemorating the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki by Japanese cinema giant Akira Kurosawa, this marked his first-time collaboration with Asiaphile Richard Gere. Gere plays the relative of an old woman whose husband had died on that August day and now with dementia setting in, she often relives the day that deprived her of her parents, husband and many friends. There are plenty of opportunities to make Gere’s character feel remorse about what the US did, but Kurosawa was apparently in a forgiving mood, and the movie spares Gere any major discomfort. As it is, we never get closure.

 

Kaori Shoji writes about movies and movie-makers for The Japan Times and is also a writer for the International Herald Tribune and other publications. Well known for her sharp wit, some have likened her to “the Dorothy Parker of Japan.

 *Editor’s note: The 10 Worst Films About Japan are not necessarily in order of suckiness. Thank you. 

The Rise & Fall Of Japanese Xmas: Please Bring Back The Sex & Money & Carnal Pleasures

“Those were the days” is a phrase a woman must never utter once she hits 40 as it makes her seem unnecessarily outdated. But there are times when one is called upon to bend this golden rule, and state – clearly and plainly – that those WERE the days. Hell, yes.

Has the Sexy Spirit of Japanese Xmas Been Lost Forever? (At least you can still order appropriate attire).

One is referring to the Japanese Christmas, of course. Back in the day, or the 1990s to early 2000s to be exact, Christmas was drenched in two things: sex and money. In Tokyo especially, there were shopping couples sightings as early as the last week of October (Halloween wasn’t yet huge back then), browsing the aisles of Tiffany’s and Miu-Miu, the girls sighing in ecstasy over their wish list items while their dates nodded and inwardly did some calculations as to what all this was going to cost them. A quick round-up of the salient spending points: dinner in a swank restaurant followed by a night at a hotel, where the exchange of gifts will lead to carnal delights and a morning-after confirmation that yes! this girl was indeed going to be the official girlfriend. On average, the sum total ranged between 100,000 and 150,000 yen. I know of guy after guy who went into debt, just to splurge on a woman who was likely to ditch him before Valentines Day came around, not two months later. Of course, no one mentioned or was interested in the fact that Christmas marked the celebratory birth of a baby called Jesus, who spent his first night in this world swaddled in rags and laying in a manger.

Back in the day, or the 1990s to early 2000s to be exact, Christmas was drenched in two things: sex and money.

Okay, so the Japanese were clueless about the significance of western religious. Still, the fevered anticipation of it all, the sheer, heady delight of champagne and room service and red strap sandals elaborately wrapped in gorgeous chiffon paper! But don’t think the girls rested on their arses while the men worked overtime and scrambled for cash. Women had to spend too, on hair salons and lymph drainage treatments and pedicures, not to mention the all-important issue of the Christmas dress. Take the case of my friend Rika, whose most triumphant Christmas was in 2000 when she invested in a facial, a massage and a Chanel dress but skipped the lingerie entirely and squeezed four dates into a single Christmas Eve. This by the way, worked for her and a lot of others because in Japan, the 23rd is a holiday (the Emperor’s b-day) and that’s when most people do their Christmas thing, which makes everything extra hectic. C-Eve is a regular day – everyone has to show up for work so it’s quieter and easier to get reservations and space appointments.

After 2008 however, the Christmas-scape altered perceptibly and 3.11 changed it completely. People started talking about ‘kizuna (bonding)’ and ‘kazoku (family),’ two words which have since become embedded in the collective psychology – and they sure ain’t got nothing to do with doing naughty things in hotel rooms. The Christmas season is now pretty much about corporate drinking parties called “bonenkai,’ and otherwise rushing to get work done in time to take New Year’s off – a traditional Japanese event firmly entrenched in the family (again). The only people shopping at Miu Miu these days are those who speak Chinese. Ditto for people with reservations in four star hotels. As for fancy dinners, few Japanese could afford them anymore and the ones that do are not in couples – they’re co-workers in groups of three and four and mostly of the same sex.

