Gropers on trains in Japan are filming their activities and selling them on websites in China, according to an investigation by the BBC. The recently published report claims that public molestation videos are a growing market, with content sourced from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China. Known as chikan in Japan and most common on public transport like crowded trains, groping is a widespread social problem in East Asia. Public awareness of it is very high, with posters at train stations warning people to be vigilant, and even women-only carriages on rush-hour ...

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Have you always wanted to own a love hotel? Now you can! And for just ¥88 million (a bit less than an average newly built condo in Tokyo costs). The two-floor hotel, which is located a short distance from the beach and an hour's walk from Atami Station, is currently for sale. The building is 728.65 square meters (the land is a bit bigger, at 999.46 square meters), and was built in 1985, which would make it positively ancient in Tokyo but not too shabby in a regional place like Atami. Best of all, it is designed like a castle (perhaps in a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean ...

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A rent-a-spouse vending machine? Sounds like another dose of wacky-Japan fake news that the foreign media likes to fall for, hook, line, and sinker. Vending machines and "people rental" services are among the most popular topics for those ridiculous news stories, which tend to focus on just a single example and then extrapolate from that outlier to make general pronouncements about a society of 120+ million people. So we're at pains to point out that we are not doing that here. But there is apparently a vending machine where you can "get yourself" a spouse. It is located in the ...

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Last week, we reported on porn star Eimi Fukada's latest "free hugs" event. It went ahead as planned in Osaka over the weekend and saw the 25-year-old JAV performer embrace 3,221 fans, beating the number set at her previous event in Shibuya last summer when she hugged 3,163 fans. The Osaka event took place over two days (12 hours each day) and proved so popular that fans lined up two hours in the rain just for a chance to be hugged by their favorite adult video star (they were not allowed themselves to do the hugging and had to keep their own hands behind them and away from her ...

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For the most part in Japan, prostitution is not visible. Sure, if you can understand the euphemism and codes in the signage, you can see fuzoku brothels everywhere, normally in the form of places where you can go for "introductions" to sex workers. But though call girls are visible entering and leaving love hotels, or you might seem female escorts waiting for a car or sitting in a vehicle outside a love hotel, it's relatively rare to see streetwalkers in Tokyo -- as in, actual prostitutes hanging around outside and trying to pick up clients (known as tachinbo in Japanese). There are ...

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We've written before about Yunana, the young female fan of postwar Showa-era love hotels who posts photos of her outings (alone) to these bygone dens of romance and sex. It seems Yunana's following has continued to grow, since she has just released a book showcasing her work. The book's title, In Search of the Revolving Bed, is a reference to perhaps the most famous love hotel room gimmick that is actually quite a rarity (it became illegal to install new ones after the law changed in 1985). Now aged 26, the love hotel enthusiast was recently interviewed by Bunshun about her activities, ...

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We've written before about the problem of scams in the Japanese "dating site" industry, where customers think they are interacting with real women who want to meet them but are actually exchanging messages with someone (perhaps even a man) who is trying to ensure they keep paying the membership fees for as long as possible. In a recent article on Japan Today, someone apparently interviewed two such scammers. The first is actually just someone who worked as a cheap hostess bar. We don't think this qualifies, since though it is possible for a customer to take a hostess out on a date, it's not ...

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Following our recent interview with kinbaku rope master Steve Osada, we were interested to read this interview with a very different kind of rope artist, Hajime Kinoko, in Tokyo Weekender last month. Kinoko notes that he prefers shibari to kinbaku to describe his style of rope bondage, regarding the latter as about emotional exchange with a model during a session, and the former as more general. Kinoko is known for his high-profile collaborations and more artistic style, which may involve tying a model to an object like a motorcycle. "I am actually closer to an artisan, like a chef," ...

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Things get wet in love hotel rooms. That goes without saying, presuming you're doing your job right. But what about wet as in watery wet? No, we're not just talking about enjoying a soak in a bath together. Among the myriad facilities and attractions at Japan's colorful love hotels, this is perhaps the most elaborate we have heard of: Hotel Regent Odaka in Nagoya has its own private water slide for guests. Elaborate -- or crazy?! These traveling YouTubers recently stayed at the hotel and filmed their exploits (all safe for work, we should add). You can climb up the stairs to the top of ...

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"Shibari is 90% emotional. The other half is technical." Following our earlier article about Steve Osada's online Japanese rope bondage learning platform, Kinbaku Academy, we sat down with the rope master for a conversation about his career and the state of shibari/kinbaku today. Steve Osada (also often referred to using the Japanese name order, Osada Steve) inherited the Osada name in 2001 from grandmaster Eikichi Osada when he died. They had first met in 1998 for a photo shoot and Steve eventually started helping the grandmaster with his weekly shows as a pulley operator. The rest, as ...

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