SEX IN JAPAN
sex manga A survey by the Tokyo-based Japanese Association for Sex Education in 2006 found that 62 percent of female university students had had sex, up 10 percent from six years earlier, and around the same level as men. In the first survey by the group in 1974, 23 percent of male and 11 percent of female university students said they had sex.
A study in 2002, found that 46 percent of female high school seniors had had sex, compared to 10 percent in 1984, and 37 percent of male high school seniors had had sex, compared to 20 percent in 1984. Another study found that 40 percent of high school students that have sex use condoms when they do and they change sexual partners frequently.
Websites and Resources
Links in this Website: SEX IN JAPAN Factsanddetails.com/Japan ; PROSTITUTES, SEX CLUBS AND SEX INDUSTRY IN JAPAN Factsanddetails.com/Japan ; HOSTESSES, HOSTS AND STRIPTEASE IN JAPAN Factsanddetails.com/Japan ; SEX, CHILDREN, TEACHERS AND SUBWAYS IN JAPAN Factsanddetails.com/Japan ; SEX, DATING CLUBS AND SCHOOLGIRLS IN JAPAN Factsanddetails.com/Japan ; HOMOSEXUALITY IN JAPAN Factsanddetails.com/Japan
Books: The Japanese Art of Sex: How to Tease, Seduce and Pleasure the Samurai in Your Bedroom by Jina Bacarr (Stone Bridge Press, 2004); Tabloid Tokyo by Geoff Botting, Ryann Connell, Michael Hoffman and Mark Schreiber (Kodansha, 2005); The Japanese Disease by Declan Hayes (iUniverse, 2005).
Good Websites and Sources: Sex Articles on Japan for the Uninvited japanfortheuninvited.com ; Love Hotels quirkyjapan.or ; Bookmice article on Sex in Japan bookmice.net ; Underwear Theft in Japan japanvisitor.com ; Panty Theft Raid wordpress.tokyotimes.org ; Japanese Legends About Supernatural Sweethearts pitt.edu/~dash/japanlove
Sex Industry in Japan Pink Box, Inside Japan’s Sex Industry pinkboxjapan.com ; You Tube Video of Tokyo Sex Club Tour YouTube ; Wikipedia article on Prostitution in Japan Wikipedia ; Brothels in Osaka on 21 or Over,com 21orover.com ; Japan Times article on Osaka Brothels Japan Times Sex Trafficking Video International Labor Organization ; Kabukicho Kabuki-cho (part of Shinjuku) is regarded as Tokyo's largest entertainment district and is the center of Tokyo’s sex industry. Websites: Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Guardian article Guardian
Sex Museums and Festivals Photos of the Sex Museum in Uwa Jima Nicolas Delerue ; Sex Museum Phots lifeinthefastlane.ca/japan-sex-museums ; Sex Museum Visit travel.webshots.com ; Penis Festival 2camels.com/photos/hounen-penis-fertility-festival Good Photos of Penis Festival at Japan-Photo Archive japan-photo.de ; Sex Education and Birth Control History of Sex Education Films in Japan midnighteye.com ; Blog Report on Birth Control in Japan myso-calledjapaneselife.blogspot.com ; 2009 Japan Times Article japantimes.co.jp ; New York Times 1999 Article on Viagra Versus Birth Control Pills nytimes.com
Pornography and Subway Groping Pornography, Rape and Sex Crimes in Japan from the Pacific Center of Sex and Society at the University of Hawaii hawaii.edu/PCSS ; Wikipedia article on Pornography in Japan Wikipedia ; Economist Article on Child Pornography in Japan economist.com ; Time Magazine on Elder Porn in Japan time.com ; Subway Groping Video clipser.com ; Subway Groping japanfortheuninvited.com ;
Hostesses and Hosts in Japan: Pictures japaneselifestyle.com ; Hostess Bars How to Japan howtojapan.blogspot.com ; Host Bars japanfortheuninvited.com 2009 New York Times article on Hostesses nytimes.com/ ;Maid Cafes stippy.com/japan-culture ; Male Maid Café yesboleh.blogspot.com ;
Openness About Sex in Japan
uncensored version The Japanese distaste for public kissing often seems odd to Westerners, who have spent some time in Japan, and watched topless girls parade across their television screens after 11:00pm, seen Japanese men reading pornographic comic books and explicit girlie magazines on the subways, and had their mailboxes stuffed with fliers for schoolgirl call girl services.