Have we lost our capacity for ridiculousness, our carpe diem mentality and taste for sexual pleasures? One hates to admit it, but the answer seems to lean toward a loud ‘yes.’ A big problem is the aging thing. Japan is turning gray at breakneck speed and now everyone seems to be middle-aged or older – too mature to go overboard on just about anything. The remaining younger populace is far too worried about the future and saddled with pension funds and insurance payments to splurge on girlfriends, even if they existed. Women for their part, are wary of relationships that lead nowhere and with the emergence of the “sefure (sex friend),” there’s no excuse for spending a yen more than is absolutely necessary on what is after all, a moderately fun distraction. As a 20-something boy at work told me the other day, “Sex is such a chore. I’d just rather go to bed with my phone and play games until I fall asleep.”

Call me a patriot, because I broke down in tears. What is this nation coming to?

Ah yes, those were the days. To think that 25 year old women were once called “Christmas Cake,” because the cakes on sale after Christmas Eve were past it and over-the-hill and on the brink of eternal spinsterhood. Yes, it was rampant sexism but it was a fun, harmless brand of sexism compared to the stuff our current PM likes to peddle and which by the way, has turned things real sour between the men and women of Japan. And who does any dating these days? More Japanese women are forgoing the ritual completely, to tie the knot at 35 and older (that’s IF they decide marriage is on the agenda). Against this dismal backdrop, no one is likely to wear a Chanel dress with no underwear for Christmas.

So, join me in a wistful toast for the good old days.

Cheers!

Book Review: “The Bad-Mood Marriage” 不機嫌な主婦 なぜ女たちは「本能」を忘れたのか(朝日新書)

By Kaori Shoji

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 9.52.32 PMAs long as time immemorial, being a woman in Japan meant the rawest of deals. The long, long tradition of top-down patriarchy held that women were good for of either two things: sexual slavery or household drudgery. Once a woman got past her reproductive years, she was expected to control the younger women in the house, which mostly meant bullying the daughter-in-law and sowing a lot of ill-will in the family. By the time she hit her mid 40s, this woman had white hair and grandchildren. At 60, she was dead or getting there; her tiny body stooped so badly it appeared she was folded in two.

Zowie, it was this bad – or so Japanese women born after WWII were taught, offset by a brand new, American imported democracy. Women were told there was nothing remotely fine about being born in Japan. To the rest of the world, she represented the demure and docile geisha-equivalent while inside her own country, she was slated for a lifetime of toil and family bondage. The only way out of this awful spiral was to get an education, an office job, and marry well – preferably to an urbanized, liberal man whose mama lived far, far away.

But even that was no guarantee. My own mother went to an arts university and never had to deal with her husband’s mother and lived the modernized convenient life in Tokyo. She said over and over that marriage was a tombstone that marked the spiritual death of a woman and every child she had drove the nails further into her coffin. “Never get married,” she liked to say. “It’s the stupidest thing in the world.” My mother wasn’t a rabid feminist; she was simply echoing the conviction of many women of her generation who felt they had been cheated. Women born in the post-war years often feel like they were never given a chance – happiness always seemed to elude their grasp as husbands disappeared into their jobs and children departed for futures that rarely included a place for their mothers.

In the last 10 years, anthropologist and epidemiologist Chizuru Misago’s (三砂ちづる) works have turned the tables on the timeworn assumption that Japanese women have always been repressed and unhappy and will continue to be so unless she leaves the archipelago at her earliest opportunity. A highly accomplished academic whose resume includes a Ph.D from London University and a decade of fieldwork in Brazil, Misago holds that no good can come from over-educating the Japanese woman or copying western notions of feminism. In her 2004 breakthrough book “Onibabaka Suru Onnatachi” (Women Who Turn into She-Ogres), she discusses the virtues of the socio-political system in pre-modern Japan that actually protected women and their bodies, the benefits of squat toilets, and sex from an early age. She’s a strong advocate of marriage (whether it’s a love-match or family arranged) and sleeping with one’s spouse as often as possible. In short, Misago’s teachings flew right in the face of everything the post-war education system strove to encase in concrete and submerge in the ocean like a corpse killed by the yakuza.

Misago laid it out in black and white: the prime reason Japanese women turn bitchy or into she-ogres is because they’re not touched and cuddled enough. Never before had a woman academic come right out and said sex – not love – was crucial to women’s mental and physical well-being. Women sat up and paid attention, among them novelist Banana Yoshimoto who later wrote a book about the importance of skinship, childbirth, and healthy sexual relationships.

yakuza-wives2

Unfortunately, Misago’s words weren’t enough to turn back the winds of our particular time, one in which an unprecedented number of women join the workforce, remain virgins past 25, and never marry. The divorce rate is up. Incidents of domestic violence and child neglect are up. The bottom line seems to be that sex and relationships are not only hard to get in Japan, they‘re on the endangered species list along with the whooping crane.

