JapanBump Finds: “Carnivore girls”; schoolgirl dates for hire and virtual travel

I love Japan.  One of my goals is to learn to speak and write the language so I can dive into their content more.

Finds from the JapanBump facebook feed.  And I’ll be starting with the most wholesome (and actually work-related) entry that piqued my interest in AccessJ today.

Interactive media map. The new gender peculiarities.  Schoolgirl Prostitutes (enjo kousai).  Buumu.  The glorification of common food yay!

1.  NHK came up with Michishiru, an interactive map targeted towards locals so they can find out more about Japanese destinations.

2.  Also, bloggers on Japanese culture are now discussing the phenomena or trends behind the decreasing Japanese population.  One of the trends they’re seeing is “Nikushoku Onna”, or Carnivorous Girls, referring to women who are more extroverted even around men, and open about their sexuality (as opposed to “Herbivorous Men” or soushoku danshi.  I’m not kidding. It was coined by Maki Fukasawa, a columnist, in 2006.  I actually find them endearing.  They’re the stuff of slice-of-life quirky anime lead characters. Note to self: Get a copy of “Girly Guys”).

"Grass-Eating Man's Love Study"

I guess it’s interesting to hear about this growing shift in Japan, given that today’s Westernized culture does in fact glorify the uninhibited female.  via monkeymaninJapan

3.  And, now the least wholesome find: Schoolgirl Prostitutes. via AccesJ and It’s A Wonderful Rife

So, for all you people turned on by Japanese schoolgirls, it can actually come true.  Through Enjo Kousai, or “paid dating”.

See, I know that prostitution is rampant in the world.  I also know that this news is really disturbing.  But, I guess the social analyst part of me also has an impulse to take a step back and acknowledge that social realities that exist in society develop because they fulfill a unique need.  Doesn’t make it right, but it also makes it, in a way, “valid” or “useful” for the particular sector of society subscribing to it.

And the social reality is that, in the urban Japan teen world, taking a part-time job is not seen as favorable, and asking for extra money from parents is difficult – so if you feel the urge to take part in the societal love for tech, clothes, food and new things – who’re you going to call? Horny, older men!

I’m not purely making light of the situation.  In fact, I’m scared and worried because I live in a developing nation, poorer than Japan and with a less strict moral code and societal rules.  I’ve been a qualitative market researcher for years, and I’ve seen how young girls and boys will flirt with financiers for mobile phone load.  It’s just a few skips away from paid dating.  The only advantage, I think, that my country has in this case, is that our towns are overrun with gossipmongers and privacy is hard to come by, so going so far as “dating” for money will be almost impossible to keep secret from your friends and/or relatives.

I find this excerpt, on how text messaging is used to conduct date arrangements, really really intriguing. via :

“Here’s is what the text message would look like: IkebLURV1700Yukichi2JC1

How the hell do you decode that? Well, apparently those in the know, know.

But here’s what it means:

Ikeb = Ikebukuro – and example of where the girl is located;
LURV = I will have sex with you;
1700 = Time: 5PM – it’s standard Military time;
Yukichi2 = Yukichi Fukuzawa, that is the face of the man on the Y10,000 bill. So essentially it means Y10,000  x 2  or the services cost Y20,000 – which let’s just say it’s about $200 US/Cdn.
JC = Joshi Chugakusei – it’s the first letter of each word that is important. JC  means Junior High School girl; JS is an Elementary School Girl; and JK is a High School Girl;
1 = Grade 1. In Japan, 1st year of junior high = 7th grade; 2 = second year or Grade 8; 3 = third year or Grade 9. (High School, 1, 2 and 3 imply Grades 10, 11 and 12… and I don’t even want to know how low the numbers are for an Elementary School girl.”

4.  じぶんのなかでぶーむ or jibun no naka de buumu

via Hungry For Words

I am going to start using that in my mind, one of these days.  I love the sociology and psychology of language, particularly of slang.  And it’s cool to hear about how changes in language can point to young people being more comfortable about airing out their own passions or wishes, no matter how short-term.

5.  B-kyū (or B-grade gourmet) “referring to inexpensive or quotidian foods that have been transformed into connoisseurial objects“. via Japan Times

I love that Japan has a “Grand Prix” for cheap and resourceful regional cooking.  I think this better communicates the root and essence of national pride better than a single ad campaign.

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