Japan for the Uninvited

Japanese culture from a bemused foreign perspective

Chikan (Train groping)

  • Chikan - Train gropingIn Japan, more than 4000 men are arrested each year for groping on public transport.
  • In 2001, a survey of two private high-schools in Tokyo revealed that more than 70% had been groped on the train.
  • A recent survey of Japanese companies suggested that at least 17% of Japanese women have been groped in public.

Police crackdown

The mid-1990s brought a nationwide police crackdown on train gropers. Plain-clothes police officers were assigned to the worst affected trains during rushhour. Advertising campaigns gave advice to women who thought they were being molested: to thrust the offending hand in the air and yell “Chikan!” (“Groper!”).

Unfortunately, this hasn’t emboldened many Japanese women. Surrounded by strangers, most women would rather pretend nothing unusual is happening than create a scene. Gropers exploit this, and pick their victims carefully.

Some of the “victims” aren’t so innocent, and false accusations of groping are increasing. The shame associated with chikan makes it possible for especially enterprising young women to blackmail fellow train users.

Faced with a hysterically shrieking woman, most men are willing to be led to the nearest ATM and part with large sums of money (US$3000 isn’t uncommon).

Women Only Carriages

An obvious solution to the problem is to introduce a “Gropers Only” carriage, and then the randy little tykes might fondle each other to death.

Instead, “Women Only” carriages have been introduced at peak times on the most crowded lines. A guard is usually present to enforce this, politely telling any man who fails to read the pink sign to get in a different carriage with all the other perverts.

Generally, this has alleviated the problem, but there has been an unexpected side- effect. Any woman who finds herself outside the rosy sanctum of the “Women Only” car is viewed as fair game. After all, if she didn’t want her intimate parts mauled, she wouldn’t be there!

The behaviour of women in the safe zone has also drawn complaints. Momentarily freed from the rigid sexist expectations of Japanese society, a carriage of OLs can adjust their make-up and prattle away on their phones as much as they like, drawing complaints from other passengers.

The Groper’s Brotherhood

Meanwhile, what of the gropers? Who’s thinking about the degenerates? All they ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being. On the buttocks, or maybe on the breasts. Is that a crime?

Fortunately, help is at hand. You need look no further than Shigeru Oohori: “elite salariman”, loving husband/father, and head of “Chikan Tomo-No-Kai” (“The Groper’s Brotherhood”). He has assembled a 40-strong group of deviants from all walks of life, including teachers, government officials and a Buddhist priest (Buddhism seems to have an ambiguous attitude to molesting strangers in public places). Not just any horny freak can join though: a black belt 5th dan groper is expected to cop 100 sleazy feels a month.

According to Oohori, gropers come in two main categories. “Orthodox” gropers, about 80% of the fondling population, get their kicks from the girl’s look of disgust and embarrassment. The “Technician” is a rarer and far more admirable breed. With practiced technique, they subtly titillate their gropees into a state of subconscious arousal.

This chikan elite meet once a month in a Tokyo café to touch base and play with some new ideas. Over the internet, they warn each other of police crack-downs on certain train-lines. They even run practical mauling workshops, hiring girls to be bothered by them on crowded commuter trains, and offering criticism and tips.

There are special ” image clubs” (imekura) catering for chikan, with tailor-made rooms built to look like subway carriages, and prostitutes paid extra to act like unsuspecting commuters.

In the words of their sensei: “Groping was once a solitary activity, but now thanks to the Internet it’s become easy to link up with people who share the same kind of sexual interests.”

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90 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Hobomedic

    Lol, I cant wait to visit Japan. If i see some douche trying to grab a feel on some poor chick, him getting called out should be the least of his worries. Mother fucker better know some Kungfu because after I grab his arm, hes coming off the train with me if he likes it or not.

  2. I want to visit Japan but, the idea of being felt up by some perverted man, woman, or older teen sounds horrible I’m a just turned 14-year-old boy. Kodomo Chikan(Children Perverts) repel me from Japan.

  3. US

    The Japanese law is weak and Japan has just shown that they are mental retarded people. Hey Chikans or whatsoever called, come on do that here in the USA. You will go in a electric chair. Stupid bastards

  4. franc b

    I lived in Japan in the mid-90s as a 20-something caucasian male. I was groped a few times on busy trains, likely by middle aged men, but it was hard to tell–f’n trains get really packed, you can’t turn around or anything.

    On occasion I’m be crammed into a better type of spot–like having a fleshy office lady compressed against my groin. Quite nice, really, once you get over the crisis of conscience…

  5. I think the women should go together and start cutting of the penis on some of this gropers. Maybe then they will think twice before doing it again 🙂

  6. Dang

    Really? I can’t believe women in Japan are getting so bitchy. You do what your husband says. If a man on a train wants to stick his hand up your skirt or in your shirt you let him. If you boss wants you on your knees you do it or get fired. Women in Japan used to know their place. I’m sad to see it is changing


    Everytime i hear about women being raped or something, it makes me very angry. I seriously want to find these people and beat the shit out of them until they almost die.

