Sex in Japan

When it comes to sex, I think Japan is an interesting country. Japan is both in East Asia and a capitalist country,so its culture is complex. It has various problems with sexuality, and these problems are also manifested in social stigmas. A survey by NHK concluded that Japan has currently entered a no-relationship society (the japan times, 2019). Individuals have become indifferent to each other, making it difficult to establish relationships, and a kind of universal isolation has emerged. Marriage and fertility rates continue to decline, and more people are rejecting marriage and childbirth (NHK, 2019). Anthropologist Yoshie Moriki (2017) studied the phenomenon of asexual marriage in Japan. Some of the couples who enter into marriage are sexless between them. Although they are partners in life, there is a physical distance between them. They attach more importance to the upbringing of their children than to the life between the couple. Children are even above the relationship between the two spouses and become a way to maintain the relationship. Although marital life is relatively indifferent, the sex industry in Japan is well developed. The main consumers of the pornography industry are men, who hold economic power in Japan. These male consumers value the mental aspect when purchasing the services of sex workers, and sex work becomes a form of mental therapy (Koch, 2016). The stress that male consumers experience in the workplace and in their family life is transferred to the porn industry. This reminds me of the paid dating phenomenon in Japan, where consumers date young girls by paying money for a relationship that is not only sexual, but has more emotional connection between the two parties (Fawcett, 2015). It can be seen from these cases that emotional connection is something that Japanese people are looking for in sex.

 

References

The Japan Times ., 2019. The prison inside: Japan’s hikikomori lack relationships, not physical spaces. Available at: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2019/06/01/lifestyle/prison-inside-japans-hikikomori-lack-relationships-not-physical-spaces/

NHK., 2019. Women in Japanese society. Available at : https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/338/

Moriki, Y., 2017. “Physical Intimacy and Happiness in Japan: Sexless Marriages and Parent Co-sleeping.” In Happiness and the Good Life in Japan, edited by Wolfram Manzenreiter and Barbara Holthus, London: Routledge, pp. 41–52.

Koch, G., 2016. Producing Iyashi: Healing and Labour in Tokyo’s Sex Industry. American Ethnologist, 43(4), pp. 704-716.

Fawcett, H., 2015. Paid dating with teenage students thriving in Japan. Available at: https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2015/12/27/paid-dating-with-teenage-students-thriving-in-japan

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