Nudity and ice cream in Japan....

A note before I begin: I’ve never been to Asia. However, I live with my Taiwanese girlfriend, and I have lots of Asian friends (some of whom are Japanese), so all of my assertions of what Japan is like are amalgamations of anecdotes. If anyone sees some glaring misinterpretation or out-dated stereotypes, please feel free to tell me.

I’m just curious what the view concerning nudity on tv is in Japan. It seems that (one of ) the stereotype(s) of the Japanese in Asia is that they’re openly obsessed with (kinky) sex. However, I’ve always thought, at the same time, that the Japanese society was still very “traditional” (can’t think of a better word).* Yet, I saw this blog recently on Boing Boing, and I’ve gotten a kick out of watching it.

Many of the videos are of girls doing ridiculous things and wearing next to nothing. There are also ads with girls using their *assets *to sell ice cream or bottled water. Then, still, there are videos with naked women doing absurd things (like seeing how many bodies they can fit in a phone booth) that are completely un-sexy (to me, at least).

I’m not trying to suggest that, by any means, the japanese are the only ones to use sex to sell products. I’m just curious if nudity is alright on Japanese television (like here in France) or are people picking these videos off certain channels?

Also, I’m wondering if the idea of nudity itself is different. Is it just not considered that scandalous? My girlfriend has told me about public baths in Japan, where sometimes entire families will go and sit around naked together (that’s a very basic paraphrase/translation of what she said at length and in French).

*Perhaps, I’m conveying certain Western stereotypes of being traditional, the major aspect of which is that public nudity is immoral or uncooth. At the same time, I’ve always heard that the reason its so normal for Japanese men to grab womens’ breasts on the subway or on the bus is that the society is so closed, restrictive, whatever that men have no way to release sexual energy, except by grabbing women in public places (I realize that this comment could be construed in a really sexist sense, but I assure you that I don’t mean it that way…just can’t think of a better way to word it)

Last one first: not so many people go to the local public bath anymore, but family bathing at home is not really that strange. If anything, group bathing with strangers was much more common in the past and people are more uptight nowadays. The public baths now are pretty much all separated between men and women, btw.

Japanese TV has actually gotten a lot more prudish in the last few years. When I first got here about 10 years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for evening shows on broadcast TV to have incidental nudity, and some of the late evening shows were basically softcore porn (Gilgamesh Night and Tonight 2 will be sadly missed). Those shows all disappeared about five years ago, although I don’t think there were any new prohibitions put on the networks; the programs just ended one by one and weren’t replaced. Some nudity pops up occasionally, but it’s usually incidental to the show’s subject, rather than the focus (one I saw recently was a travel program that included a segment on a hot spring resort that was supposed to be a good romantic spot for couples. They then ran a clip of a couple together in a private bath, and they were both letting it all hang out. None of the studio guests watching made any comment about it).

I don’t think the commercials here use much more sex to sell than ads in Europe. Like the TV shows, the commercials have toned down the sex in the past few years, so the really in-your-face ones on the internet are probably from the 90’s (such as the Choco Party ad, centered entirely around a model with huge breasts and a tiny bikini bouncing up and down). The Japanese ad industry has also matured somewhat, so advertisers are more likely to try to produce an actual brand message (although messages that include eroticism are still common), rather than just go with a cheap “Hey, look! Tits! Now buy our product!” as was common in the past. Even back then, none of the TV commercials had actual nudity, so anything you see with bare breasts or butts was either produced as porn or was a real commercial that was doctored later to add nudity (I’ve seen one like this of one of Yumiko Shaku’s early beer ads).

The clip on that blog of the girls getting into the hot bath was from and old show called Super Jockey, which went off the air in 1998 or so. It ran on Sunday afternoons, and the main host was Beat Takeshi Kitano. Half the show was Takeshi beating the living shit out of the junior comedians, and the other half the girls getting dunked (this is the main reason why no matter how many Golden Palms Takeshi wins, my first thought of him will always be as a sadistic crap comedian who gets off on setting his underlings on fire). The musical clip at the top of the blog is another comedian (Hamada from the the comedy team Downtown) doing a skit making fun of weird cartoons, so naturally it’s going to be bizarre.

I agree that Japanese porn can get pretty weird.

It would be sexier if you were making a phone call at the time… :smiley:

I once found a similar link, to what appeared to be a Japanese game show. It certainly looked like a real television show, with a complete audience, hosts, guests, and everything else. It had the exact look of a show pulled off of television rather than a film faking a TV show. But in this show young women were pulled from the audience to have sex with men on the stage.

