society is so complex that most non-Japanese end up drawing
conclusions that are in most cases just not right.
If you have ever tried to understand why Japan
continues to have problems on international bodies or in
bilateral trade issues, one common theme is the lack of
understanding of Japanese thought process.
MYNIPPON is always making an attempt to bring out
such complexities so that fans and lovers of Japan can
better appreciate what Japan means in their lives.
is hard to get inside the mind of any person but even more so inside
that of a Japanese person. A
great many non-Japanese people try to do that without speaking the
language and that makes it even harder.
No wonder there is so much
misunderstanding about the lives
of Japanese school girls. Japan has close to 100% literacy,
Japanese high school graduates consistently score among the highest
in Math compared to other developed countries, and Japanese girls do
even better than boys academically and the fact is that some of them
do engage in enjo kosai or, in other words, be intimate with
mostly older men for money.
fact of Japanese life, if not understood without complete context,
sounds repulsive. Most
non-Japanese people analyze this situation by saying, “Oh! These
teenage girls have no idea about the risks that they are putting
themselves to – both physical and
There should be a law banning all this”.
We believe that enjo kosai is definitely not a healthy
practice but here are some facts about Japanese society that better
explain the background of this trend in Japan. Haruka writes
on our message board, "First of all, I do admit that
prostitution can be more respected than those who don't even try to
work (not being willing to work differs from not being able to work,
of course). As the Japanese phrase "karada wo hatte"
refers to, you are working by using what all you've got.
However, I wonder if you can proudly tell your children in the
future "I was earning money by being intimate with a
number of random strangers." I think not. If you can't be proud
of or honest about what you've done to everybody, then you must be
doing something "wrong." If you ever have a chance,
please read a couple of books written by Ryu Murakami."
Japanese teenagers lead lives
that cannot be supported by pocket money and after-school jobs
that they typically have. Many
of them will use designer clothes and accessories and the usual
teenage entertainment like trips to karaoke and malls (with
train/taxi fares and meals) gradually add up.
Japanese parents have practically
no influence on the schedules and activities of their
The country is so safe that children can be out at any
time of the day without causing any worry to their parents.
That freedom can be easily misused by children when they
grow up into teenagers.
Japanese people are unique in
terms of engaging in physical
intimacy without necessarily
thinking of it as an emotional and physical
activity. In the
Japanese mind, intimacy is primarily a physical activity for
satisfaction of physical desire.
Most people will, of course, do it with someone they love
but they will not see anything wrong to do it with a person they
do not or cannot love as long as the act itself is pleasurable.
There are certain things that
Japanese people consider too impolite to discuss. Thus, your
private life is, well, private and you can keep it that way
without any pressure from your parents or your spouse/partner
even if you live with these people.
Continued on next page: Should
enjo-kosai be banned?
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