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'Little idols': Japan's dark obsession with young girls

100 Comments
By Harumi Ozawa

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© 2018 AFP

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Gross and should be illegal like most other 1st world countries. If Japan wants to up their image for 2020 they need to set an example and stamp this pedo stuff out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How on earth can a parent stand by knowing that gross elderly guys are sexually objectifying their child? There isn't enough money on earth that would convince me to sell out my daughters!

35 ( +41 / -6 )

There was a very good BBC documentary on this recently - very revealing but ultimately disturbing.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Explain it away all you want. At the end of the day Japan has a nasty problem that is shamefully promoted. I don’t need it wrapped up and 11th century literature stuck in to make it “cultural”.

11th century sexual culture wasn’t any good.

30 ( +34 / -4 )

I can't believe this insight into modern Japanese culture is finally here...

Embrace the reality, minna.

-18 ( +4 / -22 )

Said by gogogo lol, with a naked pict and a gross name. How convincing. and where’s the picture of the 6 year old girl performing? that picture blurry AF. no picture? Then this Article didn’t happen.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

I am truly shocked by the casual attitude of the society as a whole. This is so destructive especially the child!

The future of the Japanese people is at stake.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

How can people think sexualising children is an alright thing to do.

31 ( +31 / -0 )

"Psychiatrist Hiroki Fukui, who also treats pedophiles, says the awareness in Japan that children need to be protected from potential sexual predators is "so low."

wow ya think....

As the father of a girl i hope this man child part of j mens is addressed soon and leaves say with the olympics and smoking in public to boot.

14 ( +22 / -8 )

Ooooh, and here I thought by young girls in the title they meant girls in their mid teens and thought, "yeah, it's quite pervy". Now, I read further and find out that they are into six year olds, BEYOND CREEPY AND WRONG!!!

This is the part of Japan that really makes me feel quite sad for it. When will they ever grow up?!

27 ( +29 / -2 )

Japan's battle against paedophilia is well documented. The number of minors abused in child pornography has risen five-fold in the past decade, according to official figures.

"Official" figures are sadly just the tip of the surface, and if they say that Japan's "battle" is well documented, I would strongly suggest that they are loosing the war!

It's crap like this that promotes it!

18 ( +20 / -2 )

"Police have failed to stamp out so-called JK (joshi kosei, or high school girls) businesses, which offer men services such as going for a walk with a teenage girl so the customers have a chance to negotiate for sex."

I lived and worked in Japan for 3 years, and I love the culture. But it is a completely different culture from ours, especially in matters sexual, as far as I could tell as an outsider.  

The age of consent is 13, and there seems to be little shame attached to sex - they seem to have a much more matter of fact view of it as a physical need that is satisfied in various ways, all of which would cause considerable social approbation in ours. So, it is a little hard to judge them this particular sexual subculture from so far away.  

Standard Western feminist theory or traditional Judaeo-Christian morality don't seem to fit very well and have limited explanatory power. The nuances and tensions, and so the power equations and exploitation, if any, is quite different from what we understand.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

Gotta take a shower after reading this. 40 year olds into 6 year olds...repulsive. And yet some will say her parents support the girl’s idol career like parents of Olympic aspiring figure skaters or gymnasts.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Stuff I can't wrap my head around.

BTW, AOG n Japan is 13 but prefectures can set it above and most set it to 16-18.

Back home AOG is 14(all types of sex), quirk of the law 2 13yr olds can legally share a bed but no touching. Huh?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The age of consent is 13

It's illegal to have sex with anyone under 18 years.

1.Penal Law regarding sexual assault(強姦罪,Gou-kan-zai) is a law defining statutory rape. This law protects every individual who is less than **13 years old**. (Penal code No. 177 to 184).

2.Juvenile Obscene act (淫行条例, Inkkou-Jyourei) is a law which protects minor from “unethical relationships” and protects individual who is under the age of ****18.

3.Civil Codes (民法 Min-pou)are laws which regulates civil agreements among the citizens, but also Defines everyone under the age of **20 as Juvenile**. It protects the rights of the parents and its families.

These rules makes the de-facto age of consent of Japan at least 18 and can be interpretted as 20 in cases.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

The age of consent is 13

Not really. There isn’t anywhere in the country where you can legally sleep with a 13 year old.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Yeah I've always found the pageant thing for children to be beyond creepy. This is worse with the sheer number of grown men idolizing kids they have no relationship with at all... Whether in an innocent way (I'm not sure any would be) or fetishist way... It's creepy. I don't understand why parents would stand by and let it happen either. Really weird.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

AOC refers to the age that 2 minors can have sex (accidently wrote AOG).

