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Japanese woman publishes book about being groped on trains for six years, from age 12 to 18

115 Comments
By Scott Wilson, SoraNews

Men who grope women on crowded trains, known as chikan in Japanese, are a serious problem. There have been a variety of strategies taken to help protect against chikan, from women-only trains to stickers of shame that are impossible to wash off, which women can stamp on their attacker’s hand.

Kumi Sasaki is one such victim of chikan, and recently published a book chronicling her traumatizing experiences. From the age of 12 to 18, she was groped nearly daily on her commute to and from school, for six years straight.

Sasaki currently lives in Paris and the book was published in France under the title "Tchikan."

The book was released in November last year, and has been growing in popularity since. Sasaki describes the incidents that took place throughout middle and high school.

Sasaki recalls her first chikan incident, when she was on Tokyo’s JR Yamanote Line. She felt a man’s hand rub against her, and at first she just thought it was from the train moving abruptly. But then, it didn’t stop. She writes: “The fingers of this unfamiliar hand went inside the collar of my blouse. Then he touched my back, he touched my legs, my waist, even my butt. He placed his hand directly under the cheeks, quietly raising up my skirt by just moving his fingers, and he touched my left thigh under my skirt.”

Being so young, Sasaki had no idea what was happening and simply went into shock.

But it didn’t end there. Almost every day for the next six years, she continued to be assaulted on the train during her commute. The perpetrators varied from men in their late teens to older men in their 70s and everything in between. She was even followed home by a married man in his 50s after he groped her, with him telling her that he wanted her to have his babies.

The endless cycle tortured Sasaki, who turned to self-harm and attempted suicide, only saved thanks to a supportive friend. Now in her mid-30s, Sasaki lives outside of Japan, understandably still terrified of both men and riding on trains.

Sasaki wrote "Tchikan" in order to spread the word about how chikan are more dangerous than people realize. She says that many Japanese people think it’s just a small thing, not a big deal, and with misguided illustrations like “women who attract chikan and women who don’t,” she definitely has a point.

The way in which chikan incidents are treated trivially in Japan left Sasaki isolated and unable to seek help to escape her pain. By writing this book, she wants to show how deep the wounds are that chikan can cut.

"Tchikan" is currently only available in French, but if you’re interested you can order it on Amazon France.

The reasons chikan exist in Japan are many, and it will take a lot of cultural changes before they are no longer an issue. But until then, this book is a necessary first step, and Sasaki is extremely brave for being the one to take it.

Source: COURRiER Japan via Itai News

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Policewoman’s posterior produces poetic justice as she arrests man she says groped her on train

-- Anime-style art encourages young women to report Japanese train gropers in new posters

-- “Women who attract chikan, and women who don’t”: The illustrated guide that’s provoking debate

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

115 Comments
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From the age of 12 to 18, she was groped nearly daily on her commute to and from school, for six years straight.

so, this book is fiction, right?

-9 ( +23 / -32 )

I don't doubt that she may have been groped, but c'mon, daily for six years? This must be a work of fiction.

1 ( +27 / -26 )

Ayy finally some decent read. I stopped purchasing paper to protect our dear environment, but this roman would warm me at long cold nights in bed, so I guess the trees gotta endure.

-36 ( +5 / -41 )

On a serious note, it must have been some kinda cursed train, to be swarmed with deviant middle age clerks for straight 6 years. Which is quite unrealistic and this book should be burned.

-14 ( +14 / -28 )

...and then Sasaki woke up.

-4 ( +18 / -22 )

This is very suspect. And I am sure chikan will be lining up to buy it (or not) as some kind of soft-porn manual.

-6 ( +13 / -19 )

We are now gonna see a rise in guys who run down the train line after being accused of "chikan!" after someone shoved them into the back of the women in front of them.

Mark my words, 'Dude jumps barrier at (insert station name here)" in 3...2...

I'm not trying to completely dismiss what she says but something doesn't seem quite right. OTOH, all the readily available child-porn and infatuation with schoolgirls is not conducive to a healthy society by any stretch.

-8 ( +11 / -19 )

"There have been a variety of strategies taken to help protect against chikan, from women-only trains to stickers of shame that are impossible to wash off, which women can stamp on their attacker’s hand."

A sticker? How about something a bit more effective like pepper-spray or a taser. Granted, in a full wagon there would be a lot of collateral damage.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

“... nearly daily...” Completely believable. She should have reported it, and maybe she did, but the article doesn’t say, and judging by the tone of the comments here, it’s easy to understand why she probably didn’t.

16 ( +31 / -15 )

Sasaki has clearly been ripping off Pr0nhub and xGerbil. This is little more than a compendium of Jaxpolitation filth, written in a faux French erotica art house style.

Where can I buy a copy?

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

I'm sorry...stickers of shame they can slap on a hand?

This is scary. I don't want to ride on trains here anymore. The conviction rate for this type of crime is near 100%. I'm sure many are innocent...others not.

I'm scared of the opportunists out to make a quick score.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Tchikan, the "T" is silent.lol

Almost every lady train rider Ive had a chance to talk to has experienced this!

