Japan from the inside out


Posted by ampontan on Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ONE segment on a Japanese television program tonight featured an experiment in kissing with participants from five different countries.

The program hired an attractive young woman in each of those countries, had each of them stand for an hour outdoors in an urban district with a lot of pedestrian traffic holding a sign that read, “Kiss me please”, and filmed the events that transpired. Of course they counted the number of kissers, but only kisses on the cheek were allowed. All of the models were very kissable. Women were free to kiss the model too. The results:

Italy: 24
United States: 11
Japan: 7
The Philippines: 4
South Korea: 0

That Italy was the champion by such a large margin isn’t surprising at all. Nor was it surprising that a large share of those 24 were old men who kissed quite stylishly.

Two of the seven Japanese kissers were young women who were photographed in the act by their women friends with cellphone cameras. One said she wanted to upload the photo on Twitter. Two college-aged men walked by the model, but only one kissed her. The other said he would be uncomfortable with people watching.

The South Korean woman attracted a crowd, but no kissers at all during the hour. One middle-aged woman briefly scolded her. A group of older men stood back and watched, but none could bring themselves to approach. Interviewed later, one of the men said he wanted to kiss her, but couldn’t because he was with his wife. The Japanese on the program thought the influence of Confucian culture might have been responsible for the Korean goose egg.

Some foreign residents and visitors say that Japanese television isn’t interesting.

Oh? Compared to what?

Think I better dance now!

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8 Responses to “Kiss”

  1. toadold said

    T: Thanks for the link. Interesting. Three thoughts:

    1. Eric Idle really looks old.
    2. Spam is not popular “in Japan”. Only Okinawa, unless it’s the secret delight of people in the northeast.
    3. Having watched both, I’m not sure what the guy means when he said they got away with stuff on Monty Python (or the BBC) that they can’t do in Japan. Occasional nudity is OK on Japanese TV (no crotch shots), and there’s sexual innuendo.

    – A

  2. andrew in ezo said

    Television program content is universally bad, Japanese television is partially redeemed by the high quality of its documentaries and in-depth reporting (NHK and Nikkei-affiliated TV Tokyo come to mind). The meme that “Japanese television is the worst” is a tired canard of mono-lingual foreigners, much like the belief that “miso soup is just salty water”.

  3. toadold said

  4. Milpundit said

    Tom Jones still has it!

    Not sure why my blog’s backlinked here, but thanks.
    M: You’re welcome. That was a commenter sending a link into one of your posts, in the comments. Stop by anytime, even in your salmon-colored shirt.

    – A.

  5. toadold said

    Well the Ampontan story on the Kiss had the S. Koreans not kissing the girl and the Milpundit story had a line about why the S. Koreans ,especially those in Seoul are so cranky, so my addled sleep deprived mind made a connection. Er sorry about that.
    T: That’s cool, it was an interesting link. I especially liked the part about the Korean guy running his finger along the knife blade. Interesting contrast to the people getting their panties in a bunch about whizzing on Taliban corpses.
    – A.

  6. Milpundit said

    I agree about the Marines, Toadold. I cover that also at

  7. Tony said

    Yeah, there is too much over reaction on both sides regarding “whizz gate”. Surprisingly the “hang ’em high” side is being out shouted by “give’m a beer and pin a medal on them” side on the blogosphere. Quite literally, this has become a pissing contest of the lowest calibre.

  8. slim said

    I always thought the fact that there was never anything remotely entertaining on Japanese TV was a blessing. No distractions from more productive pursuits. (I watched news, though.)

    What sort of shocked me was that I visited Japan in 2011 after a 7-year absence and found mostly just the same “tarento” personalities doing the same thing, just looking older. SMAP had not gained any talent or aged particularly well and they seemed to practically have their own network.

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