Japan from the inside out

Ichigen koji (153)

Posted by ampontan on Monday, August 27, 2012

– A person who has something to say about everything

I still remember the first time I got into a taxi in Seoul. I asked the driver to recommend a drinking establishment. He asked me in Japanese, “A place where you can ‘do it’ or a place where you can’t?”

– Ikeda Nobuo, professor, non-fiction author, blogger

One Response to “Ichigen koji (153)”

  1. Gray said

    I imagine that would have been in the 1980s when sex tourism was at its peak? Of course it was a ‘Japanese’ evil, well, from the perspective of the nationalists who hijacked the previously christian-driven anti-sex trade movement. Not so much from the perspective of the government who loved the foreign currency the sex trade had brought in and had lamented the fact that during the Korean war too many foreign soldiers were travelling to Japan to do their R&R rather than using Korean prostitutes. They soon addressed this, however, by establishing the gijichon red-light areas (via the 1961 Tourism Promotion Law), catering to Japanese sex tourism and sending tens of thousands of women abroad to work. The South Korean Minister for Education praised the women in the 70s for sacrificing their bodies for the welfare of the nation.

    Of course, this is pretty much the same thing as Japan’s karayuki-san had done during the Meiji-era. Travelling abroad to engage in sex work (including for US soldiers in the Philippines, and as far afield as California) the considerable money they made helped helped Japan’s economy and was praised by Fukuzawa Yukichi. The difference is the praise the karayuki-san received wasn’t simple lip-service and they weren’t cast aside and treated like second class citizens they way Korean’s modern sex workers have been. The campaign for ‘justice for the comfort women’ has never been in the slightest way concerned with women’s rights or the plight of sex workers.
    G: Probably the 80s, perhaps when he was doing the program for NHK.There was something a few years ago about all the Koreans coming to Japan on sex tours at the time, but I can’t find it now. They believed the Japanese hookers when they told them they had better technique than Japanese men.


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