Women have traditionally been very free in their sexuality. In the Heian period court women sometimes had dozens of lovers. Their exploits are brought to life in classic novels such as the Tales of Genji and the Pillow Book.
Umensuke, sometimes called the Japanese Casanova, was a fictional character who slept with 1,750 women in a book called The Biggest Lady's Man in History. The son of 17th century geisha girl, he recorded his first erection at three, made love for the first time at seven with a geisha girl, and was last heard from boarding a ship headed for an island inhabited only by women.
Prostitution is technically illegal but very common in Japan; Japanese sex museums display pubic hair collections and preserved penises of animals; and gear for sado-masochistic fantasies is a big business. News magazines in Japan have so many naked women in them that United Airlines was forced to ban them because of passenger complaints.
Reasons for Openness About Sex in Japan
kids at a penis festival Japanese have traditionally has not linked with sex with guilt, shame and taboos as is the case in with Westerners. Premarital and extramarital sex have never been linked with sin the way they have in Christian and Muslim cultures. Shintoism has no concept of original sin. Sex is regarded as natural urge. Sex outside marriage has traditionally not been frowned upon and in some cases has even been encouraged.
A Japanese psychologist told the Japan Times, "Both traditionally and subconsciously, extra-partner sexual relationships are allowed, as long as men don’t break the official and conscious relationship with the regular partners. Although such behavior might clash with Judeo-Christian moral values, here uwaki [infidelity] is distinguished from honki [true feelings].
An adult movie film consultant told the Japan Times, "Unlike many sanctimonious people in the West, Japanese seem to accept that humans are sexual and find no guilt catering to these natural desires."
Young People, Love Hotels and Sex in Japan
Mexican love hotel The age for consensual sex in Japan is 13. A survey of 3,200 high school students by Asahikawa Medical College found that 40.3 percent of the girls and 35.8 percent of the boys had had sexual experiences A different survey in 2000, found that around 40 percent of high school senior boys and 33 percent of high school senior girls said they had sex, a threefold increase from a decade earlier. Of these only half said they used contraceptives.
Teenagers are fairly sexually active in Japan but backseat love and hanky panky while the parent are at work or away for the weekend are fairly uncommon. Most young couples go to Love Hotels.
Love hotels are places that rent out rooms by the hour for couple having trysts and men meeting prostitutes. The hotels have names like with names Let’s, Charme, Maitresse, Le Refrain, Valentine Motel, and Eros Motel. Some rooms are bare and sparsely furnished. Other have round beds, mirrored ceilings, special chairs built for activities other than sitting, and racy artwork. Complementary toothbrushes and condoms sit on the bureau. Most have curtained off underground parking lots to keep the identity of guests secret. Because rooms can be rented for $25 an hour, up to five or six times a day, the hotels can be quite profitable.
Lack of Sex in Japan
Inside a love hotel According to sex survey by SSL International PLC, makers of Durex brand condoms, involving people in 28 countries, the Japanese are the least sexually active people, on average having sex only 36 times a year, compared to the world average of 97 times a year.
A survey by WHO, released n March 2008, found that 1 in 4 married couples in Japan had not had sex in the previous year and 37 percent of couples in their 50s no longer had sex. Many blame this on the Japanese obsession with work.
Condom sales and the number of teenage abortions has dropped in recent years. Some attribute the trend to a fascination by teenage boys with virtual girls online. One Japanese public heath official said, “They don’t want to get hurt [by being duped by human girls]. So they never advance past the 2-D world.”
According to a September 2010 government survey answered by 671 men and 869 women one third of Japanese males aged 16 to 19 are uninterested in or even averse to sex, double the figure in 2008. The survey also found that 40 percent of married couples said they had not had sex for the last month. Reasons given for not engaing in sex included reluctance after childborth, a sense that being intimate is a bother and job-related fatigue.
One 44-year-old male sex volunteer told the Japanese writer Sumie Kawakami that a surprising number of women with unhappy or non-existent sex lives visit a “sex clinic” to achieve sexual fulfillment at least once in their lives.
Sex and Art in Japan
Japanese shunga ("spring pictures") are sexually-explicit woodblock prints that were popular in the Edo period (1603-1868). Some featured couples in a variety of sexual positions. Others features humorous depictions of men with enormous penises or couples with enlarged genitalia. Some are quite crude. Others are exquisitely done and are regarded as works of art. works Even Japanese famous artists such as Utamaro and Hurunobu made them.
