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.
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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.