I’ve always wondered whether this was just an especially realistic porn clip or was there ever such a thing on Japanese TV? Since nothing was in English, I suppose it could easily have been from Hong Kong or another country, but it looked like clips of other Japanese shows I’ve seen on the Net.

Before the Meiji Restoration in the 19th century, it was common and accepted in Japan to walk naked to and from the public baths. Once Japan was opened up to the rest of the world, the Japanese government encouraged citizens to stop doing that, because it offended the sensibilities of visiting Westerners.

As to the apparent Japanese preference for “kinky” sex, Wikipedia says this:

In other words, they can legally show hardcore sex, but they have to censor out the genitals, which makes it kind of pointless. So they came up with increasingly “kinky” ways to depict sex acts without actually showing genitalia.

I’ve seen it, it’s a porn clip. There’s a production company called Soft on Demand (odd choice of name) that produces a great deal of the unusual hardcore porn videos, often involving casts of hundreds, outdoor venues, audiences, etc.

Well I clicked on the above link of course, and come up only with some damn robot escaping a movie set and marching through Tokyo with a remix of Styx’ “Mr. Roboto” playing in the background.

Of course I watched the whole thing waiting for naked japanese chicks. I want those 5 mins of my life back please. :mad:

And to answer your question, no, I didn’t scroll down. Potental nude japanese chicks distracted me. :smack:

Why’d it change? When was that?

That’s an amazing amount of expense for a porn production, then. Admittedly I saw only a tiny clip, but while explicit it had the production values of a screencap from a tv show and was far more a curiosity than an erotic piece. Hard to imagine that it could make back its budget.

We are talking about Japan here, Exapno. The rules of our universe do not apply.

I don’t know how they do it, either. AFAIK, they don’t use any ‘name’ talent in those big productions, so that probably lowers cost quite a bit. It may just be that there are a lot of women in Japan who want to do porn.

I don’t know exactly when, but it probably started changing in the post-war period as general society started adopting more western attitudes. Probably also as hot water became a standard fixture in homes built after the war, more people got used to taking private baths.

I’ve seen some authors blame the change in attitudes on the popularity of Freud’s theories, but I don’t know how much there is to that.

Now I’m imagining if Cecil B. DeMille did porno.

Charlton Heston: “Let my people blow!”

Eh, all I know about Japan comes from anime. Aparently hot springs are so plentiful that you practically fall into one just wlking down the street; the only females around are cute high school girls, tiny old preistesses, and 21-30 year olds with giant jugs. The jugs often pop out inexplicably at embarassing points. All girl high schools are the norm, as are perverts who are caught nears them all the time. Also there are robots, samurai, and ninjas (as well as robo-ninjas and robo-samurai) everywhere, and attacks by them are to be expexted. Oh, and any guy will be clueless when a gril is in love with him.

Disclaimer: all of the above is said in jest.

My understanding is that the Meiji government tried to discourage mixed public bathing because it wasn’t ‘civilized’.

Ah, the Victorians. Figures. No-good jerks had to go ruin everything for everyone.

Fathers generally are in charge of bathing their children, but there reaches an age when that stops. For “mixed” bathing, younger and middle aged women pretty much wear swimsuits, or keep a large towel firmly wrapped around them. :frowning:

Tonight 2 truly is missed. :mad: In addition to the show’s gratuitous nudity (mostly on Thursdays) and “Kantoku’s” introduction of sex parlors, the show really did provide an education about Japan that is missed. Back in the early 80s, is wasn’t uncommon to see nudity (although strictly above the waist or the ass only) during prime time. I remember as a missionary watching a J-POP countdown show at a member’s house and they had a dance with the women chorus all with bare bottoms. :eek: Unfortunately, after I dropped the church and became less shock-able, Japanese TV became tamer; a point which a local porn rag, The Best, also lamented this change. They had a special on shows of the past, including such great art as contests where women in only bikini bottoms seeing how long they can keep their nipples from getting hard when grabbed by the TV personality.

As if there is something wrong with that.

Spoken as a true connoisseur. :smiley:

Well, the only thing wrong with it is that anyone can do it, and I can’t justify charging clients out the wazoo for an ad idea that anyone can come up with. :wink:

I had quite the collection back when I was single, but sadly that’s all gone now.