Lawlessness Grips Japan

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In the Western world, it’s known as frotteurism. The act of rubbing oneself against a non-consenting person for sexual gratification. In Japan, where it appears to be firmly embedded in the culture, it’s known as chikan. Crowded trains and buses are a favorite location for chikan. Roving gangs of thugs are committing the acts, ranging from groping and rubbing to rape and everything in-between. Oftentimes, the criminals brazenly film and upload the episodes to the internet.



I’ve captured a few images from one such online video as an example of the events transpiring in Japan. This attack, which was carried out by at least a half dozen perpetrators, occurred on a bus. Bystanders were either unaware of, or chose to ignore the situation.

The targeted businesswoman is flanked by assailants on both sides. She is initially grabbed from behind, and as she struggles against the assault, her skirt is lifted and her pantyhose lowered and shredded. Shortly thereafter, her blouse is ripped open. She is being groped by multiple antagonists, and one of the defilers goes down for a taste. A vibrating dildo is produced, penetrating the helpless victim. As quick as it all began, the barrage is over. The woman falls to the floor of the bus, and is pushed out at the next stop with her shoes and handbag being her only possessions to survive the chikan encounter.

Click All Images to Enlarge

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One measure the government of Japan has undertaken to help combat the current state of affairs is to establish women-only passenger cars on its railway system. See picture here. According to a survey conducted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and East Japan Railway Company, two-thirds of female passengers in their twenties and thirties reported they had been groped on trains, and the majority had been victimized frequently. Additionally, a 2001 survey conducted in two Tokyo high-schools revealed that more than 70% of the students had been groped on trains. However, the women-only cars are not available at all times in all places, and of course, does not address the bus dilemma as pictured above.

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27 Responses to “Lawlessness Grips Japan”

  1. davros Says:

    It almost seems like a porn movie plot. I know it happens, but did the video you get captures from of an actual incident or is it one of those Japanese fetish films?

  2. ropeadope Says:

    @ davros – Damn you davros! Yes, I assume this was a movie depicting a simulated chican incident. Of course, I wasn’t on location during the shoot, so I can’t be 1000% certain. However, these events definitely do take place in “real life,” and the statistics quoted in the final paragraph are accurate.

  3. JP Says:

    Am I the only one who finds it gross that there would be a post depicting pictures where it’s implied that it is actually against the persons will to have the pictures taken and posted? It’s one thing to know it’s a scene “depicting” assault and another to actually imply it’s a real assault taking place.

  4. LV-426 Says:

    Speaking as someone who spent most of his life in Japan and still visits every few months…

    The way to think of chikan is groping. Typically one looser in a packed train car copping a feel and counting on the women being too embarrassed to respond. The kind of organized gang rape shown in the vid capture is extremely rare.

    Chickan a popular fantasy and makes up a whole genre of porn, where I’m sure the vid caps came from. There are even a handful of clubs where men can pay to have a simulated chikan experience. Here’s a piece on one http://blog.japundit.com/archives/2006/09/28/3627/

    As the article says, all female train cars have only recently been introduced, only on a couple of lines and then only during rush hour. However, for the last 10 years or so there has been a massive public education campaign in Japan on chikan – men are being told they will go to jail if caught, and women encouraged to fight back or scream if groped. I don’t have any data, and I think its true that most Japanese women will experience some form of it (if only an accidential-on-purpose hand on the butt in a pack trained) but I suspect the campaign has worked to some extent… don’t think it happens now as much as it did 10-15 years ago, and between undercover police and more empowered women the guys who do it now are taking a chance in a way they didn’t use to. Not great progress, but something.

  5. ropeadope Says:

    @ JP – The videos are presented as real, and I wrote the article from that viewpoint. Personally, I believe they are fictional recreations of actual events which have taken place (and continue to take place). But each individual can make up their own mind on that front. Nevertheless, this is a serious issue in Japanese society.

    @ LV-426 – Thank you for the detailed reply and interesting link. As I’ve never set foot outside the North American continent, your “on the spot” reporting is much appreciated. Wasn’t aware of the effective public education campaign; good to learn progress is being made. One question if I may. If an attack is noted by fellow train passengers (not police), would they likely band together and come to the aid of the victimized female? Or more likely to ignore the circumstances? I’m trying to get a feel (obviously an unfortunate choice of words for this post) for a culture I’m unfamiliar with.