Dr. Misago’s 2012 work “Fukigenna Fufu” (The Bad-Mood Marriage) gets right to the heart of the matter. She lays bare the sorry state of Japanese coupledom in which man and wife sleep apart and hold conversations that sound like joyless office memos. Worst of all, they seem to have no idea how to love their children, which is at least partly responsible for an alarming soar in juvenile crime.

“One of the worst predicaments for a child,” she wrote, “is that their parents are not happy together as man and woman. Think how lonely it must be for the child. Think of the enormous pressure a child feels when confronted with the discontentment and unhappiness of his/her mother.”

If we are to fall in with Dr. Misago’s teachings, we owe it to our kids to kiss and cuddle with our spouses as often as possible. Never mind about falling salaries and the rising cost of living. Never mind about work and getting ahead. Children are young and impressionable for only so long. By the time they leave for college, the damage of a sour marriage will have left permanent marks on their personalities and outlooks.

Interestingly, Misago wrote that Japanese women in their 70s are apt to be the most selfish but unhappiest demographic. They were the first female generation to get college educations en masse but were also socially restricted from seeking jobs that matched their degrees. They often had no choice but to stay home, raise children, and wait for their husbands to come home. “These women often sought personal redemption by pushing their sons and daughters to be better at school, to be competitive, and to get ahead in life,” she wrote. “But actually, that’s not a very nice message. If you want to raise children to be loving human beings, you must first love them unconditionally and for who they are.”

Misago’s words have been a revelation for many Japanese women, raised by mothers who scolded and cajoled and coerced them to be better at everything, from having the right playmates to finding the most acceptable husbands with the highest incomes. Ugh. Surely we must scrap this legacy. It’s not too late to work on a good-mood marriage.

 

Stop Julien Blanc (日本語版)日本女性へ暴力的行為を呼びかけるナンパ伝道師らを止めよう

The following appeal has been written in Japanese by a Japanese-American to explain why Julien Blanc and his ilk should be banned from Japan.

日本語で、性暴力を呼びかける自称「ナンパ師」と彼の会社の日本侵出を防ごうとするキャンペーンを紹介させていただくことにしました。寄稿したアマンダ・ディさんは日系アメリカ人で、この運動の創設者の一人です。

By Amanda Day

名の知れた”デート術”コンサルタントが世界中をめぐり、男性らに女性の扱い方、ときとして性的な迷惑行為や暴行を伝授している。デート方法を教えるアメリカの企業リアル・ソーシャル・ダイナミクス社のジュリアン・ブランクは、かつて公然と日本女性を辱めたが、今後のセミナーにむけたさらなる話題づくりのため、来週の日本行きを計画している。

Change日本における女性への暴力的行為をひけらかす動画は、ユーチューブにおいてブランクのソーシャル・メディアのアカウントに投稿された。リアル・ソーシャル・ダイナミクスならびにブランクは、登場する男性らが現地法律に違反する複数の動画を通じて、犯罪行為を推奨している。日本国の刑法第174条(公然わいせつ)ならびに第176条(強制わいせつ)により、暴行または脅迫によって他者に対しみだらな行為に及ぶのは、違法である。動画によれば、その行為はあからさまに誇示されていた。第176条に基づき、暴行または脅迫により他者に対してみだらな行為に及ぶのは処罰の対象となり得る。ただし被害者が法的機関に訴えを起こさないかぎり、対応がなされることはない。

暴力行為の証拠はブランクが日本で撮影した動画にとどまらない。彼のウェブサイトならびにソーシャル・メディアのページでは、ヨーロッパの複数の国において女性を窒息させる行為を誇らしげに掲げ、男性の性的嗜好を満たすために女性を抑圧し支配するのにそれが有効であると吹聴している。彼はこの暴力為の記録のため、ハッシュタグ #ChokingGirlsAroundtheWorld (世界の女性を窒息させる)を開始した。