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Sorry for her, even if it is an exaggeration. I don't really approve of having the kids mixed with the adults on the Tokyo morning rush. I can barely hold my own with the masses and complete lack of courtesy.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

i don't doubt that this woman was groped, but daily for 6 years? come on. either this is a work of fiction, or she actually wanted it to happen.

-8 ( +14 / -22 )

Sounds like she was carrying a big sign around saying "Touch Me!, I promise not to scream!"

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

A few times over the years maybe, but every day for six years? That's BS. Maybe we should call the Guinness book of Records.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

I’ve been in Japan close to 6 years and I earlier thought this groping thing was highly overrated....... until a friend told me it happened to her recently and is not as rare as I thought. Nevertheless, she too will find the daily for 6 years thing a bit too gastronomic.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

@Pure - been here a couple of decades and it is not over-stated. It is a shame what happened to your friend and it is a shame it happens to any woman.

It is commendable this woman wrote this book. I hope it helps with her healing process and brings her closer to at least a semblance of peace and I also hope it helps others.

Women should not be treated this way and the men that do so are not men in my opinion, just children with a severely warped mind.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

Look at all the men commenting that this couldn’t posdibly be true... I can only assume because it hasn’t happened to them or they haven’t witnessed it. Very believable and what’s sad are the people, rather than suggesting a solution, are quick to judge the victim. These replies are just part of the reason why women don’t report things. And why women don’t often share their stories with men.

Stickers, women only cars... bandaid to a broken leg. Teach everyone to keep their hands to themselves.

And yes, there is the odd women out there looking for easy money but those women pale in comparison to the number of victims of groping - including male victims.

14 ( +26 / -12 )

I have a friend who told me when she was in high school, a boy from a different high school would wait for her at the train station every day and grope her on the train as she rode home. This went on for months and he would always be there waiting for her whether it was earlier or later than the usual time. She was fearful but for some reason felt helpless to do anything about it. She never told or parents or authorities about it and no one on the train ever seemed to intervene.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

This went on for months and he would always be there waiting for her whether it was earlier or later than the usual time

He must have been psychic, then. If only she had talked to him then maybe she could have found a happy medium?

-20 ( +3 / -23 )

no joke I was actually groped by a female once. I didn't really mind she was cute.

-11 ( +10 / -21 )

Teach everyone to keep their hands to themselves.

I'd like to think that girls are taught to speak up for themselves, too. It's completely senseless to just stand there quietly and let it happen... E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y... when it's as obvious and blatant as what some people are describing here. Seriously, if I had a daughter, she would punch him in the nose and start screaming in defense while she moved away (if possible). If no one in the carriage did anything to help, then it's the average citizen needs to be educated to STAND UP for your fellow man instead of pretending not to see anything.

The problem is not chauvinistic men, apparently it's an apathetic society in general. Including women.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

I stopped a middle-aged guy from doing that to a girl once and then he got mad. ( was on a train in Japan and she was about 13 or something).

17 ( +18 / -1 )

If she wants to spread the word why write it in France?

although seems that groping is a big problem in UK and some European countries also.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

no joke I was actually groped by a female once. I didn't really mind she was cute.

I've always kind of hoped for that myself! That said, if it ever happened with my luck it would be a guy.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Agent, while I can certainly understand your feelings, it’s hard to speak up. Look at the replies here. Do you think these replies encourage women?

There is also the issue of knowing what you should do in such cases but freezing. Deer in headlights. Questioning if it was just an accident or not.

Then looking at the reality. If one were to scream, would anyone help? Again, look at the replies on here from grown men. Would she be accused of a false accusation? Would anyone believe her? Would people accuse her of trying to ruin a man’s life? Again, look at the comments on just this thread.

Its not so easy to always react the way we know we should. More so in an unsupportive environment.

But yes, women should be taught to say no. Men need to be taught to respect that though. If people were taught not to touch others though, we wouldn’t need to be taught to say no though, right.

Society seems to always put the focus on what women should do to protect themselves. Why is it ever rarely discussed with regards to what men should or shouldn’t do to others?

14 ( +21 / -7 )

Am not 'that' surprised tbh. I actually think it's perfectly plausible that a young woman living in Tokyo, Paris, Delhi, London etc and taking public transport everyday (2-4 times a day, peak time - late, 'certain' lines etc) could be the victim of sexual harassment 'nearly daily'.

Keep hearing/reading about women (15yo to mid/late 20s) being sexually harassed on public transport and when asked 'how often' they inevitably reply "pretty much all the time'. Am talking groping, dirty looks, insults, lascivious advances, exhibitionism, public masturbation (through/in/out of his pants) etc which are all forms of sexual harassment.

So no, I don't think she & most victims who talk about sexual harassment occurring almost everyday make this up ( I mean not necessarily. It is very plausible).

7 ( +13 / -6 )

okochat:

Tchikan, the "T" is silent.lol

That book in the photo looks as if it was written in French, in which case, shouldn't it be written as Tchikanne?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Taser is that even legal in Japan?

Be aware, Tasing the suspect will make them a Kentucky Fried Chikan

10 ( +12 / -2 )

She is just trying to catch the #metoo wagon and earn some buck.

I do not doubt she had been harassed a few times over the years, but almost daily?

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

I’d estimate at least 90% of the women I know have groping, stalking or domestic violence (kabedon) stories. However, it is difficult for me to accept this woman was groped nearly every day.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

From the age of 12 to 18, she was groped nearly daily on her commute to and from school, for six years straight.