This does NOT mean that a minor can have legally sex with an Adult.

Seen many stories where teens had a relationship but the one to gain majority got jailed.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Majority = majority first

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"On television, you see kids acting in dramas and commercials. In magazines, children are modelling clothes. What Ai is doing is not much different," she says, despite the audience for idol shows being mainly adult males.

The normalization / indoctrination / grooming starts early

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Given what is happening in US gymnastics where over 100 girls were sexual abused and the ongoing Harvey Harvey Weinstein case, and let us not forget the catholic church child abuse case were thousands of child were sexual abused, I don't think anyone has the right to point the finger at Japan.

Do you?????

Here is another story from the the west:

Rotherham(UK) child abuse scandal: 1,400 children exploited, report finds

Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other cities in England, beaten and intimidated, it said.

Do you feel sad for the Children in the West? After reading the above?

13 ( +24 / -11 )

Six year old girl leered at by middle aged men? What sort of sicko fantasies are these guys thinking? The reality is that six year old children throw tantrums in public places while their parents assume a state of catatonic indifference. What is the least bit alluring in that?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I don't think anyone has the right to point the finger at Japan.

Do you?????

Yes. Anyone who isn’t a pedophile has the right to point all they want. Pedophilia criticism should not be stifled due to some perceived yet non-existent hypocrisy.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

@Crazy Joe

"So, it is a little hard to judge them this particular sexual subculture from so far away. " Are you saying its ok to sexualise 6 year old girls??? I'm in japan and ill judge them as messed up man children who need a good slap in the chops!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

@econstats - different situations. The situations you mention are all valid reasons for outrage but none of them are situations which put the children on display, rather crimes happening in private or secretive situations. Still no less disgusting... Not saying the situation in Japan is worse... but it does seem there may be less protection for children in some ways at least.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Granted this stuff does happen elsewhere BUT for it to be socially "acceptable" and these creatures having no shame about it take it to a whole nother level and with such prevalence. Personally i think its a side effect of being squeezed into cookie pigeon holes and independence being squashed from such a young age.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Daniel Naumoff

Thanks for your insight into what you perceive as Japanese culture.I do not know one single person that has taken on this as a part of their culture.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is the innocents they crave. Straight up pedos!!!!! Someone ought to take a camera of the customers and post their picture on an online bullitin board as a WARNING of a sexual predator!!!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I don't think anyone has the right to point the finger at Japan.

Do you?????

Yes. Anyone who isn’t a pedophile has the right to point all they want. Pedophilia criticism should not be stifled due to some perceived yet non-existent hypocrisy.

Happens in both West and Japan. The common wisecrack about these West vs. Japan is: in the West, it's illegal and abnormal - in Japan, it's legal and normal. Lol

16 ( +16 / -0 )

It is nothing short of a mental illness! Many Japanese men seem to never get older than 13 (mentally and emotionally). I guess you could call them, morally retarded. However, you also have to consider the girls. They are just as responsible for this illness with all this idol crap. I'm sure some of them are duped into performing, but the majority enjoy their 15 minutes of fame and exploitation. This 'illness' started in Japan, but it has spread to many other Asian countries as well, Taiwan, S/Korea, Thailand and more. Next time you are on a train watch the J-men when a group of school girls get on the train. They will always check them out from head to toe and you can see their twisted little minds making up sexual scenarios with these little girls. It makes me want to smack them in the back of the head! They are sick!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Here we go Foreigners lecturing the Japanese about Sexuality when in America they have beauty pageants for six years.

CrazyJoeToday 09:00 am JST

The age of consent is 13, and there seems to be little shame attached to sex - they seem to have a much more matter of fact view of it as a physical need that is satisfied in various ways, all of which would cause considerable social approbation in ours. So, it is a little hard to judge them this particular sexual subculture from so far away.  

Standard Western feminist theory or traditional Judaeo-Christian morality don't seem to fit very well and have limited explanatory power. The nuances and tensions, and so the power equations and exploitation, if any, is quite different from what we understand.

My last trip to Japan I attended a free concert of one of these so called "girl groups" the guys were all singing along I never witnessed anything negative happening every one was having a great time.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

@econostats:

Given what is happening in US gymnastics where over 100 girls were sexual abused and the ongoing Harvey Harvey Weinstein case, and let us not forget the catholic church child abuse case were thousands of child were sexual abused, I don't think anyone has the right to point the finger at Japan.