Shunga held a large share of the ukiyo-e market. There are number of theories why they were so popular. Some have suggested it was because they were pornography and nothing more. Some have said they served as trousseaus for brides to prepare for their wedding night. Other have suggested that were an aid for masturbation. Masturbation is not equated with sin and weakness like it os the West. And because of husbands were often separated from the wives due to Edo period laws, masturbation was preferred to infidelity.
Works that look mundane often had a sexual meaning. A swing lantern, a peony or a boa pole all had sexual connotations.
Nawashibari, erotic rope binding, was developed in 17th century Japan by samurai who used similar methods to torture criminals.
Sex on Television in Japan
Exposed breasts, female humiliation, and frank discussions about sexual topics are fixtures of late night Japanese television. Programs after 11:00pm include shows with men in porno shops talking about new video releases (and showing their graphic covers) with embarrassed, giggling young women; movies that blur out the genital areas but show everything else; and game shows filled with close-ups of the breasts and crotch areas of bikini-clad women.
Late night shows that have appeared over the years have included I'm Sorry For My Nice Body, featuring bikini-clad girls talking about themselves and their bodies; Kiss Me in a Bathing Suit, with women, sometimes in only half a bathing suit, kissing men in front of a hooting and howling audience; and Look for Big Breasts, with well-endowed females personalities explaining how they take care of their breasts or how they made them so big. The latter employed reporters who searched around Japan for large-breasted women, who are willing to expose them on national television.
Films with sex and violence and foul language are broadcast uncut during prime time on major networks. Some times sex and cutsiness are mixed. One show feature nude women in a hot spring singing the Mickey Mouse Club song.
Manga and Sex
Much of the sex depicted by male artists is heterosexual or yuri (“girl on girl”). Much of the sex depicted by female artists is yaoi (boy-on-boy). The male figures in the yaoi manga tend by emasculated and non-threatening rather than overtly muscular and masculine. Many yaoi boy look like girls with large eyes, and lithe bodies. The plots tend to be sappier with more emphasis on kissing and romance than sex. The fact that two gay guys are in it give an appealing mystique.
Explicit depictions of sex acts and graphic violence are common features in manga. Shonen mangas for boys often feature hands slipping under panties of young girls and savagely violent science fiction and adventure stories. Salarymen comics have wish-fulfilling stories about business who beat up their bosses and have wild sex trips in Thailand. One particularly notorious manga called Rape-Man was finally yanked off the racks because of criticism.
"I think Japanese comics in general are a playing out of the subconscious," Schodt told the New York Times. "Maybe they fill a role similar to dreaming. You work out your stress, explore youth fantasies, and then you go back to work and normal life."
Sex Tourism, Sex Festivals, and Sex Shrines in Japan
penis festival In the 1980s, jets planes full of Japanese men arrived daily in Thailand and the Philippines on pre-paid sex tours that included plane fare, accommodation, transfers and a local girl waiting for them in their room. The AIDS scare slowed this business.
In September 2003, Japan got a lot of bad press when reports emerged that 380 Japanese businessmen with a construction company running around with 400 Chinese prostitutes in hotel in Zhuhai, China. One of the prostitutes told the Washington Post she was with three of four Japanese men. “They had a big party. On my floor, at least, they had girls in every room.”
The Japanese businessmen arranged to meet prostitutes through a staff member in the hotel’s Japanese marketing department, paying $145 to each woman, according to the Beijing Youth Daily. The incident drew more publicity than it otherwise might of because it occurred on the anniversary of the beginning of the Japanese occupation of Manchuria in 1931. The hotel was closed temporarily. Several hotel workers were arrested and forced to take “emergency study sessions.” And the Japanese government said it was going to investigate.
There are Shinto shrines in Japan, where pregnant women can offer radishes in hopes of achieving sexual gratification. Some Shinto temples have sex museums.
The Dosjin Festival , held in Matsumoto in late September, is better known as the “phallus festival.”Held at the Utsukushigahara Onsen it is named for a pair of deities called 'dosojin' that can be found on stone statues in this region. During the festival women dress up in costumes of giant penises and walk through the streets while wild merry making goes on.