A convenient lie that will no doubt create some interest in her book, but a lie nonetheless...

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

It’s certainly a problem in Japan, but groped on a nearly daily basis?

Sounds a bit dodgy.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

It’s certainly a problem in Japan, but groped on a nearly daily basis?

Sounds a bit dodgy.

Indeed, very dodgy. But if her book was only about being groped a few times, few would buy her book or discuss it on forums.

According to this article:

http://www.liberation.fr/planete/2017/12/28/kumi-sasaki-menue-frottee_1619344

After her parents retired, they escaped to Paris partly because they felt Japan was limited and stifling (hmmm, apparently not because of their daughter's near-daily sexual aggression).

So I guess she grew up hearing from her parents constant complaints about Japan.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

tmarie

An unfortunate fact in this (probably) tragic tale is that the 'every day, by multiple different people' aspect is so extreme as to be unbelievable. Another unfortunate fact is that people, including women, do sometimes lie or exaggerate things for their own purposes (in this case perhaps to sell more copies of her book).

I understand and 100% agree that it's important to create and maintain an atmosphere where victims feel empowered to speak up, but if anything the author may damage such efforts. Doubly so because it's published in French for France so again it looks like she's just trying to sell a book not tackle sexual abuse in her home country. I feel like your posts react to the general idea of chikan and abuse without considering the fallibility of the 'facts' presented by the article.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Love that posters are calling this lady a liar and then asking why she didn't speak up. Hmmm . . .

7 ( +14 / -7 )

She must have been asking for it or lying.

Groping is a disgusting assault.

Do you accept that she was groped on a nearly daily basis?

I find that hard to accept.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

YardleyToday 09:05 am JST

"“... nearly daily...” Completely believable. She should have reported it, and maybe she did, but the article doesn’t say, and judging by the tone of the comments here, it’s easy to understand why she probably didn’t."

As for chikan charge, you do NOT need any evidence to charge a suspected man. All you need to do is the woman's testimony. And then the charged men have to prove to not commit chikan in the court. It's so hard to prove to not do it.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

It’s certainly a problem in Japan, but groped on a nearly daily basis? Sounds a bit dodgy.

Remember 'groped on a daily basis' was written by the sora news journo. I don't think 'groped' should be taken literally but rather 'victim of chikans/pervs' nearly everyday, which is imo plausible. Gropers, voyeurs, exhibitionists, the bloke who sat opposite her & touched himself/tried to get a sneak peek at her cleavage/undies etc. Plenty of pervs in some cities, on certain lines, at certain times etc.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

An under-cover police officer should have followed her everyday for a couple months - if she was being molested nearly everyday by different people, they could have put away a few dozen creeps in one short operation!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

WakarimasenToday 11:25 am JST

If she wants to spread the word why write it in France?

Exactly sounds more like a soft porn novel than reality

eaglezzToday 12:14 pm JST

She is just trying to catch the #metoo wagon and earn some buck.

I do not doubt she had been harassed a few times over the years, but almost daily?

My thoughts exactly, I knew a Japanese woman who had been groped in Tokyo a number of times over a couple of years, everyday NO WAY.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

I was on the Nambu Line around 9:30 PM on a Sunday night... might have only been a total of 10 people in the car I was riding. We get to Noborito and this Asian guy gets on the train with a newspaper in his hand. There is a girl... sitting all alone with no one to the left or right of her, nobody at all on the seating but her. The guy with the newspaper sits right next to her... leaving no space between her and him. He then opens his newspaper to the point where half of it is in front of her. Like some sort of view blocker. I'm sitting about 30 feet down on the other side and I saw what the guy did. You'd have to be pretty naive if you don't know what the guy was doing. I walked over and stood right in front of him... he looked over his newspaper at me, once I had eye contact... I told him to get the heck away from the girl. It was an incident where it was easy to spot... most are not but I do hope that any and all men or women that see this happening will take action.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Oh, well, if so many people here don't believe that a schoolgirl was repeatedly harassed and molested on Tokyo subways two decades ago - back when practically nothing was being done about this problem, then you must be right.

Because you're such 'king experts.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

Love that posters are calling this lady a liar and then asking why she didn't speak up. Hmmm . . .

Common sense. Posters are pointing out that she did not speak up during these supposed daily assaults as proof she is lying. I'm not quite sure why you would love that.

Maria - No one doubts she was molested on a train, probably several times over 7 years, as she says. But on a daily basis over 7 years? No.

Book sales? Yes.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

the article doesn't say daily; it says nearly daily.

How often should it happen before you think it believable?

Which line is the notorious one for gropers, even now?

People take the same trains, and see the same people; if molesters see the same little girl they molested last time, and know she was too scared / shocked to react or speak out, they will go back to molest her again. That is how abusers get away with sexual abuse for so long, and this is how violent people continue being violent towards people in their household.

Is there any truth to the stories of chatrooms where molesters exchange information about where the best carriages, lines, places are, when the best times are? I'm pretty sure there is.

Finally, unless one of you has read the book, why not go buy it, then complain about the supposed lies you are so sure of.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Personally :

I check for chikans: I have never seen any and I always I could intervene to help (I have good sight and know what female Japanese reactions are/should be...)