さまざまな暴力行為手段の提唱とともに、彼は多くの国籍や民族に対して筋金入りの性差別発言を披露している。

  • 日本:”ただ、女をつかめばいい…気持ちを軽くさせるのに、ピカチュー、ポケモン、たまごっちあたりの言葉を叫ぶんだ”
  • “少なくとも東京なら、白人の男は、なんだってできる。通りですれ違いざまに女の頭をただつかみ、こんな風に頭を、ほらどうだと股間にあてる。頭をだ、股間に押しつけて、ピカチュウと言えばいい、ピカチュウTシャツを着て”

ジュリアンのセミナーを阻止すべくジェニファー・リーが請願を開始し、支援の輪がひろがっている。日本への入国を拒否する日本版の請願も開始され、その数は24時間で18,000を突破。彼が組んでいるセミナー予定をそれぞれ阻止対象とした活動も、予定されている。

この運動の最終目標はリアル・ソーシャル・ダイナミクスがジュリアンを解雇し、方針を見直して女性への攻撃を非難する声明を出すことにある。願わくば、請願とメディアへの喚起により、同社は経済的にそうせざるを得なくなるであろう。お読みの方々には実施中の請願にご署名をいただき、周囲へも知らせ、ジュリアンの行為に対しリアル・ソーシャル・ダイナミクスが行動を起こすよう要求していただきたい。ジュリアン・ブランクは仮名と推定され、われわれは法的な問題のため彼の本名特定への手がかりを求めている。

末尾にブランクのツイッターアカウントに記録された嫌がらせ行為のスクリーンショットを付記しており、以下はツイッター用に短縮された日本語change.orgへのリンクである。

請願 http://chn.ge/1tgBh5n

JulienB

 

 

The Most Hated Man In Japan Is Coming Back…He’s not welcome. He’s not sexy

first published on November 3rd, 2014, 23:16 

When you go to Tokyo….if you’re a white male, you can do what you want. Just grab her, pull her in. She’ll giggle. Just say PIKACHU or POKEMON or something to take the pressure off. I’m romping through the streets (of Tokyo) just grabbing girls and it’s like (motions) head on dick (pfft) head on dick, yelling ‘PIKACHU’ with a Pikachu shirt on….Every foreigner who is white does this. When you see that one foreigner in the crowd in Tokyo and your eyes will lock and you know that he knows and he knows that and it’s this guilty look like you both fucked a hooker or something.”

#そのナンパ術は性暴力。世界中で怒りを呼んでいる男の名はジュリエン・ブランク。「女性をひきつける手法を教える」と世界中で講座を開いている米国の会社「リアル・ソーシャル・ダイナミクス」に所属しています。

Julien Blanc, “Dating expert” , pick-up artist, lecturing on picking up women in Japan
Transcribed from his video ▶ White Male Fucks Asian Women In Tokyo (And The Beautiful Methods To It) – YouTube

Who is Julien Blanc? He is according to his Facebook page “an executive coach for Real Social Dynamics, the international leader in dating advice”. According to the highly unreliable news source, The Daily Mail, “Pick-up artist Julien Blanc charges men $3000 to learn his secret tricks”and they work! (Maybe). The reporter who wrote the article even tries some of the tricks out for himself! That’s the kind of quality journalism we expect from The Daily Mail. 

You can see Julien’s amazingly misogynist and offensive lectures on how to convince women to have sex with you (if you’re a white male with sociopathic tendencies) at two web sites:: www.pimpingmygame.com & www.rsdnation.com.

He is coming to Japan sometime this month–probably November 15th-17th. In anticipation of this, I wrote a summary of all we know for the Japan Times on November 6th—  We are hoping to ensure he has no happy return .  He is not going to be very welcome. In September 2014, a Youtube blogger named msdoom99, posted a Japanese subtitled video of his instructional film White Male Fucks Asian Women In Tokyo (And The Beautiful Methods To It) with some caustic comments.

Julien Blanc, "dating expert", bragging how easy it is to force Japanese women to put their mouths on your dick.  街で女の頭つかんで顔にチンコを当てまくった。
Julien Blanc, “dating expert”, bragging  how easy it is to force Japanese women to put their mouths ‘on your dick‘.  街で女の頭つかんで顔にチンコを当てまくった。

The title of her video editorial is 白人が日本で大暴れ「日本ではHしほうだい」(字幕). Translated: White man on rampage in Japan “You can have all the sex you want”
Msdoom99 is studying shared culture in Asia and also studies comparative culture. For example, her video essay on Japanese rip-offs of American films & television is hilarious. If you saw Top Gun and the Japanese rip-off of it, Best Guy (ベストガイ), you’d appreciate her quirky talents and sense of humor. However, she doesn’t find much funny about Julien Blanc’s instructional lecture.
She writes, “It makes me sad. This white guy overflowing with confidence. It makes feel icky. Somehow it depresses me.”
The video ends with footage taken in Japan of “our hero” grabbing Japanese women at clubs, trying to be cute, and literally forcing their heads into his crotch.