Really? So these JAPANESE activists, lawyers, NGOs, psychiatrists cited in the article - and elsewhere - have "no right to point the finger" at this sexualisation of little girls in their OWN country? Because child abuse has also happened abroad? No logic whatsoever there.

Any culture that does not fight the sexualisation of children is a failed culture. I wish these good Japanese activists all the best in their fight .

"We need to realise this situation in Japan is not normal." - Psychiatrist Hiroki Fukui. Couldnt put it any better.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

The age of consent is 13, and there seems to be little shame attached to sex - they seem to have a much more matter of fact view of it as a physical need that is satisfied in various ways, all of which would cause considerable social approbation in ours. So, it is a little hard to judge them this particular sexual subculture from so far away.  

Standard Western feminist theory or traditional Judaeo-Christian morality don't seem to fit very well and have limited explanatory power. The nuances and tensions, and so the power equations and exploitation, if any, is quite different from what we understand.

this old bit.

Please allow me to paraphrase;

"I enjoyed the sexualization of children when I lived in Japan and continue to enjoy the sexualization of Japanese children on the internet. Please stop making me feel guilty"

1 ( +11 / -10 )

As weird as it is for me, is it not better to have it out in the open rather than driving it underground?

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Andrew Crisp, after over 20 years of living here personally I can say you weren't looking to hard if you aren't seeing girls sexualized here its everywhere you look.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Yes, it is true the age of consent was 13 up until quite recently in a few prefectures, but it is no longer the case. This sexualisation of teenage girls goes back hundreds of years in Japan. It really became prevalent with the advent of TV. If you have search around on YouTube you'll find many Japanese TV clips from the 60' and 70's sexually exploiting young girls. It is a deep seated moral illness in Japanese culture.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

The first paragraph makes me want to vomit!

12 ( +15 / -3 )

As a man I really find nothing exciting or attractive about a young girl under the age of 20+. Is it me or I'm missing something. But in our overly permissive world, people find their own niche, whatever it might be, to get thrilled by. Men as a whole are "visual" animals who become excited sexually through their eyes, what they see or picture in their head. Women thankfully are not like that. But it's a shame that young girls might be exploited in this way. The phenomenon id not limited to Japan.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

"It must be a bizarre sight" for foreigners, admits Himeno but she stresses any sexual advances are an absolute "no-no."

It sure is. Imo it's some sort of moral insanity i.e. subjects know what they're doing but their values/morals/ethics are just 'wrong' (for our standards, that is). For them, it's perfectly ok to watch & worship 6yo kids on a stage, find them 'cute' and be attracted to them (in a non sexual way, I guess).

I actually believe Himeno when she says 'most fans are pure'. Thing is they're also (again imo) deviant as loving/worshipping kids that aren't yours is morally/socially unacceptable in most societies hence a few 'tolerated' slip-ups i.e. "but a bloke asked for my undies once".

As an aside, I find us-types children beauty pageants pretty creepy too.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

it is true the age of consent was 13 up until quite recently in a few prefectures, 

Which prefectures and how recently?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Nothing new to anyone who lives here -- or has even visited a city for just a few minutes. Anyone who denies it just has their heads in the sand. Nothing much can be done about it from outside, though, as the locals just get defensive and say "You're not from here, you can't understand, and you're wrong!" then go on doing what they do. It's gotta come from inside, and fortunately women like the one in this article are helping.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Even if worse things aren't happening in private, it still results in generations of girls being raised with the idea that their only value is in their youthful cuteness,

Only value? Aren't you getting carried away with this?

Humans can be evil.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Strangerland - Which prefectures and how recently?

Google it yourself!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Can't be too recent as it existed 21yrs ago when I came here. :P

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are still two Japanese territories with the age of consent at 13 years old.

https://www.ageofconsent.net/world/japan

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Now they (male fans) say they prefer primary school girls, without hesitation.

sick.

japan still allows child porn if it is manga.

i was told a while back that 13yo age of consent was for arranged marriages only.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

So what? Each prefecture can raise the age as they see fit above 13.

Take your beef up with the prefectures that don't raise it.

Personally don't see a problem, my own country is 14 for sex between minors, 18+ and minor is an offense.

Reading posts here many admitted to sex before 18, pretty common IME.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

totally agree but there is a double standard here. While we are bashing Japan for sexualization of children. We seem to forget that in the USA they seem to be rampant with something similar, but we will call them beauty pageants for children as young as 6, and that's before they even mention,Toddlers and Tiaras and Little Miss Perfect, in the US, but it's a billion dollar industry in the US. The US really need look at itself too.