I asked my wife : she has never been groped ever although she has had cleavage or bottom shape to attract (need to believe me)

writing in French in Paris : how convenient Japanese love Fench stuff. Marketing coup even if ever there is a bit of true.

"daily" : her parents over a life time for her never went with her, not even a single reason to take train for shopping/go to school for special occasions, any reason ...and saw nothing? His father not to protect his child ever in life ?

Even in Paris, where filth is common, I have seen maybe 2 or 3 timed pervs in my whole life !

It does exist, I know it is horrible for Women to undergo any of this type of assault, but it does not help to take advantage of this trend to see men as potential pervs (and watching cleavage or glancing looks to girls or women is not an assault to them).

By the way, all people we are are are ready to help : how can we if a victim does not talk after it is too late ? (Outside death threats, there is no reason to stay silent...).

Morning sensible reasoning before catching my train, and be a watchful vigilante.

Ashamed by some/stunned positively by others.

PS : I have 2 cute girls

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

the article doesn't say daily; it says nearly daily.

Ok, Maria. Lets say it was 1876 times instead of 2555 times. And she kept going back.

Does that sound any more believable to you?

YOU go buy the book if it suits you. I, on the other hand, won't reward the woman for what is clearly a fabrication.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

It is very possible she was attacked regularly on trains if she looked especially attractive and vulnerable. Men and women here seem not to have a lot of knowledge how to touch others in a friendly fashion like the French do. It will be interesting to read her book.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If anything good comes from this book, I hope it educates young women to speak out about it as it's happening and start putting these predators in their place. I hear the "she's just shy/scared etc etc' excuse so often in Japan. I realize these girls are victims, but staying quiet about is ensuring that they (and others) will be perpetual victims, and that the perpetrators are not brought to justice.

If long-term victims cannot even seek help from their parents, teachers, law-enforcement when these things are happening on a daily basis - then that signifies that something deeper that is wrong here. Treating all men like they are some kind of perverts is not the answer. Get out of the victim mentality already! There are things you can do and you don't have to just stand there and let it happen to you!

And sorry to say, but a man glancing at your cleavage does not count as sexual harassment in my opinion. Please don't make it harder for those women who have suffered from true sexual harassment or assault.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I stopped a middle-aged guy from doing that to a girl once and then he got mad. ( was on a train in Japan and she was about 13 or something).

I've stopped one before too... only thing I just glared at him and tightened my grip on the umbrella I was carrying. He just lowered his hand and looked at the floor. Only reaction I got was from an old lady when I got off the train who patted my hand and said thank you. Not my place to cause a scene on a train when I'm on holiday, and I'n not an aggressive person... but I have found that the right expression can work wonders with some people.

Anyway, back on topic and yes, I believe this happens continually to some women/girls. Some Japanese blokes seem to have problems with self control... whether that's anger, booze or being a pervert... and until society no longer tolerates this sort of behaviour you'll get stories like this. Whether the every single day part is true, I do believe it was very frequent... from what I've seen on commuter trains in Japan I think it's totally believable.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

IF, this is happening on the trains every day, Japan needs a few more undercover cops/guards on each train to catch these pervs, also woman should be encouraged to report incidents, and when they do report them take them seriously rather than dismissing there claims, and to send out a clear message that Inappropriate touching or actions will encore a heavy penalty and a picture will posted up at the local train station of said perp, also a 1 year ban from traveling on that train line. I know that my plan has floors in it, but you have to start some where, if not these pervs actions will just carry on as there is no deterrent.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"tmarie" we are not supposed to encourage women. If such a thing happens, it is a crime and we and every decent human being would attempt to stop it. Be we are not retards to simply claim "poor lady" when she was going along with it 6 years. Her example is just another case of attention seeking on the "harassment accusations" wave. If anything she encourages girls to keep enduring this instead of standing up to it, because look at her she is now an author! Wait let me throw up.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

This comment section just illustrates exactly why women don't speak up when things like this happen. You guys, right here, are part of the problem.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

This comment section just illustrates exactly why women don't speak up when things like this happen. You guys, right here, are part of the problem.

Funny how this woman mustered the strength to write a book.

No, frivolous claims like hers are part of the problem. They demean the real victims of sexual assault.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Nearly every day for 6 years she must have been riding in the chikans only car

2 ( +7 / -5 )

This comment section just illustrates exactly why women don't speak up when things like this happen

Women should always speak out against sexual assault. It should never be tolerated or brushed off.

The idea of sexual assault taking place on trains against a woman on a near daily basis for six years should arouse suspicion in the least suspicious mind.

Highlighting this filthy problem is important, but so is truth. We’ve seen this kind of thing before - unpleasant minds pouncing on exaggerations to ‘prove’ it’s all a myth, all in the head, part of a conspiracy and most damaging of all, the people ( they will use the plural ), making the accusations cannot be trusted. Unfortunately, other unpleasant and simple minds will swallow this whole.

Very unhelpful indeed.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

She's in her 30s now and these occurred in her teens, so that must be around 2 decades ago in the 1990s

I have a friend who told me when she was in high school, a boy from a different high school would wait for her at the train station every day and grope her on the train as she rode home. This went on for months and he would always be there waiting for her whether it was earlier or later than the usual time. She was fearful but for some reason felt helpless to do anything about it. She never told or parents or authorities about it and no one on the train ever seemed to intervene.