  6. Kali Says:

    As someone living in Japan I’d like to add some comments.
    Chikan is indeed a real problem but, as LV-426 explained, preventions campaigns and very aggressive actions by police and law have helped changing the mentalities. The fact that the society is evolving quickly, with women being more equal to men than a few years ago helps that. To the point where actually some men want “men only wagons” so that they have no change being falsely accused of that (as some cynical women have done to get some money).

    Chikan is groppling but cases of rape are rare. Videos like the one above are fictions that play to these fantasies. I have seen adult videos in Japan that I have found really shocking, such as violent rape fictions (totally forbidden in my country, which i think is a good thing). So you have to be aware that Japan adult videos can be really crude, violent and humiliating. But they do not represent what is actually going on outside. The country is actually pretty safe compared to others. Also, before these videos run you sometimes have a disclaimer to explain these videos are fictions and should in no way be done in reality.

    So to sum up:
    1. chikan, groppling and other sexual acts to non consentent people are an horror that must be attacked. Japan has its dose in the overcrowded trains even though it is getting better
    2. Japanese adult videos can be very shocking and much more extreme that the usual stuff found in other countries but they are fictions, which only represent what kind of fantasies they have.

  7. Kali Says:

    Additional point: if you had a doubt the images above are from a fiction video, notice the mosaics. Mosaics are compelled by Japanese law, so it’s pretty safe to say it comes from a commercial video. If a band of thugs raped a person and posted the video online, I doubt they would feel the need to add a mosaic to comply with Japanese censorship law. Else they really have a f**ked up moral compass. :)

  8. ropeadope Says:

    @ Kali – Many thanks for the extensive and helpful information. It’s so wonderful to hear from fellow members located all around the globe. Your contribution, as well as that of LV-426 above, has provided me with a better understanding of the subject matter. Some online videos portray similar behavior (groping) at public swimming pools, beach locker rooms, clothing store changing rooms, etc. Is this all fiction? Lots of hidden camera videos, especially in public rest rooms. Fiction? Girls being followed around with strategically placed concealed cameras yielding upskirt footage. Fiction? How about those game shows? The language barrier presents a challenge to fully understand what’s going on. But there’s usually some physical activity (tumbling, cartwheeling, or other gymnastics), and one of the female contestants has usually forgotten her underwear. Much to the delight of the studio audience. Fiction? I’m sure I’ve seen several of these without the presence of mosaics.

  9. Papayaman1 Says:

    I’d heard about this rising incidence of molesting women in Japan. I wonder if it is something to do with the resentment some men may feel at the rising status of women. After all, I’ve heard it argued that sex crimes are much more about exerting power and control rather than achieving sexual satisfaction. Personally I cannot imagine that such attacks are sexually satisfying. It is easier to see them as being about ‘putting a woman in her place’.

    As to whether Japanese porn is sicker than ours it is worth remembering that a lot of Western directors get awfully close to portraying rape. Max Hardcore comes to mind. But even some of the entries on this site feature very rough sex – think of Teen Line and Sore Throat. Clearly all of this was simulated violence, but the intent of the scene is still to portray a woman being manhandled. It isn’t a genre of porn that I seek out, but maybe it provides an outlet for guys that do have violent feelings towards women. As such, videos like the one above may help to prevent such scenes becoming reality.

  10. numbles Says:

    Or they may encourage people and convey a wrong picture of sexuality. Actually if you talk to social workers that are doing youth work you get to know that the constant exposure of the nowadays youth is definitely giving a lot of people wrong impressions about how sex works.
    Actually here in germany there is a rising culture in the pubescent youth that for example fancy gang bang parties where the roles are quite clear. Men are brutes with penises and girls are bitches.
    Though this certainly can’t be generalized – and I’m far from jumping to conclusions – this is certainly worrisome.
    It’s like the other porn habits that have seeped into societys common sense – shaving off all your body hairs for example.
    Actual adults wont be influenced so easily but with the current fact that ultra hardcore porn is only two clicks away it’s certainly influencing the youth.
    One of the recent results of a study was that the porn entrance age in germany has dropped to nearly 10 years of age.
    If someone would have told me at the age of 10 that women need groping, throat-fucking and violent anal sex I would have believed it. And I guess so would have the girls of my age.