It was only in 2016 that Miss TEEN USA removed swimwear from its events and replaced it with sportswear. Seriously what is all that about then?

Parents will of course say its about building confidence, and skill, etc etc.

But Japan certainly isn't the only country to do this.

Personally singing and dancing seems nothing compared to what we see in the US with its CHILD BEAUTY PAGENTS. Is one worse than then other.... I'm not so sure Japan is in any a worse situation than say the US.

Both are just wrong.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The paedophile and child abuse rates are higher in Australia, Russia, America, UK and a host of others than in Japan. The rates in the UK are alarming.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

but are they openly reported here?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

How often do you meet a young Japanese girl who wants to be an idol?

How often do you meet a young Japanese girl who wants to be a scientist/corporate president/Prime Minister?

Fair enough. I don't meet young girls at all. My wife's coworkers children maybe once or twice a year. My two in law nieces; one is in college studying to be a nurse, the other finished college and works in a daycare.

Still, I think this has more to do with cramped living conditions and too much TV. Kids will be kids.

In my early 20's I worked at a huge banquet hall and every year they would have kids beauty pagents. I thought it was sick then and still do today. But, the driving force were the mothers. I get what your saying. It's in the extremes in this country. I guess I don't have an answer other than I'd rather have these sickos out in the open rather than in their "basements".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There are still two Japanese territories with the age of consent at 13 years old.

Both are uninhabited islands/atolls?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A bit of a concern, unless he is an immediate or other family member attending for support and encouragement then I would be worried about why a grown man who is a stranger to the child would be in attendance.

Can one assume no photography is allowed except by parents?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The rate of rape per 100,000 population is of 30 in the US and 1 in Japan.

You might see people sexually objectifing children in Japan, but in the US where that is a taboo of the highest order you see more sexual abuse.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Just for those talking that the age of consent is no longer 13, let me remond you that the 条例 jourei are not laws, but administrative regulations by localities.

You need to understand that in Japan most of the powe is centralized and localities have very limited power, it is not like in a Federation were each state can create their own laws.

In case of a jourei, if there is a law already covering such thing, the law trumps the jourei. There are many jourei about things that if they were laws would be unconstitutional, but since they are not laws, cannot be enforced as such and their power is limited, it really doesn't matter.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A pedophile’s candy store. Something strange about an adult over 35 being a fan of child performers. Sorry this is not patronage for patronage sake.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan's age of consent is 13.

https://www.ageofconsent.net/world

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan's age of consent is 13.

But because of other laws its illegal to have sex with any person under 18. These rules makes the de-facto age of consent of Japan at least 18 and can be interpretted as 20 in cases.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There are still two Japanese territories with the age of consent at 13 years old.

What "territories" are you referring to? Japan no longer has any colonies so I wonder where these territories are located?

Japan's age of consent is 13.

Fine, go find a 13 yr old to have sex with, consensual and see yourself get slammed or worse, for statutory rape

You folks who keep spouting this BS are going to get some fool hurt or worse. Don't just look at national "law", prefectural laws take precedence, and it is commonly accepted that 16 is the age of consent, as most prefectures laws have that law, however there are prefectures that have different laws.

Again the prefectural law, takes precedence in these cases!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@zichi

You are correct about the under 18 rules.

Trying to keep an open mind about this, "when in Rome" and all. But, at the end of the day what you have is predators and victims, a bunch of perverted middle-aged men and desperate young girls, and it is the culture that grooms these young girls for exploitation.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"It's now less embarrassing to admit you like young girls. Now they (male fans) say they prefer primary school girls, without hesitation."

This is certainly disturbing but it appears to be a growing problem in first world countries. Ethics and morality have eroded significantly in recent years. There really are very few barriers and stigma’s left. It’s really sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is a cultural aspect of Japan to accept sexualization of young girls.

It is tolerated and only Japan and Japanese can decide if good or bad. Christian values to protect the weak and innocents is not applicable in the same way.

You realize when discussing with ladies that youthful is the value to consider first, not the character nor the competence of a woman.

Once they reach 30, they even consider themselves unfit for marriage !