That's some relationship

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"The way in which chikan incidents are treated trivially in Japan"

One of the many effective ways to keep crime statistics down in Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No doubt... even if the woman was exaggerating by a magnitude of 10, I still would not condemn her. The ultimate goal is Zero.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

She's lying

Can't happen everyday

This is funny

Why didn't she report it?

This is why sexual assault victims are unlikely to report it, in this case people are mocking or criticising a child victim.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

It can't happen everyday. I blame girls too. I see on some metro lines the cars reserved for females are almost empty. They may have to walk a bit more to use this car but they can feel safer. So why not leave the house 2 minutes earlier and use those cars.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

It can't happen everyday. I blame girls too. I see on some metro lines the cars reserved for females are almost empty. They may have to walk a bit more to use this car but they can feel safer. So why not leave the house 2 minutes earlier and use those cars.

Victim blaming at it's best right here folks. Yes, women should HAVE to leave two minutes early and be herded into a special car so they don't get touched by jerk off men. I know, how about men keep their hands to themselves? Oh right, must blame the women!!

As for why she didn't report it, again, look at the comments here. Yep, some supportive guys but most of the comments from the men here are horrific and exactly why women don't feel comfortable speaking to men about this - you do get that train staff and cops here are mostly men, right?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

So many of you criticize her for not reporting the transgressions against her. Your thoughts are not off base... why didn't she tell someone? All I know is that every Japanese kid, especially kids from older generations, are taught to not stick out, to not cause trouble, to keep quiet and endure. With that said, I don't know if I've ever heard of a poll in Japan asking women if they've been groped / sexually assaulted or not. I would be quite interested to know the percentage by decade. Years ago, I mean 20 to 30 or more, hardly any woman / girl was coming forward, now it is different... heck, why do you think they now have so many women only cars. No other country does that I know of. It was rampant years ago.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not exactly what you are looking for Saiko but certainly indicates there is a huge issue here not being addressed well.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/03/sexual-assault-japan-girl-victim-170307101413024.html

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@tmarie... read the article, thanks. You know, maybe all of the groping and sexual assaults by men is causing many women to just stay single and not have kids. Look... I know it is not just Japan but I think the Japanese Culture combined with high opportunity on trains and such and the Lolita-ization of many men has created a hell for many women. There is a lot of blame to go around with 99% of it not these poor girl's faults at all.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's perfectly plausible that a young girl be molested nearly every day. There are other women who have spoken out and said the same thing, so it's well documented. For example, there was a story in the Japan Times last year about a schoolgirl who was molested so often her mother started making "chikan badges" warning men to stay away. There also has been plenty of coverage of the issue by Japanese newspapers, as well as stats published in the yearly white paper on crime that show the problem to be ubiquitous.

I can personally attest to the phenomenon of chikan seeking out the same woman for daily abuse, because it recently happened to me. After the third time, I realized it was the same guy pushing into me, it wasn't an accident, and he was actually targeting me on purpose, I yelled "Oi!!", which he ignored. Then the next day when he did it again, four days in a row, I verbally confronted him in Japanese with a tirade that included "chikan" "yameyarou" and "sawaranaide." I still see him at the station every morning, but since then he has stayed far away.

I was able to defend myself; but the difference betwen myself and a young girl is that I have age and experience, and with that comes self-confidence and asurance, which means I am one hell of a lot more aggressive and have zero qualms about calling attention to myself. It doesn't embarrass me in the slightest, nor am I worried that the chikan will attack and hurt me because I'm also unafraid of a knock-down, drag-out fight that I'm confident he'd regret starting.

Young girls and young women should not be blamed for not speaking up. It's a direct result of a timid personality having been brought up in a culture that teaches women to be deferential and demure, and to not cause trouble by disturbing others or calling undue attention to themselves. If you live in Japan, then you know this is how women are socialized. If you know some women who are different, that's not a surprise - so do I. Personality is a spectrum and people are all not the same. We have different capacities and different strengths.

The chikan themselves know this very well, and that's precisely why they target women whom they believe will be too embarrassed to speak up. If they get away with it once with a girl, they'll try it again on the same girl.

I question people who have no problem believing women are evil depraved liars targeting innocent men, yet can't believe that there exist men who get off on sexually abusing women.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If you believe she was groped almost daily for six years, there's a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

An almost daily occurrence for 7 years.

She whispered it to no one, not even her parents.

7 years.

And she just kept going back on the same trains....

for 7 years.

Some people will believe anything.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Nearly daily would mean more than every other day, so lets say, conservatively, she was actually groped every other day, it means:

182times a year X 7 years = 1274.........

I know its wrong to blame the victim but for her own sake, was it not possible for her to leave the house 5 minutes early to avoid that groper? or was every incoming train from car 1 to 6 all infested with pervs?

The fingers of this unfamiliar hand went inside the collar of my blouse. Then he touched my back, he touched my legs, my waist, even my butt. 

How could no one one a packed train not notice this?????? sounds like a scene from a porno movie. certainly helps with when trying to sell books....