The only thing more foul than this guy is a Russian researcher in Hokkaido who appears to have brutally raped a number of women, brags about it, and has avoided punishment by the Japanese police..

Msdoom99’s video has gotten over a 1000 comments most of them extremely negative. Julien, in his overconfident idiocy, seems to believe that because Japanese women nervously giggle and don’t say “No!” or punch him, that they’re okay with his manhandling of them.
The man is so revolting that he has an entire twitter feed dedicated to stopping him @jennli123 and a hashtag as well: #takedownjulienblanc

Jennifer Li’s explanation of why she felt compelled to go after Mr. “crusty mayonnaise” is brilliant.

@Jennli123 has launched a campaign to track down and stop Julien Blanc (@RSDJulien) from spreading his toxic message and sexually harassing women.
@Jennli123 has launched a campaign to track down and stop Julien Blanc (@RSDJulien) from spreading his toxic message and sexually harassing women.

 

Since we first posted this article on November 3rd, 23:16 Japan time, there have been some new developments.  In Melbourne, his planned seminar at Hotel Como Melbourne was cancelled due to public pressure and an on-line campaign. (We called the hotel too and and sent them a copy of this article, but I think the writing was already on the wall.) The backlash down under is immense—the man invokes serious chunder.

There is no end to what I could write about his loathsome behavior but watch the video a few times and I’m sure you can decide for yourself, gentle reader.

I will say that what he does in the video would most likely be considered a crime in Japan, most likely 強制わいせつ (kyoseiwaisetsu/sexual assault) or 準強制わいせつ (Forcible Indecency,  Quasi Forcible Indecency). For his edification and that of anyone else who might want to emulate him, this is what the law says:  A person who through assault or intimidation forcibly commits an indecent act upon male or female shall be sentenced to hard labor for not less than six months but not more than ten years.

Unfortunately, “forcible indecency” (強制わいせつ罪)requires the victim to file a criminal complaint (親告罪). No complaint, no crime. Hopefully, on this trip to Japan, which he announced by posting the video that shows him committing crimes, will get him placed in a very special love hotel–one with armed guards and no women.

I kind of hope he looks me up. I know the perfect Japanese woman for him—she’s a dominatrix with a great roundhouse kick. She would love to “play” with him. And he’d learn that being a player can earn you a special reward. He might even apologize for his past actions, if his jaw is still intact. At the very least, he might learn to be a little more polite to Japanese women—or any woman for that matter. One can hope.

UPDATE: On Monday, November 10th, a petition signed by over 37,000 people opposing his entry into Japan was submitted to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau, claiming that he is a criminal and shouldn’t be allowed into the country. Blanc was recently kicked out of Australia after the immigration minister canceled his visa.

 

 

 

Julien is coming to town. Ladies of Japan beware.
Julien is coming to town. Ladies of Japan beware.

 

Vox populi: A petition signed by more than 36,000 people opposing “dating coach” Julien Blanc’s entry into Japan is submitted to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau.
Vox populi: A petition signed by more than 36,000 people opposing “dating coach” Julien Blanc’s entry into Japan is submitted to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau.
Julien Blanc, tested and appraised by The Daily Mail. He's the Santa Claus of pantry dropping masculinity and his secrets can be yours for only $3000 a pop. 日本へようこそ There's a really sweet dominatrix we'd like you to meet.
Julien Blanc, tested and appraised by The Daily Mail. He’s the Santa Claus of panty dropping masculinity and his secrets can be yours for only $3000 a pop. Welcome to Japan!  日本へようこそ There’s a really sweet dominatrix we’d like you to meet—just sign this no liability waiver.