Of course I am against before teenage years sexualization, that is exploitation IMHO. But it is a philosophy since girls don't get forced, they get rewards and exploit it when young (treated like princess). It is a one way business between adult males and young girls in general. It is common for your information to see phone numbers ads that leads easily to sex with high school girls. I was "shocked", no Japanese are...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Sorry but anyone on here that is excusing / explaining away this stuff as part of a different culture/ tradition / history or whatever else should take a cold shower along with the closet pedo,s who watch and " cheer" 6 year old idols on stage and get excited about primary school girls. We are not living in 11th century and these creeps are not Genji. Samurai used peasants for sword practice centuries ago too and yet somehow, strangely its not happening here in 2011. Just because something was " culturally accepted" hundreds of years ago doesnt mean it should be accepted today......and yes, similar crap might be happening in other countries and there are people fighting aginst it there, this article is about the situation in Japan so the " there is stuff happening in gaikoku too" line does not hold water.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The irony of this obsession with teenage girls (and younger) is that Japanese women in the 20's and even 30's, often look like teenagers.

They routinely look 10-20 years younger than their true age until one day in their 60's or so...boom...old lady. It's the weirdest thing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

True that gary....lucky them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru - What "territories" are you referring to? Japan no longer has any colonies so I wonder where these territories are located?

Gees! There are some seriously intellectually lazy people on this site who are very quick to doubt information without checking the facts themselves.

https://www.ageofconsent.net/world/japan

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There's nothing "innoculous" about drooling over underage girls.

Spoken like a true outsider.

They are “idolized” and “worshipped”, not drool over.

Depending which idol(s) is on stage (and venue somewhere in Akihabara), some of them exude enough 萌え”moe” and 可愛さ"kawaisa” that the idol otaku (primary audience) simply “melt away”... along with their worries and the pains related to the dreaded daily grind.

It’s hard for those not in this otaku scene “get” this hobby (and now a lifestyle for some men and women) if you’ve yet to experience the power of “moe” and “kawaisa”.

I believe this attack piece by AFP only gives distorted picture of the idol otaku scene since it doesn’t mention “moe” and “kawaisa” which is the driving force in this uniquely Japanese in culture and enterprise.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@Disillusioned

There are still two Japanese territories with the age of consent at 13 years old.

Marcus Islands   Oceania

Okinotori Islands Oceania

Once again, Marcus Islands and Okinotori are uninhabited. So what's the point of mentioning them?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Unhealthy and disturbing.

Much like the child chasing mall molester running for office in Alabama. Some will make excuses. All manner of darkness in all manner of countries.

Japan just seems to be a bit more upfront about it. Not that one condones it, of course.

If it needs stamping out here - it needs stamping out everywhere.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Everything seems to be a issue...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They routinely look 10-20 years younger than their true age until one day in their 60's or so...boom...old lady. It's the weirdest thing.

It's not weird. It's called a short haircut. After 60 years of trying to be a "lady", I don't blame them one bit for throwing that yoke off.

You, on the other hand, seem to be one of those "guys" who can't see inner beauty. What a drag that must be.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Gees! There are some seriously intellectually lazy people on this site who are very quick to doubt information without checking the facts themselves.

Those territories you refer to are a part of Tokyo. Also, it's intellectually disingenuous to bring up uninhabited atolls to support your argument!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@strangerland - Once again, Marcus Islands and Okinotori are uninhabited. So what's the point of mentioning them?

I could ask you the same question? What's the point of denying there are areas of Japan where the age of consent of 13 years old? The fact is, there are still two Japanese territories where the age of consent is 13. Whether they are inhabited or not is irrelevant. Furthermore, if you care to dig further you will find that, the last 'inhabited' prefecture in Japan to change the age of consent from 13 was in 2008. Do some research before you start shooting down other people.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

First off, the reference shown by @Disillusioned

https://www.ageofconsent.net/world/japan

has a caveat, which basically decriminalizes sex between teenagers who have their parental consent... but nowhere does it allow sex between an old guy and a adolescent. The other thing, you need to consider, is whether you can rely upon that website as a defacto Law reference....

Secondly, I agree with @Bee, that "GoGoGo"'s picture profile is a bit, well, how do you say... conflicting to the comment ? (anyway, who knows who that person is M/F/etc....), so let's leave it at that.