Sex Museums in Japan
sex museum display There are a number of sex museums in Japan. The Sex Museum in Uwajima on the island of Shikoku is a carefully-researched, three- story museum with all sorts of unmentionable stuff gathered from all over the world by a Japanese anthropologist. Among the more interesting exhibits are an amusing collection of shunga woodprints cartoons with a guy whose penis is much too large for his own good.
Most of the museum is filled with artistic pornographic drawings, painting and statues from Japan and different cultures around the globe. The collection includes a large display of chastity belts from Indonesia and Europe, a huge array of ticklers and women-pleasing devises, Greek vases and Peruvian pottery with erect penises, Kama Sutra illustrations, Tibetan Tantric sculptures. leather S&M equipments, and anatomically-correct images of Pacific fertility gods.
There is also a statue of a king who is surrounded by a dozen women who are all being satisfied at the same time by different parts of the kings of body, and a collection of pubic hair, with over 1000 different samples, each identified with a name and nationality, assembled by a Japanese gynecologist.
The museum isn't too hard to find. Just look for sculpture garden with large wooden and stone phalluses from the South Seas. The atmosphere inside is a little stuffy, and some the animal pictures are pretty disgusting. The museum is linked with a Shinto Shrine across the street.
There are also an S and M museums
Viagra in Japan
When Viagra went on the market in the United States in the summer of 1998, Viagramania hit Japan. The drug was sold illegally at bars and brothels, and from sleazy dealers in Tokyo's red light district. Single pills sold for as much as $400. Doctors in Hawaii, Seattle and San Francisco were busy writing prescriptions for Japanese men who came from Japan with expressed purpose of securing a Viagra supply.
Travel agencies arranged trips to specifically to buy Viagra. Three-day $1,379 Viagra tours to Guam and Hawaii include a doctors exam and two bottles of Viagra. Most of the members of the tour were men in the 50s.
Viagra was approved with a minimum of fuss by the Japanese-equivalent of the FDA in 1998 after a review process that took only six months while birth control pill had been under review for nine years and remained unavailable 34 years after regulatory approval was first requested. Many women felt there was clearly a double standard. It was said that Viagra was approved so quickly because members of Parliament—mostly old men—wanted to get their hands on the drug.
Sex Education in Japan
Sex education is very limited in Japan and was not made part of the curriculum until 1992 when the first health books for fifth graders were issued. There are government guidelines for teaching lessons about sex in health, socials studies and home economic classes but these lessons are rarely taught because many teachers are embarrassed about teaching them. When sex education classes are taught teacher say that girls are more open to talking about sex than boys.
Some sex education classes are quite primitive. In some cases high school students are subjected to lectures where they are shown disgusting pictures of people with sexually transmitted diseases and told that abortion sometime poke hole sin woman’s uterus making it impossible for them to have children.
Many young Japanese are ignorant about birth control use and prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases. They often say what they know about sex they learned from manga (comic books), magazines, videos and Internet sites. Manga aimed for young people is often very explicit and pornographic websites are easy to access. Representatives of the Japan Family Planning Association say, judging from the calls they receive, children who learn about sex from these sources often get distorted information and strange ideas about sex, and thus have urged better sex education in schools.
Hisashi Sekiguchi, a lecturer on sex education at Chiba University told the Yomiuri Shimbun, “Many teenagers don’t have basic knowledge about, for example, the menstrual cycle and how women become pregnant. Young Japanese are very vulnerable compared with their counterparts in other industrialized countries.”
An effort has been made to improve sex education classes with a focus teaching kids in an easygoing atmosphere on protecting oneself against sexually transmitted diseases, avoiding unwanted pregnancies and defending oneself against sexual predators.
In the early years some teaching materials were quite “progressive” and criticized for “promoting casual sex.” In recent years these materials have been toned down or eliminated. According to education-board guidelines teachers are required to use certified curricula and age-appropriate terminology. The guidelines discourage the use of the words “sex” and ‘sexual intercourse” at all grade levels and say that foreign words like “penis” and “vagina” are not appropriate for describing private parts. On the issue of AIDS prevention the guidelines advises “avoid sexual contact.” In some cases pictures of mating dogs and fish have been left out because they were considered inappropriate.
Supplementary texts for elementary school that show pictures of sexual organs and provide explanations about sexual intercourse and middle school books that explain how to use a condom have been removed.
