By Jon Wilks
A – Abe, Sada
Few women could erotically asphyxiate their lover, remove his genitals with a household tool, walk “beaming with happiness” through the streets of Tokyo clutching said cock’n'balls in hand and still garner the sympathy of her compatriots. Yet that’s exactly what Sada Abe (阿部定) managed on May 18th 1936. Although convicted, Abe was later pardoned during the celebrations marking the anniversary of Emperor Jimmu’s ascension to the throne. Last seen playing herself in erotically charged bio-pics. The phrase “only in Japan” was coined for occasions such as this.
B – Bukkake
Here’s one for those who believe Japan has given the world nothing. Taken from the verb bukkakeru (打っ掛ける, to dash or splash), this merry little activity was considered a punishment at one time, though we can’t imagine why. Involving a protagonist, several supporting players and a whole lotta treating one’s body like a circus.
C – Chikan
Not to be confused with the delicate Indian embroidery of the same name, chikan (痴漢) are so central to society that in some cities they’ve even inspired their own train. Not that they’re allowed to ride in it, of course. This group of social daredevils get their kicks groping innocents in crowded environments, thriving on the sardine-tight subways of Japan’s larger metropolises.
D – Dekapai
…or “big tits” to you and I, dekapai (デカパイ) are the stuff of otaku dreams. While anime has transformed them into a proud art form, scientifically impossible breasts aren’t merely the stuff of fantasy. Leading dekapai idols include the otherwise miniscule Megumi and the no-holes-barred Anna Ohura, both of whom will retire comfortably on their “natural” assets.
E – Enjo Kousai
The P.C. term for enjo kousai (援助交際) is “assisted dating”, which makes it sound like a recovery program for the romantically challenged. Reportedly on the decline, the phenomenon once provided relief for two subsections of society – Japan’s sexually depressed CEOs and the financially impoverished kogaru, desperate to keep up with expensive trends and transient fashions. Child prostitution or comfort for the elderly? The jury’s still out.
F – Fashion Health
Another oddly misleading phrase that has little to do with its subject. A Fashion Health Massage (ファッションヘルスマッサージ) takes place in a brothel, rather than a gym, and involves everything the male mind could wish for, short of actual intercourse. Apparently.
G – Gokkun
The onomatopoeic cousin of bukkake, gokkun (ゴックン) is the sound of someone swallowing. One human vessel and several eager donors required. ‘Nuff said.
H – “H”
“H” is the first letter of the word hentai (変態) and is therefore afforded supreme status in our little wordbook, for without hentai and its associated pictorial success the world would know little of Japan’s outlandish sexual practices. Suitably perverse, the locals pronounce it ecchi (エッチ). the first word most foreigners learn after watashi wa…
I – Iijima, Ai
Ai Iijima (飯島愛) was gang-raped as a schoolgirl, left home shortly after and made a living doing many of the things we’ve written about here. One of Japan’s most successful porn stars, Iijima retired from the business at the grand old age of 20. Her bestseller biography, Platonic Sex, saw success as a TV series and mainstream movie, and she now earns her keep admiring udon along with the other nonentities on the variety TV circuit. There’s artistic progress for you.
J – Japasen
Sorry, dudes, you’ve been rumbled. For those believing that all you have to do is flex and they’ll come running, japasen (ジャパセン) is the reviled trough into which you have fallen. A code word for foreign men who prey on Japanese flesh, memorizing it may save you several months of bewildered celibacy. Thank God for Japanzine!
K – Kabukicho
Named after a Kabuki theater that never was, Kabukicho (歌舞伎町) is synonymous with all things grimy. Think seedy cinemas, think yazuka, think Kabukicho. For further info, see the article Floating World on page …
L – Love Dolls
It’s unsurprising that the Japanese, along with the Germans, were first to develop the sturdier big sister to the blow-up doll, but few could have foreseen the levels this study in perversion would attain. Manufacturers fight to better each other with new and sinister features, such as the Sayaka Deep Kiss model, now complete with removable, washable vagina and head.
M – Mizuage
As seen in Memoirs of a Geisha (100% accurate), the mizuage (水揚げ) ceremony is the ceremonial deflowering of a maiko to the highest bidder. And curse the blighters who suggest the geisha world is related to prostitution.
N – No-Pan-Kissa
In the mid 80s, No-Pan Kissa (ノーパン喫茶) were the discerning salaryman’s retreat of choice. Involving waitresses, short skirts, no underwear and a lot of mirrored flooring; the phenomenon went into a predictable decline once the no-touching rule was broken. All innocence lost, the establishments moved into seedier surrounds and slowly drifted into the past. Expect the same fate for maid cafes.
O – Onsen Geisha
Again, not quite the thriving workforce they once were, Onsen Geisha (温泉芸者) preceded soapland workers by a few decades, performing services that few governments would shop as a tourist attraction.
P – Prostitution
The Anti-Prostitution Law of 1956 brought the glory years to an end, though various loopholes have been adequately exploited since. Essentially, it’s just coitus that is illegal in Japan, so if you’ve been indulging in anything else, you’re absolutely onside. Go you!
R – Roshutsu
Apparently common practice in the adult film industry, roshutsu (露出) involves the revealing of the body outdoors, often in public places. Not a craze that seems to have spread to everyday society. More’s the pity.
S – San-P
San P (3P) is the involvement of three practitioners in one practice. In other words, a threesome. Can’t imagine Dr. Johnson had this much fun researching his dictionary.
T – Tentacle Rape
A sci-fi fetish that seems to have origins in Shinto and a more playful approach to sexuality. Since woodblock artist Hokusai’s renowned piece The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, the depiction of women impaled on tentacles has found its way into numerous hentai manga. Yet another cultural asset to be proud of.
U – Uno, Sosuke
In August 1989, Prime Minister Sosuke Uno (宇野宗佑) incensed the nation by not supporting his geisha sufficiently, and subsequently resigned. The fact that he had a wife was neither here nor there.
Y – Yoshiwara
The yoshiwara (吉原) was the area of Edo designated for prostitution in the 1700s. Records suggest that up to 1700 women were put to work at the height of its popularity, escorted once a year to view the cherry blossoms, for which you can assume they were damned grateful.