As for my own thoughts. Japan is a lot safer for young kids to be wandering around unattended than any other Country I know, (please correct me if this is not the case), this unattended laisse-faire attitude does have its downside - which we saw recently with the young kid wandering from his Fathers car, only to end up falling into a river and drowning. However, if you take the opposite extreeme, the UK appears to be nowadays the worst place in the World to leave a young child without the attention of a responsible Adult... this is sadly very shameful upon anyone who wishes to say that they are proud to be British. So I guess, in short, one has to look towards your own Countrys' failings before criticizing those within Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Disillusioned

I could ask you the same question? What's the point of denying there are areas of Japan where the age of consent of 13 years old? The fact is, there are still two Japanese territories where the age of consent is 13. Whether they are inhabited or not is irrelevant. Furthermore, if you care to dig further you will find that, the last 'inhabited' prefecture in Japan to change the age of consent from 13 was in 2008. Do some research before you start shooting down other people.

I wasn't "shooting you down", just stating no one actually lives in those location but on further research, as suggested by you,

Okinotori Islands are administered by Tokyo. Marcus Island or Minamitorishima is also under the administeration of Tokyo. Therefore the laws, regulations and rules of Tokyo are also applied to both places which would make it illegal for sex with anyone under 18 years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Disgusting.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Great, another attack on subset of otaku culture & enterprise that is relatively innoculous. Otaku backlash is nothing new. In fact otaku have not only weathered the storm many times before by locals, the culture and the enterprise have thrived! For some Japanese men (and women too) idol otaku culture scene and the idealization of youth is their only salvation and source of joy away from the daily grind. Why make their lives already miserable much more miserable by attacking this relatively innoculous subset (but with a large following...) of otaku culture ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

+Red sunsToday  02:42 pm JST

Depending which idol(s) is on stage (and venue somewhere in Akihabara), some of them exude enough 萌え”moe” and 可愛さ"kawaisa” that the idol otaku (primary audience) simply “melt away”... along with their worries and the pains related to the dreaded daily grind.

Not going to explain what "moe" and "kawaisa" are?

For some Japanese men (and women too) idol otaku culture scene and the idealization of youth is their only salvation and source of joy away from the daily grind. 

Idealization of youth is hardly unique to some otaku in Japan, but it usually takes the form of nostalgia for childhood, dressing like teenagers or watching the same TV shows you liked as a child, as opposed to sexualising little girls for profit.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What documentary are you IDF66 talking about? Is this documentary accessable?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you feel sad for the Children in the West? After reading the above? absolutely, big difference is when perpetrators are caught theyre punished with decades in prison, in Japan well I cant remember when a Japanese citizen in Japan was punished severely for child molestation not forgetting it was only a couple years ago that possessing child pornography wasn't illegal.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

wtfjapan - Precisely!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Great article which captures the essence of the horrifyingly common reality of pedophilia in Japan. Japanese men are usually very weak and hairless without much testosterone or manliness. As a result they are controlled by their mothers first and then by their wives.

The weak, smooth skinned effeminate Japanese males seek solace by turning their evil attention to young pre-pubescent females. Many Japanese males do this because they feel a sense of power over young and weaker female children.

The entire "cute baby talk" voices that office ladies are required to use at work are linguistic affectations used by office worker females to make the male bosses feel powerful. The Japanese females contrive the lisping speech patterns with the "cute baby talk" voices so that the males do not feel threatened. The weak Japanese males with little body hair are very effeminate and seem emasculated with their lack of male secondary sexual characteristics.

The Manga industry has, for decades, catered to the fantasies of the weak Japanese male. For decades the subways and trains are filled with weak, failed and beaten down hairless bodied Japanese males reading the Manga magazines and fantasizing about abusing young females.

The national "dirty little secret" of Japan is its males' aspiration to become pedophiles. Most are too weak and controlled to actually act out their fantasies and spend their lives fantasizing about such evil horrors. However, some are opportunists who will happily attack a vulnerable child. With this in mind---all adults and parents in Japan must protect and guard children from the huge number of evil Japanese pedophile males roaming around the nation.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

The paedophile and child abuse rates are higher in Australia, Russia, America, UK and a host of others than in Japan. The rates in the UK are alarming.

Over the years more children and adults are reporting abuse, often society sweeps it under the carpet. There is abuse and assault everywhere, the low reporting rates doesn't mean a country has low rates of abuse and crime.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

But for now just be glad that Japan has no penalty for that (yet) and what if hes posting his comments from say China, then what are those hate speech laws going to do!? Driving around in big black vans spewing hate against another group is one thing doing it on the internet is a completely different kettle of fish. Chinese are foreigners too and theres more internet users in China than the whole population of Japan, good luck.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am an 18 year old English idol. There is absolutely NOTHING sexual about idol culture for the majority of fans. Of course, there's always going to be a few sick people. But that's a FEW. Articles like this just make out the majority of people involved to be sick and it's so inaccurate, it really hurts my heart. It's people like the author of this article that are making my work a lot harder.