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I only heard of 1 or 2 Japanese associates who said they have been touched on the train once. That being said, the Yamanote line is normally packed and this was a while ago, possibly before all the beefed up security and acknowledgement of this problem.

I'm giving this lady the benefit of the doubt, I think she's telling the truth in most part. Probably not all those times were super serious, but enough were to scar her.

imo, Japanese men need to work less and spend more times with their (probably) lonely housewives. No need for this nonsense

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Happened in the 90s, different times it seems

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This poor woman was subjected to some horrid behavior and though I doubt the frequency, I don’t doubt her mental and emotional anguish.

I’ve been commuting in Tokyo for 18 yrs. I’ve busted 3 chikans and one photographer taking upskirt pix. In all cases I took them to the station masters and in all cases they froze and were compliant, except one and I stepped on his arches and crunched his hand to help him realize he wasn’t going to make it to work on time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I continue to just shake my head in disbelief at those who question her story... it is practically not the point. The point is that it continues to happen daily and it needs to stop. At the beginning of each school year each and every school in Japan should devote at least an hour's time to the Chikan issue. They need to tell every girl and boy that staying quiet is not helping anyone and that they should not be in fear. The good men of Japan... and that is the vast majority of them of course, need to watch out for women and girls. The need to stand up to the idiots out there that are giving Japan a bad image. This woman's story is a blight on the image of Japan... but there is truth in her words, no matter whether it is exaggerated or not.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I continue to just shake my head in disbelief at those who question her story... it is practically not the point. The point is that it continues to happen daily and it needs to stop.

Many of us are indeed questioning her story, but nobody here is saying that it never happens or that it is not a problem.

Problems with any society should be discussed and addressed honestly, there is no need to exaggerate.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I continue to just shake my head in disbelief at those who question her story... it is practically not the point. The point is that it continues to happen daily and it needs to stop.

No one here is denying chickens exist.

Her story is actually and practically the point. The story here is her book and the claim that she was molested 1000s of times. Even you don't believe this claim.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

chikans, not chickens (although they are that too)

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Been here since 1991 and have seen crazy things happen on trains here but never groping. It happens but isn't it easy to just get up and move away in most cases? However, the book will just reinforce the world view that Japanese are 'different'-unfortunately .....

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sasaki currently lives in Paris and the book was published in France under the title "Tchikan."

This is where this story looses all creditability.

It just happened to appear one month after the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the "me too" "movement".

Sure, there are problems here in Japan. I'm sure many of us have seen guys trying to get the up skirt photo and maybe even trying to get a grab in. Daily? Sorry, but no.

One thing that is increasingly annoying me is how lower level journalists and writers have been reporting half truths about things happening in Japan. I am a huge critic of modern Japan but recently many writers have been going a bit too far in portraying a small quirk as mainstream Japanese culture.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sounds like alot of "brave" men posting here.

Kurisupisu - no it is not always very easy to get up especially of you are on the Tokaido line, Chuo line, or a packed subway. Try taking a ride on one of those during commuting hours. There are a lot of cases where you cannot just get up and move (it usually happens when women are standing).

Anon - yeah this stuff does happen daily. I have been here 20 years, like it here, and probably will stay....this woman is Japanese and is not reporting this as "mainstream Japanese culture"

How anyone can deride this woman for writing this book is beyond me. Those who are saying she "should just report" it know so little about the culture this woman grew up in

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If you guys are wondering why women in your life don't tell you about all the times they've been harassed, ask yourself:

Have you ever even asked? And, if you were told "yes," are you someone who can be trusted not to say something stupid and hurtful? For example, are you likely to:

minimize the harm ("At least he didn't rape you.")

make a "joke" about her enjoying it

tell her she might be mistaken

launch into a story about how men are unjustly accused

quickly defend men #notallmen

say you believe HER, but other women lie

disbelieve her

If no woman has ever talked to you about sexual harassment or abuse, this is why.

You are part of the problem.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@girl....I get most of your post but your last sentence is over the top or you need to elaborate as the implication is that all men are part of the problem and this is far from true.

And yes, as a man, I have no problem saying that not all men do this to women. Those that do are disgusting

1 ( +2 / -1 )

if a woman tells you she has been sexually assaulted on the same train almost every day for 7 years, ask yourself:

How do I get out of this conversation right now

Is it possible to back away slowly while avoiding eye contact

Are her 26 cats being fed
-5 ( +3 / -8 )

It truly is amazing how so many men here can accuse a child sexual assault victim of being a liar without a shred of evidence, joke about her suffering, and then in the same post without even the tiniest bit of self-awareness wonder why more women don't confront their attackers.

I guarantee 99% of the brave men gloating here wouldn't have known what to do if they were sexually assaulted at age 12.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Katsu - agree with your last sentence. These are not "men"

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I continue to just shake my head in disbelief at those who question her story... it is practically not the point. The point is that it continues to happen daily and it needs to stop. 

Then just tell the story straight without inflating the numbers. Makes us wonder how much of it is real to begin with. When we start questioning her numbers, we naturally start to doubt her and other parts of the story.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It truly is amazing how so many men here can accuse a child sexual assault victim of being a liar without a shred of evidence,

Why do you assume, without a shred of evidence, that she was sexually assaulted on a nearly daily basis?

