Video

Maid Cafes and Buriko Speech Playlist

This is a long playlist but, it has lots of variety. There are a couple off shoot videos as well I put in just for fun. Some random ones are either good examples of Buriko speech or ideas that came from the popularity of maid cafes, like the ninja cafe.

Advertisements
Image

Love Hotel FAQ

japanese-love-hotel

A more exotic aspect of Japan is its “love hotels,” private hotels that couples can go to in order to spend a few hours of “quality time” together. Based on “private inns” that were common in the Edo Period and official facilities set up during the Allied Occupation, love hotels are a huge industry in Japan. Below are some common questions foreigners have about love hotels.

Q. What are they? How much do they cost?

A. Basically, hotels where couples can “rest” for 2-3 hours, or “stay” overnight. The cost is usually around $30-50 for a few hours or $80-130 for all night.

cirquebass-i                                        images (1)

Q. Who uses them?    

A. Everyone from couples in their 20s to married couples who live with their parents or children. Recently there’s been a lot of use by “silver” couples who are still genki, and hotels are starting to embrace these customers by creating ‘barrier free’ hotel rooms. Though there’s no doubt an occasional connection to “delivery health” and other thinly disguised prostitution-esque services, the hotels are surprisingly professional and legitimate.

love-hotels2_2137536i               images

Q. Can foreigners use them?

A. Sure, no one cares who uses them. If you’re coming to Japan and want to give one a try, it would probably be a lot of fun. They’re quite common in Tokyo, such as the Spain-zaka area of Shibuya or Uguisu-dani station. If you’re outside a major city like Tokyo they can be harder to find, as they’re usually placed on the edge of town, hard to get to if you don’t have a car.

Q. What will I find there?

A. Competition has forced the hotels to become quite creative, and they offer different themes to couples, with everything from Disney and Hello Kitty themes to rooms with various costumes you can try on to at least one “Hotel California” style establishment. In addition to a vending machine selling ridiculously cute toys for couples, there’s lotion and a condom, too, but the J-List staff tells me it’s common sense to never use condoms from a love hotel as the previous person might have poked a hole in it as a joke. There are often exotic baths that can be as much fun to play in the main reason for going.

hello_kitty_love_hotel_1

Q. How is privacy handled?

A. Since no one wants to see anyone else when visiting one of these places, hotels get creative here, too. You park your car in the space reserved for the room you want and go right into your room. Payment is handled by a machine that unlocks the door after you insert payment or else a pneumatic tube that delivers your payment to the front desk without you seeing anyone.

Q. How big is the industry?

A. At around $42 billion, the love hotel industry is around twice the size of the entire anime/manga industry. Being such a healthy area of the economy, it occasionally attracts interest by international hedge funds, but they usually can’t get around the idea of investing money in a taboo industry. Incidentally, Nintendo famously operated a love hotel for a few years before settling on their current product line

love-hotels8_2137544i

Female Sexuality in the 90s

The 90s brought on an awakening of female sexuality and pleasure that bureaucratic censorship provides for a double standard. Pornography is censored, yet manga shows scenes of rape and sodomy.  Oo La La encouraged women to be more demanding when it comes to pleasure. Areas around Tokyo do not see the subject of sexuality and the male and female organs as taboo, but as gods of fertility and parade them around with no shame.

Kon-Katsu (marriage hunting)

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2009/01/14/news/matchmakers-marriage-hunts-beating-out-fate-to-secure-mate/#.UVpiLVeyIQ4

“Kon-Katsu,” short for “kekkon-katsudo,” is a spinoff from the term “shushoku-katsudo” (job hunting). Rather than waiting, many singles are taking it upon themselves to go out and strategically search for “the one” and tie the knot. Signing up with a professional marriage broker is a major kekkon-katsudo tactic.