Birth Control in Japan
condom vending machine Among Japanese that use birth control, 80 percent use condoms, followed by the rhythm method and spermicide jelly. Some use female contraceptives (a cookie-size, thin piece of plastic with a spermicide). Sterilization is practiced among couples that already have kids. Many Japanese don't use contraceptives as illustrated by the high number of shotgun weddings.
Japanese birth control policy has often been determined by politics. Abortions were banned in 1907 and all kinds of birth control were made illegal in World War II. In the 1950s, when the population was growing rapidly and women were added in the labor force, abortion were legalized for "economic and health" reasons.
Single women are reluctant to visit gynecologists because of the widespread assumption that only reason a single woman would do so would be to obtain an abortion or receive treatment for a sexually transmitted disease. Single women become painfully aware of these assumptions if they are in awaiting room surrounded by pregnant or married women.
Birth Control Pills in Japan
Birth control pills were finally approved in Japan in May 1999, nearly 50 years after they were approved the United States. Before then only high-dose varieties of the pill were available and they were prescribed for menstrual disorders not birth control. These pills carry a higher risk of high blood pressure and some forms of cancer than the low dose versions.
Over the years the Japanese government has supported the ban on the pill on the grounds of sexual morality, AIDS prevention and women's health. Critics have claimed the pill encourages promiscuity, produces side effects such as morning sickness, bloating and strokes and pollutes rivers with hormones. Among the groups opposed to the legalization of birth-control pills were condom makers and health clinics that performed abortions.
One of the main reasons approval of birth control pills was finally granted was the outcry over the fact that Viagra was approved with a minimum of fuss by the Japanese-equivalent of the FDA in 1998 after a review process that took only six months while birth control pill had been under review for nine years and remained unavailable 34 years after regulatory approval was first requested. Many women felt there was clearly a double standard. It was said that Viagra was approved so quickly because members of Parliament—mostly old men—wanted to get their hands on the drug.
Aversion to Birth Control Pills in Japan
vending machine It was thought that after the pill was legalized, Japanese women would jump at the change to take it. That has not happened. As of 2004, five years after they were legalized, Japanese women continue to shun birth control pills. According to one survey only 1.3 percent of the Japanese females between 15 and 49 used the pill, compared to 15.6 percent in the United States. More than 70 percent the women surveyed said they would never use the pill. Only 20 percent said they world try it.
Reasons why Japanese women avoid the pill, experts say, include ignorance, easy-to-obtain abortions, marketing restrictions, discriminatory pricing and taboos associated with visiting a gynecologist. A month’s supply of birth control pills cost around $30 but women who want the pill sometimes have or pay a $1,000 a year for the pills and extensive tests required to get a prescription.
Many women fear they will gain weight, become infertile, or suffer some other side effect. One woman told the Los Angeles Times, "I hear women can't get pregnant again, even after they stop using it." Another said, "It's much cheaper and easier just to ask men to but condoms. Taking something everyday seems like a real bother."
On the social stigmas attached to birth control pills, one Japanese psychiatrist told Newsweek, "Many women still say, my boyfriend would think I play around if I talked about birth control." One Japanese gynecologist said, "It's easier for a Japanese woman to say she's had an abortion that to say she's on the pill."
Condoms in Japan
Condomania shop Condoms are the most common form of birth control. According to a United Nation study, they are used regularly by 46 percent of couples between the ages of 15 and 49 and by 80 percent of the sexually active public who use birth control.
One reasons they are so popular is that they are easy to obtain with a minimum of fuss and embarrassment. Condoms are sold at all kinds of stores and can be purchased discreetly from vending machines. Condomania in Tokyo sells Skinless Wrinkle Zero-0 condoms and glodoms" that "light up your love life." Sometimes female salespersons sell them door-to-door in respectable neighborhoods.
Condom use is linked with low teenage pregnancy, low HIV and sexually transmitted disease rates. Widespread use of condoms dates back to World War II when Japanese soldiers in foreign lands were required to use them when the visited prostitutes. Women often insist that men wear condoms and the men comply.
Image Sources: 1) Amazon, 2), 6). 9) 10), 13), Japan Visitor, 3) Tokyo Pictures, 4), 8) 14, Hector Garcia, 5) Ray Kinnane. 7) British Museum. 11), 12) Photomann
Hentai Wiki Commons
Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Daily Yomiuri, Times of London, Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO), National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.
© 2009 Jeffrey Hays
Last updated January 2013