Abiola_Lapite's photos More of Abiola_Lapite's photos

« Taking the "Freedom" Out of "Freedom of Speech" | Main | Korean Racism is Something Else »

February 10, 2006



True dat.

Let me theorize on culture for a while here: The crux to me seems to be something far more ingrained - as to be almost unnoticeable in Japanese life. It is that Japanese "longing" for something beyond the drab, dreary and otherwise shoddy details of everyday life. One finds this "longing" manifested, not only in the generality of Japanese literature - but also in the manga, anime, and the pop scene. I am convinced, to a large extent - that it is the "longing" to be "beautiful", "innocent" and "violable" that informs the exagerrated prettiness in much of Japanese art - as well as the whole "kawaii" culture.

When one performs a cursory survey of Japanese pornography for instance: It seems to me that a large percentage of it is based on the violation of innocence: Yes, this is a staple of most porn, but am I alone in thinking that it is, ahem, disproportionately invoked in Japanese pornography?

The images foisted on public figures, perhaps, serve as psychological avatars for the Japanese masses.

I can surely go with good ole economic exploitation when it is proposed; but the beatified images of art in Japan generally, insinuate to me that perhaps, what is at work here, is not just a lusting for the $$$ on the part of producers.

Super Flat Arter, Takashi Murakami, makes some interesting observations along these lines: As to how, since after the war, cute, insipid, saccharine infested images have proliferated in Japan as some form of analgesic: But is this phenomenon rooted in the war experience - or does it lie deeper in occurences during Japan's ancient past?

Marilyn Monroe was pretty, yes, as are any of the dime a dozen "Actresses" out there: But to a certain extent, they typified qualities that could be found within the population they are drawn form: This is hardly the case with respect to the Japanese art and media scene - which, to put it quite simply, is freaky.

What do the "visualists" in Shibuya want? The Yamanban - and their now proliferating male clones? What exactly do they want and what are they trying to achieve? The meticulous fashion, the attention to detail - the sheer God squeakiness of it all: When I see things like a solid performer being fired because she puffed away at a stick while underage - I just wonder if something deeper isnt at work here. Kate Moss did coke, went into rehab and is back, but a teenager smokes, in a country where many teenagers smoke, and it is a scandal?

From a Western perspective, yes, there are any number of gothic scenes, skater subcultures and general weirdo cliques to be found lurking in the invisible spaces of youth and adult life: What is different then, is perhaps, the prominence of Japan's versions of these: and their artistic influence. One might be accused on focusing on the "exotic" here - but this is simply not the case with regards to Japan: Freakiness is everywhere in Japan. And it is simply impossible to miss: and an emphasis on "cuteness" is unparralled anywhere in the world; i.e. "cuteness" with regards to a certain childish, innocent, violable quality - as compared to beauty.

Enough armchair theorizing on this: I am off to buy Morizo & Kiccoro Aichi collectibles on Ebay.


"am I alone in thinking that it is, ahem, disproportionately invoked in Japanese pornography?"

Ahem, no, not at all. 強姦、監禁、ブッカケ、ロリコン and 痴漢 videos, anyone? (All terms are in Japanese to protect the innocent ...)


It's kind of funny the extent to which the Japanese press will pretend to protect the identity of a minor even when it's so obvious. See the reference to 未成年タレントA:


Ah yes:

The Japanese and their \"conplexes\". Interesting isnt it that lolicon, shotacon etc do not carry the pejorative weight of say, pedophilia or pederasty in the West: for all its \"sexual liberation\" and \"open societies\"; artistic confinements in the West with regards to stuff like this are a minute fragment of boundaries in Japan. Witness the furor over Nicole Kidman and Cameron Bright in in Birth. I wont be making out a check to NAMBLA anytime soon, but I find State sanctioned ages of consent to be dubious. Japan is evidence that Gomorrah wouldnt suddenly lie \"over yonder hill\" should newly pubescent individuals start getting it on with individuals old enough to be their ancestors.


"It's kind of funny the extent to which the Japanese press will pretend to protect the identity of a minor even when it's so obvious."

It's the thought that counts, I guess ... Note that the good old MDN has no qualms about printing out her name.

Seriously, though, I'd guess it's just one more newsman's trick to drive traffic - it gives people a cheap thrill of being part of some big mystery (albeit one anybody with two brain cells to rub together should be able to figure out), even as it allows the papers which engage in it to indulge in a bit of sanctimonious NYT-style moral posturing ("WE have high journalistic standards to uphold", etc.)

Scott Wickstein

Shit, with my smoking, drinking, swearing and general obnoxious behaviour, I'd be stuffed in Japan.

Thankfully Australia has looser standards and I can opine in obscurity without being harrassed by anyone.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Notes for Readers