To me, the near-daily part of her story has a big effect on her credibility. Sorry, but I can't take her seriously.

Saying that all women tell the truth is just as bad as saying that all women lie.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Wonder if it was partly how she dressed that led to the daily harassment ? Although totally not justified as the excuse for such behaviour, perhaps Schools should have taken a more proactive stance upon school dress to and from the School - not just during lessons ?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

When we start questioning her numbers, we naturally start to doubt her and other parts of the story.

Even worse, it can have the effect of leading some to question if the whole problem isn’t just in the head of dishonest people. There are jaundiced and idiotic minds out there who think in this way.

Honesty is important. I still value it if some don’t. I tend to find some will explode in rage if someone uses very questionable figures against their argument, but will accept questionable figures in favour of their argument - perhaps seeing it as working for the greater good. Pathetic.

Putting this argument forward does not make someone a woman-hating Neanderthal who thinks all women are liars.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Tokyo_Engr,

I'm happy to clear up the misunderstanding. My last sentence was not aimed at all men. It was aimed at the men (and women) who fall under that description, i.e., the men here commenting who repeatedly say it's more common for women to lie than it is for men to molest, who minimize the problem, or who say that the author is lying because it's impossible for a girl to be molested nearly every day.

The #notallmen hashtag means no, not all men sexually abusuve women. It also calls attention to men who, upon hearing a woman's story, would rather jump to the defense of men than acknowledge that the sexual abuse of women in commonplace.

Raw Beer,

Because people generally don't lie; there's no evidence that that she is lying; and in fact there is plenty of evidence that women do get molested daily or nearly every day on packed commuter trains.

And her claim, being unextraordinary, doesn't therefore require extraordinary evidence for it to be believed.

Now it's your turn: other than your personal reluctance to acknowledge the widespread sexual abuse of women, what's the evidence she is lying?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Because people generally don't lie; there's no evidence that that she is lying; and in fact there is plenty of evidence that women do get molested daily or nearly every day on packed commuter trains.

Please point us to the evidence that a women, not the millions of women who use Tokyo trains, is molested on a daily or near daily basis. Nobody here is arguing that moleststion isn’t a widespread problem.

I’m open to evidence and I’ll gladly change my opinion based on it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Girl - thanks for your reply. Your point is well taken. There is a backlash against men in general lately, especially in my country of citizenship, the U.S. and some of it is way over the top...maybe one reason for all these "doubters". However I do not doubt this woman's story.

@Raw Beer - about 10 years ago a woman I know rather well shared a similar experience. She was groped nearly daily on the Tokaido line. She said as a middle schooler she was afraid to speak out about it...basically scared $h#tless. One reason was fear of being stigmatized, another fear was the power structure that exists in Japan with middle age men toward younger women (probably getting better now, albeit rather slowly), finally she did not want to talk to the police.

I do not doubt her story for one moment.

Perhaps the brave doubters should contact the author and ask her for "evidence".....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And her claim, being unextraordinary, doesn't therefore require extraordinary evidence for it to be believed.

If you think a claim of being molested some two thousand times on the same train is “Unextraordinary”, then I’d hate to hear what raises your eyebrows...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Because people generally don't lie; there's no evidence that that she is lying; and in fact there is plenty of evidence that women do get molested daily or nearly every day on packed commuter trains.

And her claim, being unextraordinary, doesn't therefore require extraordinary evidence for it to be believed.

This reminds me of a sketch I saw decades ago on SNL that went something like this: in New York City, a person is assaulted every 5 seconds… and here is that person, and they show a guy being attacked every few seconds. That was a joke, but it is the same as saying that because sexual assaults occur on trains on a daily basis, then it is not extraordinary for it to occur every day (or almost every day) to the same person. There is nothing “ordinary” about one person being sexually assaulted on trains almost every day.

There are many examples of rape accusers that were found to have lied. I am not saying all accusers lie, but some do.

other than your personal reluctance to acknowledge the widespread sexual abuse of women

Who ever said that sexual abuse of women is not widespread?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I find her story odd, not saying groping didn't happen. My J-Wife told me stories about what happened to her.

12-18 that would mean JHS and HS, meaning she caught the same train at same time for both schools. Can be like at Seikei Gakuen you can be a Student from primary through to Uni. But that type of schools are rare and very expensive.

Not saying more till after reading the Book.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Jimizo,

"Please point us to the evidence that a women, not the millions of women who use Tokyo trains, is molested on a daily or near daily basis."

The claim made by the author of this book is that she was molested almost daily.

Evidence for this bding plsusible is mainly anecdotal, since the police stats don't keep track of individual cases and only report an overall number. However, you can easily find news reports, magazine articles, and newspaper stories on the topic in both English and Japanese. One such story was published in the Japan Times "High School Student Launches Product to Deter Train Gropers". The girl in the story says she was molested almost daily.

The fact that these stories exist in the numbets that they do show the author's claim is plausible.

"Nobody here is arguing that moleststion isn’t a widespread problem."

No, they stop short of that. But since they can't say that, they instead try to minimize the problem by nitpicking numbers and arguing semantics: What does "nearly every day" mean"? "How can that happen?" "She must invite it."

I'd like to ask them why they work so hard to minimize the number, and why thdy try so hard to rationalize sexusl molestatuon by blaming 12 year olds for dressung in thehr required school uniforms.

