Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pay to grope

I'm taking a summer course this year to make sure I graduate with a hefty two degrees in the "normal" four years allotted for undergraduate study (mostly because I can't afford to go to school for more than four years). Anyway, the course is titled "Intercultural Communication." We're only a few days in, so I can't tell you a lot of specifics about it, but it's the kind of stuff that's right up my alley. We even talk about Japan--a lot!

So last class period, my professor, David Lapakko, asked me if I knew about a Japanese book that explained the proper/easy/inconspicuous way to grope women on trains. I felt like I've heard about something like it, but as I wasn't entirely sure I knew (and I've been unable to confirm anything via the internet), I offered this insight: that groping in the close quarters of Japanese trains (especially during heavy-traffic times) is, indeed, an issue in Japan, for better or worse. I then explained that sex-club-type things are sometimes modeled in the fashion of train cars. Inside the model train cars, women dress in anything from business attire to school uniforms and await uninhibited groping from paying patrons.

Why do I know this? Well after I got back from my short-term study-abroad in Tokyo last summer, I bought a book called Pink Box: Inside Japan's Sex Clubs. It's consists almost entirely of photography of Japanese sex clubs and explanations of their purpose, etc. It's really fascinating stuff; that is to say, it's very different from the American sex-club culture (though I can't say I truly understand that). Anyway, I figured I'd share with you the website of the woman--Joan Sinclair--who risked a lot to get into these places and collect information/photographs: Pink Box.


And here is the link to some of the photos Joan took. I can't post them directly to this entry, as they're protected (and because they are, I wouldn't want to cheat using a screen-capture or something), but if you click here, you can see what I'm talking about: the second image is of a groping simulation room.

Interesting, no?

1 comment:

David Lapakko said...

Well, you're ahead of your teacher on this one! But that's probably for the best--I really don't want to be known as an authority on groping, either here or in Japan.