10492483_855704307778250_1766527099360280981_n Julien photos

 

 

*Julianne Chiaet contributed to this article. Also thanks to @jennli123 for collecting such a wealth of information on this charmer. Updated on November 5th, 2014 

 

The Polaris Project Japan Responds to Mayor Hashimoto: “You’re clueless”

The Polaris Project Japan is an organization dedicated to combatting human trafficking and child pornography in Japan, who Jake has worked with for almost seven years.

Recently, Japan’s controversial Japan Restoration Party Leader, Toru Hashimoto, offended many in and out of Japan earlier this month with remarks trivializing the suffering of sex slaves in wartime Japan and suggestions that US soldiers in Okinawa would benefit from using Japan’s legal sex parlors.

His spirited defense of his statements on Twitter didn’t seem to help much and he held a press conference on May 27th to apologize to the world. In the interests of those who would like to know more of the story, we have posted the Polaris Project Japan response to his twitter utterances.

 

“My critics seem to think that my comments mean massage industry = prostitution = sex. Well, the Japanese people are cleverer than you think: they know how to offer services that are sexual in nature while not crossing the line and staying within legal boundaries. And if you look at situation in Japan right now, women who need to work in that field out of economic necessity are close to nil; they’re doing it by choice. If anything, one should utilize these services to the fullest.”

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s May 13th Tweet

 

Recently Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s string of comments on prostitution has caused an uproar in the foreign and domestic media, but we here at Polaris Project Japan hope to take this as a chance reflect on Japan’s views on prostitution and the sex industry.

Mayor Hashimoto’s comments are not only shameful as the mayor of Japan’s second largest city, but, we believe, somewhat reflect society’s apathy towards slavery, the sex trade, and the human rights violations that occur within. For over the last ten years, not only the U.N. but North American and other Asian countries have pointed out and censured Japan on the human rights violations occurring within its sex trade. The problem lies in part with the Japanese media not reporting these matters, leaving Japanese citizens with little awareness of the problem.

The forced labor that Mayor Hashimoto claims do not exist in the sex trade is, in actuality, a grave problem in Japan. Many foreigners are forced into to working in Japan’s sex industry, resulting in Japan being lamented by many in the international community as a “human trafficking destination superpower.” And whether child prostitution, child pornography, the adult sex trade or forced prostitution, many Japanese victims exist as well. This January in the very city Mayor Hashimoto presides over was the case of two Japanese women in their early twenties forced into prostitution by black-market loan sharks before being rescued.

Next month in May, the U.S. government will release its Trafficking in Persons Report that is released as part of its effort to abolish human trafficking. Sadly, Japan continues to be ranked asa country that “does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” for twelve years in a row, ranking the same as countries such as Cambodia. Unsurprisingly, Japan is the lowest ranked of the G8 countries. Considering there’s still no anti-trafficking government policy in particular in place, this year a similar evaluation is expected.

We here at Polaris Project Japan believe that the mistaken belief of the sex industry being either a victimless crime or that those involved have entered by choice (a misconception Mayor Hashimoto’s comments do well to illustrate) lie at the root of the difficulty in Japan abolishing human trafficking.  Japan’s lax policy towards this issue is an international embarrassment; in addition, it reflects not only an apathy that allows for sex trade victims to needlessly increase but also a society that in effect condones the sex trade’s human rights violations and the human suffering of its victims. We hope that the mayor’s statements have produced a chance for reflection as well as an opportunity for Japan to rethink its views on these issues.

Mayor Toru Hashimoto got a handful of applause at his May 27th apology press conference but not a hand job--which he would tell you was legal and a good thing to get.
Mayor Toru Hashimoto got a handful of applause at his May 27th apology press conference but not a hand job–which he would tell you was legal and a good thing to get.

Translated By Andre Perez

The original Japanese version of this article can be found here: http://www.polarisproject.jp/news/1208-20130516

Sexnomics: Japan’s 100 Billion Dollar Sex Industry And The Pink Zone

UPDATED: Japan’s semi-legal sex industry exists on a mind-boggling scale, yet there are very few books or articles which even give a rudimentary idea of how big a role it plays in the national economy. Japan has laws which forbid prostitution but set no punishment for the prostitute or the customer. Selling uncensored pornography depicting sexual intercourse is a crime but paying for actual sexual intercourse at an established Soapland establishment is not. It’s not that the sex industry exists in a grey zone in Japan, it exists in a pink zone–it’s overwhelmingly legal except for when the authorities decided to make token crack-downs.