Offensive (?) VS Geisha Lingerie

Victoria’s Secret pulls ‘sexy little geisha’ lingerie after backlash

Sep. 25, 2012 at 3:55 PM ET

Victoriassecret.com
Offensive? Victoria’s Secret is under attack for a new geisha-inspired outfit that has since been pulled from its website.

By Jada Wong, Styleite

Victoria’s Secret has come under attack for a ”sexy little geisha” outfit that was being sold on its website.

The outfit is part of the retailer’s Go East collection, a line of Asian-inspired negligées and accessories. The ensemble, modeled by South African beauty Candice Swanepoel, consists of a mesh bodysuit with an oval cut-out on the bodice and an “Eastern-inspired” floral print on the bra cups and bottoms, a mini fan and removable obi-belt in the same print, and hair chopsticks with tassels.

The outfit is undoubtedly sexy (even though Swanepoel looks a bit uncomfortable in it), but some say it’s offensive to Asian women — particularly the Japanese, from whom geisha culture originated. Historically, geishas are professionally trained entertainers and generally cater to a male audience, but many non-Japanese mistake them for prostitutes.

Possible cultural misidentification aside, critics say the outfit perpetuates the sexualization of Asians, while some — such as writer Jessica Wakeman of The Frisky — say that a corporation capitalizing on a geisha ensemble for “role-playing lingerie seems a bit tasteless”.  Others, however, think critics are overreacting and that the backlash is “ridiculous”.

“You might as well [criticize] the ‘sexy French maid’ [costume] for sexualizing French women,” wrote commenter Inna on Styleite.com. “It’s meant to be playful and sexy, not degrading.”

Unsurprisingly, the link to the specific outfit and the category page were both pulled down this morning, but screen captures still exist. We reached out to Victoria’s Secret for comment, but as of press time we hadn’t heard back.

 

“You tell your boyfriend, if he says he’s got beef That I’m a vegetarian and I ain’t scared of him”

Apparently there are some changes in Japan regarding gender roles, creating the modern social phenomenon of  草食男子 soushoku-danshi or “herbivore men” (the tendency for young Japanese males to have less ambition in life and to prefer a quiet evening in front of the computer to pursuing girls) and 肉食女子 nikushoku-joshi or “carnivore women”(more aggressive about getting what they want and more than happy to ask a man she likes out).

Image

One woman describes this : “Men of our generation are terrible…more interested in reading men’s fashion magazines and working part-time jobs than dating. They have no drive, no hunger.”

In September 2010, 36% of Japanese males, aged 16-19 surveyed described themselves as  “indifferent or averse” towards having sex, although an astounding 59% of females aged 16-19 stated the same feels towards sex. In a country already struggling with low birth rates, this is not bode well for the future. It is seen as the men breaking free from the pressure to be “manly”. It is assumed this change has occurred because  Japan hasn’t been in a war for over 60 years now. This is compared to the United States who has been in and out of wars since 1945, and has a steady supply of ‘manly’ war veterans. Although, the erosion of sexual boundaries, isn’t necessarily a new thing, Japan had a group of herbivorous men in the Edo Period, when the peace lasted 260 years under the Tokugawa Shognate. Image

The soshokukei boys are described as having the following characteristics:

• They are not as competitively minded about their jobs as men in older generations.

• They are fashion conscious and eat sparingly so they can stay thin and fit into skintight clothes.

• They are chummy with their moms and often go shopping together.

• They are not interested in dating girls, having relationships, or even having sex (choosing from a plethora of “self-help” toys instead).

• They are very tight with their money and often carry several retailers’ “point cards” around, declaring that those who don’t pinch pennies are stupid.

Image

Mr. Kunio explained these findings by stating, “The findings seem to reflect the increasing shallowness of human relations in today’s busy society.” A hairstylist sees it a bit differently, “It’s not so much that men are becoming more like women. It’s that the concept of masculinity is changing…Back then (1980’s), Japanese men had to be passionate and aggressive, but now those characteristics are disliked. Our members have very mild personalities. They simply enjoy what they like without prejudice. They are not limited by expectations”.