  11. numbles Says:

    Um is there a blacklist for words? My comments dont show up

  12. LV-426 Says:

    Ropadope asks: If an attack is noted by fellow train passengers (not police), would they likely band together and come to the aid of the victimized female?

    Used to be absolutely never, there was (is) a very strong cultural prohibition in getting involved in the affairs of others. That’s changed some recently so while its unlikely the other riders would do anything as a group, there is a decent chance that a random guy on the train would help. I’ve been that guy once.

    Ropadope asks if the hidden camera videos and pool groping videos are fiction? Game shows with no panties

    There are perverts with hidden cameras who get busted pretty regularly, so it happens. And it happens much more there then here. It’s still pretty rare, but yea, it happens. As for the game shows… sure, the crap made to be shown after 1:00AM is one step away from softcore porn (often). But is not really mainstream.

    Papayman1 says: I wonder if it is something to do with the resentment some men may feel at the rising status of women.

    Wow, this is getting heavy!
    But no, I don’t think so. As women have gained more power its actually gotten a bit better. If you had to put a super-simple label on the cause, its what happen when you mix those Japanese men who truly never develop adult social skills (these are the same guys who become ‘otaku’ and unable to interact with other people) and a culture that makes it hard for women to protect themselves.

  13. Papayaman1 Says:

    LV-426 you clearly have a better handle on the cultural specifics of the situation than I do so I bow to your superior knowledge. These otaku guys sound like an interesting phenomenon, is this a big issue in Japan? More so than the incidence of socially inept outsiders in other cultures? Hope you don’t mind me bombarding you with questions, but I’m interested by what you have told us. And do you think Jporn exacerbates or helps the situation with molestation of women in Tokyo (I’m guessing that is where most of it happens)? Feel free to ignore this socially inept barrage of questions if you like.

  14. ropeadope Says:

    @ Papayaman1 – Good to have you back. It was my understanding as well, that sex crimes were about power rather than sex. The behavior is probably a bit more complex than one would need to allow the designation of one factor, and only one factor as the motivating force. But we like to tie everything up in a nice neat bundle, without complications.

    The common denominator behind Teen Line: The Blue Room and Sore Throat? >>>> Tony T.

    Lol at the bow, very apropos. Evidently you do have a good handle on the cultural specifics of the situation.

    @ numbles – To the best of my knowledge, there is no blacklist here on the blog. There was (and I assume still is) a list of prohibited language over in the movie review comments. If you’re trying to post to the blog, please try again. I always look forward to reading your contributions.

    EDIT: numbles, I was finally able to locate your post. For some inexplicable reason, it got buried in the spam folder. I’ve made the correction. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    @ LV-426 – Thank you for addressing all those questions. Wow, you’re that guy! (Live Free or Die Hard reference). If I’m not being too personal, where do you call home now? Do you still have family in Japan? Would you consider returning on a permanent basis?

  15. Butt_Watchers Says:

    Rope, I enjoy all of your posts and no one is more knowledgeable, but I don’t get why you posted this one. And, I must say that I’m laughing at all of the seriousness and righteous indignation shown in these posts. Since this is a porn blog, is the intent here to invoke outrage or get us turned on!? When I look at those pics, I don’t feel outrage. I feel a boner.

  16. ropeadope Says:

    @ Butt_Watchers – The purpose of the post was to inform, explore, and entertain. Judging strictly by your boner, I’m deeming the entry a success. Moral outrage was not an intended goal (but for those who find themselves outraged at the behavior depicted in the scene >>> rock on). I’ve always been intrigued by the chikan movies. I believe I knew enough about the subject matter to inform the membership of a porn subset which they might be unaware of. But I also knew there was much more to the subject than I was familiar with. LV-426 and Kali have advanced my knowledge of this phenomenon. I invite all others (especially those who are living in Japan, have lived in Japan, or visit Japan regularly) to add to the discussion.

    Lol, you may wish to skip my upcoming post exploring another genre of Japanese pornography >>> tentacle erotica.

