What’s Up With Japan?

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Without wishing to endorse racism, I have to admit that the Japanese psyche appears to be a little demented when it comes to sex. If bukake wasn’t enough, now I’ve learned about another popular Japanese practice called “chikan“. Chikan is the groping of women in public places, especially on packed trains, where women tend to be too embarrassed to either cry out or report such assaults. Japan has responded to the practice by making some trains “Women Only” and posting signs that warn “Beware of Perverts.”

How do you avoid perverts in Japan?? If they’re not busy with bukake (which now includes at least six sub-varieties, not including the new “Lesbian Bukake”) and the purchase of schoolgirl underpants (burusera,) they’re looking at anime porn (hentai.) And if they’re looking at anime porn, they might even be getting turned on by Tentacle Porn, in which women are raped by giant octopus creatures….a subject dating back to at least the 19th century in Japanese erotica.

What is the deal? I guess it starts with repression, but even the British haven’t cultivated a sexual culture so rich with messed up shit. Is it something to do with the issue of shame, which we know is a big deal in Japan? Is it something to do with crowding? I am really interested in the roots of such widespread fetishism. Somehow, it all fits in with the wacky Japanese game shows that traffic in humiliation and debasement. Then there is the Japanese fixation with cute little toys…..

I will always remember my sister’s reaction to the Japanese art film “In the Realm of the Senses,” based on a real incident in the 1930s. There was a lot of graphic sex, and it ends in castration. “I can never look at a kimono again,” she said bitterly. I’m glad I didn’t see the movie, but I have read my share of Japanese fiction( e.g., Endo Shusaku, Abe Kobo, etc) and my feeling about many of these writers has been: What the hell is wrong with you guys?!? Not that I can’t understand Mishima‘s arousal at the sight of Saint Sebastian impaled by bloody swords.

Does anybody else wonder about this? I hope so. I am eager to hear any thoughts or opinions. I also wonder why Japanese girls are so attracted to those awful little Prada backpacks, another Mystery of the Far East.

  

2 Responses to “What’s Up With Japan?”

  1. karina Says:

    You can’t understand their madness if you do not study culture and history. I thought the same thing when i read “woman in the dune” (my first Japanese book). But i liked ryu murakami “in the miso soup” and haruki murakami “the elephant vanishes”.
    They realy think different about things, and they always did, even the folk tales live you astonished, but it’s interesting. And you know, everybody thinks about sex, but are ashamed to talk about it to not be judged. Shakespeare talked about cute little boys, napoleon also, the Greeks and romans had an entire culture in which sexuality is concerned.
    And, you find only messed up stories also because this is what sells.
    And if you want to be shocked by someone else then japanese, read Chuck Palahniuk “Hounted”. I love messed up stories.
    The world is changing baby, enjoy !

  2. Jamar Viau Says:

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