This shift in personalities is even more apparent in their ‘Sex in the City’ style show called Otomen (Girly Guys), where the lead character, a martial arts experts, secretly sews, bakes, and crochets clothes for his stuffed animals. Image

Amy Chavez from ‘Japan Times’ is full of advice for these herbivore men to change them back to the old ideal of ‘men’.  “When duty calls, they leave their computers for a few hours, chase some female lions, fight for one who is really hot, and goes home with them to live happily ever after.”

She even has advice to increase they’re manliness: 

-“Gain some weight. A lean look is fine, but not that lean! Don’t leave your women saying where’s the beef? Eat manly stuff — hamburgers orchanko nabe. Eat till it hurts — because you can. You’re a man!

-Gain some muscle. Japanese guys are not big on muscle, which is fine, but you should still be able to move furniture and get the lids off of jars.

-Grow some hair. If you are one of the fortunate ones who can, I recommend you grow a beard. Beards will at least distinguish you from women.

-Change your stance. Stand up straight, for god’s sake. Then swashbuckle a bit. Swagger.” 

Any thoughts on how this will affect Japan in the future?

Listen to this NPR story on herbivore men

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120696816

Image

http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2011/01/13/no-sex-please-were-young-japanese-men/

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2011/12/17/community/herbivorous-men-wheres-the-beef/#.UUQHKhcqbUI

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2009/05/10/life/blurring-the-boundaries/#.UUQHMBcqbUI

Tokyo Disney’s First Same-Sex Wedding

Currently in Japan, gay marriage has no legal standing, but that didn’t stop these two women. Koyuki Higashi and Horoko are officially the first lesbian couple to marry at an amusement park. Disney Resorts began allowing same-sex marriages in 2007, yet none had occurred at Tokyo Disney Resort.  At first, Disney Resorts told them that there would be no problem if they married there, only if one dressed like the bride and the other the groom (i.e. one wears a wedding dress and the other a tux). They later got a call saying that they were free to mix and match their outfits and the initial response was incorrect. Higashi and Hokoro tied the knot March 1st.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/first-gay-wedding-held-at-tokyo-disney-resort-2

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/05/world/asia/social-media-embrace-same-sex-wedding-at-tokyo-disneyland.html?_r=0

 

 

Japanese Christmas Cake- A Delicious Sounding Insult

Image

The term ‘Christmas Cake’, although becoming somewhat outdated, is still used in Japan to refer to a single unmarried woman who is older than 25. It is said that no one wants to buy a Christmas cake after the 25th (no matter how delicious it looks), and in turn, no one wants to marry a woman after she’s 25 (no matter how beautiful she is). This term is not used for men. In sort, being unmarried after 25 means you are “past your due date”.

 Image

A “Christmas Cake” woman is commonly used as a trope for characters in anime and manga as well. 

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChristmasCake 

Unsung Heroine of Japanese Women’s Rights Dies at 89

ImageBeate Sirota Gordon, a daughter of Russian Jewish parents, almost singled-handedly wrote women’s rights in Japan’s modern Constitution at the age of 22. She produced what became Article 24:

“Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual co-operation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis.

With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.”

She also included women’s right to paid work, custody of children, property rights, inheritance, and to equal education. This she did entirely in secret until she wrote her autobiography.  Beate lived in Japan for many years and was horrified by how women were treated there. Women never came to parties; if their house hosted the party they served the men and ate in the kitchen alone. In public they always walked three to four steps behind men. They were usually married to men they didn’t know, could inherit nothing from their family, and could even be bought and sold.

Beate died on December 30, 2012, from what her daughter says was pancreatic cancer.

 Image

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/world/asia/beate-gordon-feminist-heroine-in-japan-dies-at-89.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21569350-beate-sirota-gordon-interpreter-japan-americans-died-december-30th-aged-89-beate