The idea of supporting an idol is watching a performer grow and improve their talents. It lets kids have their dream of being a star. How people can pretend idols are sick and perverted when the western world has things like beauty pageants are beyond me

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I went to the Circleville, Ohio Pumpkin Fest and there the Pumpkin Queen Parade. All the candidates were riding on the hoods of slowly driven Cadillacs and Mercedes and they were all no older than 5 or 6. They were exploited and endangered because some pervert couldn't snatched any of them and kidnapped her. People stood by on the streets and gawked. Hardly any booths or games were open because of the parade. It was disgusting, exploitative, a pervert's paradise city. I felt really sickened and I couldn't deal with it so I just left and headed back home.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

**I meant to say: **They were exploited and endangered because some pervert could've snatched any of them and kidnapped her.

Either way, in America there is a similar lesser fetish about boys too. And in the past and even now some people in the USA think it's alright for a man to have a 13-year-old GF. Sometimes female teachers love to take boys' innocence away. Pedophilias are pedophilias, and this sick phenomena has got to be stopped.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is blatantly accepted television viewing in Amerika, on Lifeline, A&E, as well as Oprah's network, though they would have the viewer believe it's all about someone's free-speech. They wouldn't dare step on sponsorship toes. The hypocrisy in the industry can be weighed on a scale. None are innocent in the production or corruption. Supporting in ANY fashion is guilt by association.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Grace Mellody

There is NOTHING sexual about it?

You are amazed that anyone sees it as inappropriate? If the ladies dont see it as wrong, thats half the problem.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Grace

I don't think people are saying the idols are dodgy; rather some of their "fans". And yes, the west does have beauty pagents. The child beauty pageants in the US disturb me just as much as the situation here. And the UK is not exempt - back in the 80s there was a programme called "Minipops" that (whether it was aware or not) sexualised children by glamming them up and getting them to perform the hits of the day.

Thankfully, in the case of the latter, the people wised up. As innocent and well-intentioned these events/performances might be - there is the ever present danger of these kids being exploited and/or abused.

That's not to dismiss or demonise what you do. Just that people should be aware of the pitfalls of working in that particular niche industry.

Of course every aspect of entertainment/sports/leisure has its questionable sides. Be it manga, anime, gymnastics, ice-skating, swimming, Hollywood etc. Sadly, there are always going to be those that are attracted to it not to be creative but to be destructive.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This whole idol thing in Japan needs to stop, especially if it involves young girls. It makes the pedophilia culture seem acceptable in this society.

Grace MellodyToday  04:00 am JST

I am an 18 year old English idol. There is absolutely NOTHING sexual about idol culture for the majority of fans. 

NO i think you got it wrong. MAJORITY of the idol fans are perverts and sick people that see the idols as sex objects. There are probably a FEW fans appreciate the music and dance and whatever it is they like to do on stage.

The idea of supporting an idol is watching a performer grow and improve their talents. 

If what you say is true and it is about their talent..etc, in theory there should be 40 year old male idols dancing and singing on stage while middle age male fan cheer. Why do IDOLS have to be a female, young, and innocent looking?

Would you be okay if your 6 year old daughters school teacher was a idol fan? If he spends his private time "idolizing" 10 year old girls on stage?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There is absolutely NOTHING sexual about idol culture for the majority of fans.

If that's the case, why is always young girls in very revealing and skimpy clothing?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In the end there are good reasons for labor laws, and in this case minimum age should definitely apply to this "profession" and it shouldnt be 6.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let's be honest: Very pervy!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do you feel sad for the Children in the West? After reading the above?

This is the thin skin quit criticizing Japan response. The answer is yes of course. Doesn’t change the repulsiveness of a 40 year old sexualizing a 6 year old though. What’s your point?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I have no problems with beauty pageants if the girls and parents think its cute.

But men gong to see them or men going to watch girl bands? Have some self-respect.

Last time I went to a big shopping center there was a cutesy girl band singing and doing actions. Cute if the fans are 12 yr old girls - but they were mostly men. Totally weird.

It probably wasn’t sexual -but just weird.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Very sad that this is allowed anywhere in the world, not to mention a so called developed country.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Welcome to lolikom-paradise, Japan.