Takashi Kadokura (門倉貴史), the economist who rose to fame with his white-paper on Japan’s underground economy, has written the penultimate guide to Japan’s sex industry in his book SEXONOMIC: PROFITS IN THE GLOBALSEX ECONOMY・世界の「下半身」経済が儲かる理由 . It deftly lays out and explains how the varied sexual service industries in Japan (fashion health, image clubs, soap land)  work on an economic level and some alarming trends.

If you are an anthropologist, an economic researcher, or simply interested in the seedy side of the sun, than this book is a treasure trove of strange and useful information. For example, the “fashion health” (euphemism for sexual massage to include fellatio/hand-jobs/frottage) industry, which is perfectly legal in most places, brings in ¥678,000,000,000 a year (8 billion dollars).  That’s only a fraction of the sex industry. In addition to “fashion health” there are also “image clubs”, in which similar sexual services are provided but the women wear uniforms (maid, nurse, policewoman, office worker, pregnant mother etc) and the sex shop often has special facilities, like a subway car.  Think of mini-sexual theme parks and you have a good idea of what an image club is like.

According to the book, based on field studies and calculations, an established  fashion health/image club brings in roughly 3 million dollars a year in revenue, is visited by 32, 5000 customers, is open 12 hours a day, and the average waiting time for service is 20 minutes. There are 1,021 such shops in Japan. In recent years, S & M sex shops, have also seen a booming business. Dominatrixes (女王) are more well-paid than girls working as “the slaves” because it requires a certain level of dramatic skill and physical strength to be a dominatrix.

Japan's S & M clubs are also whipping up big business. The more social status a male customer has, the more likely he is to ask for M service.

The book also explores Japan’s teenage prostitution problem asserting that 1 in 10 Japanese men has a “lolita complex” (pedophiliac tendencies) and that 15% of the male population has viewed child pornography, while over 10% of the male population owns child pornography. The statistics were not pulled out of thin air but come from a Japanese government survey. In addition, the book notes that there are an estimated 170,000 junior high and high school girls engaged in prostitution each year in Japan, charging higher than the standard market rate (30,000 yen) or roughly 50,000 yen ($600) per customer. The teenage prostitution market is estimated to be as high as 54,700,000,000 yen per year (approx. 700 million dollars).

The book explains also the mechanisms which drives Japan’s human trafficking problem, although the failure to mention the growing problem of domestic trafficking does date the book.

If you want to know why love hotels prosper in Japan, how many there are, and the turnover (no pun intended) rate, this book will also tell you more than you want to know. While the book focusses on Japan, it does examine the sex industry in the US, China, Italy, Thailand and other countries which gives perspective on Japan’s situation.

The book is not all titillation and speculation. The final section “What can be done about the sex industry?” makes a good argument that Japan should abandon the grey zone laws it has now, where prostitution is illegal, but the client and the sex worker can’t be arrested–and legalize and regulate the industry. Many may disagree but he makes a good argument that clarifying the status of the sex industry would better protect the rights of sex workers, increase tax revenue, and also prevent the spread of sexual diseases amongst the general population, including the sex workers and their customers. Of course, his advocacy of realistic and extensive sex education should be a a no-brainer for a modern society, especially Japan which is not bound by ideas that sex should be limited to marriage.

If at times, slightly tongue-in-cheek, the book does convincingly convey the scale and problems of Japan’s sex industry and is worthy addition to the library of anyone studying the underside of Nippon. Recommended. (In Japanese only.)

Prostitution isn't just for Professionals anymore! How to find a high-paying job in Japan's Sex Industry.

Find a job in the sex industry!“HEY GIRLS! EARN BIG MONEY IN YOUR SPARE TIME! EVERY DAY IS PAYDAY! BONUS PROVIDED! WE HAVE CUTE UNIFORMS! AND ALL THE MALE CUSTOMERS ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR CONDOMS!”

In Japan, prostitution isn’t just for professionals anymore. The quasi-legal sex industry in Japan is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar market and all signs indicate that it continues to grow. In an otherwise stagnant economy, despite the efforts of the local police to contain it, the fast-food restaurant inspired fellatio-for-sale coffee shops (pink salons), the home delivery service sexual massage operations, and the S & M clubs and their like show no signs of disappearing. Continue reading Prostitution isn't just for Professionals anymore! How to find a high-paying job in Japan's Sex Industry.