But lets run with this Even if she were only groped once day out of a five day commute, that's around 65 times per year, from ages 12 to 18 - which is just terrifying.

Even once a month is far more often than any woman should have to tolerafe.

So again: why the deflection, the rationalizing, the shift to blaming the victim?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry for typos. I'm on my phone. :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But lets run with this Even if she were only groped once day out of a five day commute, that's around 65 times per year, from ages 12 to 18 - which is just terrifying.

Now you’re editing her claim.

She said “nearly every day”.

Erase your 65 and replace it with a conservative 250 assaults a year.

Nope.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Wasn't planning on jumping in here but I do find this claim ridiculous. If she road the same train everyday, I have to imagine many other people would ride the same train everyday as well. Faces would become familiar. So for six years, not one passenger noticed anything?!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@girl_in_tokyo

Who is stopping short of saying molestation isn’t a widespread problem?

Even you are now reducing the idea of ‘daily or near daily’ to once a week to make it more plausible and you are right that every week would be disgusting ( more than zero is disgusting ).

We are on the same side here - groping is sexual assault, women must speak out and it needs to be stamped out. I just think that exaggeration has a negative effect. I’m an avid reader of history and the idea of the stupid, the jaundiced and the plain nasty seizing on any exaggeration to dismiss the whole idea as a fabrication is very real. I’m from a science background and idiots with agendas will also dismiss a theory as nonsense if a single scientist or even non-scientist makes a misstep or even makes a genuine mistake.

Fuelling these idiots is very dangerous.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Jimizo - Where are these horrible claims that sexual assaults don't happen and aren't a problem? I haven't read one post that said so.

Perhaps instead of virtue signalling, you should stick to the story of a woman who claims she has been assaulted 1000s of times.

And then wrote a book.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Where are these horrible claims that sexual assaults don't happen and aren't a problem? I haven't read one post that said so.

Read what I posted. I said “It can have the effect”. I didn’t post it “has the effect” or anything at all about posts here. It’s a potential danger, not a reality, hence the use of the word “can”. The idea that there are idiotic minds who will seize on exaggeration to dismiss something in its entirety is very real. I’m sure you are aware of anti-science idiots who don’t know the first thing about science pouncing on something to further a boneheaded political agenda.

Try reading a bit more closely.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Tokyo-Engr

I'm sure it happens daily but there is no way it happened daily to the same woman for six years straight. If she said sometimes once a month her claim would be believable.

As I said before, the timing is just way too convenient. Looks like a money grab not an ass grab.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I didn't "edit her claim." I said "let's run with this" meaning, let's run with the speculation by some that it didn't happen daily, just to see how that pans out in comparison.

In comparison, it's still terrifyingly high - meaning, minimizing the numbers is nonsensical and serves no purpose other than a tactic to deny the scope of the problem.

And you're right - there no need to exaggerate when the truth - that at least a number of women experience some form of molestation on a regular basis - is convincing enough.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Trying to make a point by running with somewhat more realistic numbers just highlights how unrealistic the originally claimed numbers are.

Sexual molestation is disgusting, and I sympathize with those who truly have experienced it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Maybe I should publish a book about being physically abused and emotionally abused everyday and almost killed by my step father from the age of 5 to 14......but nobody would read it because nobody cares about little boys. Disgusting.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

but nobody would read it because nobody cares about little boys

What are you talking about?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If you call women liars, you are part of the problem.

I'm done here.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If you call women liars, you are part of the problem.

”Women are liars” would be a disgraceful statement and part of the problem.

nobody cares about little boys

The revulsion worldwide in reaction to the abuse of little boys ( and girls ) at the hands of some people in holy orders seems to indicate otherwise. There was a very successful film about it too.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is this fiction, too? At least one of the victims committed suicide. Why didn't she speak up, you might ask. Maybe she knew many (men) wouldn't believe her. They might say it's fiction.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/aly-raisman-and-the-shrewd-communal-overhaul-of-american-gymnastics

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Not only does it sound like fiction (or highly exaggerated), it seems to come way too late. Japan already treats this as serious problem. Would've been good 10 years ago. Which just gives me more reason to believe its a fiction written for some quick bucks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

no joke I was actually groped by a female once. I didn't really mind she was cute.

grope:

to fondle (someone) for sexual pleasure roughly or clumsily, or without the person's consent."he was accused of groping office girls"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is not yet the job of anyone to prove that she was assaulted every day, especially since that isn't her claim.

She stated her position. It is not implausible. Some people insist it must be a lie. The onus is on those people to provide evidence that it is a lie. After that evidence has been submitted, then she is required to defend her claim with counter evidence. It is the only way rational discourse can take place.

The alternative is to require every author of an autobiographical story to meticulously document their entire lives just because a random assortment of anonymous commentators with a demonstrated history of political hostility to the topic being discussed countered with a, "nuh-uh!"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

if a woman tells you she has been sexually assaulted on the same train almost every day for 7 years, ask yourself:

Will males disbelieve it?

Will males make light of it?

Will males turn it into a point scoring excercise?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Probably,

Probably,

Probably,

Because not all males, as it is a universal trait to living species, are intelligent. Thus there will be those, who agree with this story. Alas.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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