Laws policing the kinds of activities in Japan are like most laws in Japan: they do not exist until they are applied. This is the only coherent explanation I can think of.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm not even going to bother responding to what I'm sure will be a backlash to my comments, but I felt the need to say three things about this article:

It must have been a real slow day at the office for JT to actually take this article and put it on their site, given that they only seem to drum up idol talk (usually about AKB) in order to drive their viewership and comments up on their site. I really do not understand how something this... one-sided can be considered fair reporting or even news. It's pure sensationalism.

None of you probably have ever been to an actual idol show. If you had been to them, you would notice a few things. First... there are plenty of female fans who attend these shows. The average demographic of the fans that come to these show is nowhere near the middle-age or older age men. It's young dudes and college kids. Also, the majority of the idols in the underground idol scene and even the mainstream are over the age of 16. I have been to probably 200 idols shows in the past three years, and I can not name you one time there was an idol I saw who was six years old performing. This article basically emulates that horrible documentary made by that Japanese lady last year that focused on the absolute extreme demographic numbers and made it seem like it is the majority. It is not even close, and I speak from personal experience.

This article is damaging to the idol industry as a whole because it is equating it with child porn in Japan, things like JK, and all the other dark spots on the underbelly of Japan. Of course when you mention "idols" in the same sentence as "pedophiles," your mind is going to make that connection. But the problem is that it's simply not there in reality. Again, in all the shows I've been to, and heck, for the overwhelming majority of shows for idols, not once have I ever seen an idol dis-respected or molested or touched inappropriately. The majority of the idols wear clothes that aren't even remotely tantalizing. Those that do are old enough to flaunt their skin any way they choose (and by old enough, I'm talking over the age of 18). And also, you are all making gigantic assumptions about the people who attend these shows, that somehow they are pervs trying to be tantalized by young girls dancing on the stage. Come to an actual idol show sometime... you'll see it's polar opposite of this. The girls are treated with total care and grace. And I'm not saying there aren't bad apples, both in the idol fandom or even in the management of idols. Of course there are, and to say there isn't is being as untruthful as this article. However, that is not the majority, and perhaps I could argue it's such a tiny statistic to consider that it only serves to weakly boost what the close-minded narrative is here, i.e., you think the idol world sexualizes these girls, and the real experience is that these girls are given encouragement and support to develop and grow into actors, dancers, singers, entrepreneurs, and superstars. Many of them have, all thanks to what they learned as idols.

Again, I'm not going to respond to comments. I'm not even going to look at this page after I post this because I'm used to the kind of stuff like this here on JT and am only looking at this because a distressed idol that I know saw this and was very upset that people actually think what she does is somehow connected to Japan's porn industry and her shows are meeting places for old pervy man. So I'll put an exclamation point on my points by saying that when my half-Japanese daughter grows up, both me and her mother fully and totally will support her if she wants to become an idol. I look forward to it, because I know the real idol world, not the one that's being literally made up in articles like this, is a beautiful place to escape and feel safe inside.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@djv124 Thank you for being the VOICE OF REASON.

I also enjoy idol groups such as AKB48, and lesser-known groups like Tsuri Bit, Doll Elements, etc.

I have been a fan of AKB48 since about 2010, and echo everything djv124 says. Although I no longer follow AKB as closely as I used to, I will still think that the group is one of the best things in popular culture.

Idol groups are pure fun! As an American observer who likes Japanese popular culture, anime, video games, music, etc. I can say that one of the most surprising and enjoyable aspects of Japan Culture is their Idol music and Idol shows. Idol music and especially the AKB48 family of idol groups are different from other musical acts. I like a lot of different Japan musical artists. I don’t listen to AKB48 in the same way that I listen to other Japanese musical artists. There is a lot of beauty to see of course, but Idols shows are pure escapism. It is all mostly pretty innocent. The majority of idol fans are not perverts. (AKB48 is about as risqué as the old Benny Hill show.) AKB is actually pretty innocent in comparison to the festering crap Hollywood and the Grammys put out. There is NO VULGARITY in the idol world, but I can’t say that about America’s top 10 music artists.

It pisses me off when someone says because I am a fan I must lust after the girls. No. Not even close. If all I wanted to do was “look at girls” … there would a lot easier, and cheaper ways to do it rather than following idol groups.

By analogy, are all you American rap music fans ignorant, immoral, low-life thugs and criminals? Look at rap imagery and those who listen to rap music. They are the worst of society. If you like rap, that means that you must be just a dumb thug. A stupid, but also a murderous thug at that. Go burn down a neighborhood.

Indeed there are perverts involved in this assessment of idol culture, and it is the Japan Times and their readers.

Like you, djv124, I’m outta here …

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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