  17. LV-426 Says:

    @ Papayaman1: Otaku and their (arguably) related subclass, the hikikomori (essentially shut-ins with no social contact) is a major social issue in Japan. The term ‘Otaku’ has taken a softer meaning as of late (now applied to anyone with a strong interest in something, like ‘geek’ here) but still, the existence of Otaku and hikimori is often cited as proof of unraveling social fabric. Ten minutes with Google and you’ll find tons of info.

    My guess is that the level of fantasy chikan in porn is mainly reflective of the popularity of the fantasy. Maybe it hurts (increases the risk of these things happening in real life) a little to the extent that adolescents just hitting puberty and in that window where behaviors get easily eroticized and internalized might see it and become more prone to that behavior later in life. I certainly don’t believe it helps.

    @Ropeadope: I’m sorry but I think I should pass on your questions except to say life is what happens when you are making other plans. If the site offered PM I’d of course answer.

  18. tom brokaw Says:

    lol. Guys, how could they get so many camera angles, esp the one from outside the train while she’s still on the train, if this weren’t fake?

  19. ropeadope Says:

    @ LV-426 – That’s cool. I now realize from your “here vs. there” reference above, you’re most likely in the United States. I wasn’t looking for anything more specific than that.

    @ tom brokaw – Whoa, easy there Mr. Brokaw. Not everyone within the VideoBox membership has as much experience as yourself in the field of photo-journalism. Maybe you could make a pitch to NBC to air a chikan expose on Dateline?

  20. doppyman Says:

    What a great thread. I learned a lot. Lots of smart people seem to like porn …

  21. ropeadope Says:

    @ doppyman – I’ve been continuously impressed with the intelligence of the membership throughout my time with VideoBox. I only wish more members would participate with the blog. My hunch is there is a silent majority which reads the blog but declines to enter the discussion. I’ve learned quite a bit in this thread alone. Not only in regards to chikan. I’ve also learned I’m a hikikomori. Who knew?

  22. Papayaman1 Says:

    Hey Rope, good to be back – and you can’t be a hikikomori if you have the social skills to start a thread that elicits such an interesting reaction as this one. Thanks to LV-246 for sharing information with us – definitely will google those terms, you’ve really piqued my interest. I’m also glad Numbles’ response to my first comment has surfaced thanks to Rope’s efforts. I suppose it is tempting to think that porn might have a beneficial effect on potential abusers, but it also seems very reasonable to argue that it could have a desensitizing effect, especially on young people. I guess that is a debate that will run and run – the one thing for certain is it ain’t gonna make me kick my porn habit anytime soon.

  23. brushman Says:

    Ropeadope, are you part of videobox? Or are you just a member? I am one of those that read these blogs and do not usually post. That said, I am discouraged. The videobox blog used to used more as a tool to point out specific items on the site and to ask members what they were interested in. I personally used the blog for items such as “alisons finishers ” and things like that. When can we expect the blog to continue in that type of content.No disrespect intented you give excellent reviews on the scenes,but I really miss Alison doing the blog writing.What I miss is the ability to have a good review and a link to that scene available with a simple click.Rope, I have seen you do these things and know you are very capable of continuing on with this tradition.

  24. ropeadope Says:

    @ brushman – Thank you for adding your voice. No, I am not an employee of VideoBox, and yes, I am a member. Note that Alison has given me permission to continue the “finisher” posts. I will work on it over the weekend and hope to have the first one ready for posting early next week. I enjoy doing DVD and scene reviews. You’d be surprised how time consuming those posts are. In fact, all these posts are extremely time consuming. Maybe I’ve just gotten slow in my old age. I do recall a few of your earlier comments advocating crediting the male performers in the scenes. I guess that’s still being considered. BTW, you can always find Alison here.

  25. Dan Smith Says:

    I really need to take a trip to Japan, that looks like so much fun, those bitches are getting what every woman deserves.

  26. midazolam Says:

    in an effort to move towards a “greener” society, i see this as encouragement to use public transportation…

  27. Bronty Says:

    This Japanese ‘cultural element’ is central in the plot of a Charles Bronson film. A fun watch on a Saturday evening in front of the TV:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinjite:_Forbidden_Subjects