  8. Anonymous American

    LOL at all the faggot white knights, defending pussy they’ll never get. Don’t hate just because Japanese men are more alpha than you. These guys run their women and get to act on whatever desire they want. Its a mans paradise and its no wonder they are one of the best countries to live in.

  9. tom

    Three steps to get rid of them, INSTEAD OF IMMATURELY HITTING THEM IN THE TESTICLE’S. 1 slowly look at the hand that is touching you, 2 stair him right in the eye in rage and tell him politely, please stop. There for you won’t be causing a scene and people will know your getting groped so then all of them will stair at him, making him feel intimidated. Also they will be chanting Hentai, Hentai, Hentai, making him feel like muck. Also it’s good to take a safety pin with you to were ever you go, it can take a little shock to make him go away. not being stereo typical because it’s a fact, Japanese men can get very sensitive about things regarding their perverted ways, so follow these rules =).

  10. japan man

    Yeah I heard about this from a friend, some women will just randomly take ur hand and put it up and yell, “CHIKAN” , then they look at u and if they see ur from like america, they apologize. Cuz they wouldn’t b able to get any money from u, u would just b deported

  11. Groped Man

    Hi here
    I am a man
    about 14 years ago I was in Osaka for business in the international exhibition, I daily took the train from Namba (Hoilday Inn Hotel to Osaka Fairground) 2 times , took 35 min I remember, offcourse always crowded, crowded up to bodies sticking ( I realy enjoyed ), one time only while inside the crowed , my front was groped by a very cute Japan Lady (30 something), I was about to appear, I had a red to tomaotes head , it was like fire in my blood, she was shorter but her bottom with light dress and me in light cotton trousers , beleive me it is better thN FU**K, she left before me , she gave a thankfull satisfied look back at me when got out of the door to her apt complex. I am sure she did not see my mideastern hansdsome face before. I noticed an old man who discovered me popping and the woman butt sticking back on me , but did not show angry face.
    this could happen always if I took care of it(sorry I had no time like Jap. gropers now)

    I think groping was not known that time as much as now, but I am sure it developed by daily crowds until it was not strange , I think the authorities do not mind it , I think too that girls themselves do not mind it since it is a mutual fun , no way it is to be considered raping, but the Japanese culture for girls should show unwanting by the girl, or at least a feeling of angriness with weekness.
    Now the western girls will be angry from me , but you do not understand how much ” a bad Japanese man” can be safe to be with , they will mostly rape you , but never can kill anyone or even heart him. the jap girls know that , and they know the the fun is what he only seeks.
    LOL offcourse, I prefer this closed (conservative by scenes only) shy society to the society that considered a bastard son so normal , even very common , or a society that has more than 50% family sex is widespread, that is a shame not lol.
    Me ?? I am a man from a nearby country to Japan.

  12. Groped Man

    Me Again
    Surely one should see how erotic are Japanese school girls in skirts are, any one would love to touch their soft white legs , not to mention the white panties as if it was a peice of the uniform, realy erotic , thay are small girls I know , but sexy, very sexy and cute, I think they should make the school girls a little less eroting by turning it to trousers, don’t u think so jap folks?

  13. willies

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre that pretty well describes japan,i always dreamed about going there,meet them,observe their living but since i found information about that massacre they’ve fell to the bottom in my eyes,theyre not humans,theyre twisted butchers and sick sex addicts,disgusting…

  14. WardMD

    I know the U.S. is FAR from perfect, but really, a culture where the REST of the people on the train, bus, whatever, don’t lift a finger to HELP the women being assaulted?

    Where women TOLERATE this kind of behavior?

    I guess it’s to be expected in a culture that demands women to be subservient to men, and forces them to wear “Sailor Moon” outfits to school.

    But then again, they’re also paying $33.00 (U.S.) for a COOKIE that resembles an iPhone (give me a break).

  15. Anon from England

    hi, I looked it up and Japan had about a 10th of the number of murder’s per capita compared to the US, maybe it has something to do with the American mentality, saying to kill the gropers, isn’t murder a far worse crime, stealing a human life permanently. While they shouldn’t be groping girls or women, as crimes go it’s not a terrible one, theft I’d say, is far more damaging, as it makes you feel unsafe in your own home. obviously touching young girls is unacceptable but I’d say it’s not that bad for older women. wouldn’t you rather the risk your wife is groped that the risk she’s stabbed and killed, and the fact that you can get them to stop just by yelling at them, yelling at a guy with a knife won’t stop him, they just sound like pitiable guys who never get any and want to feel a female body. as crimes go I’d much rather groping was common in the UK rather than all the knife crime we have at the moment.

  16. :-D

    That’s so freaking hilarious! I can’t believe it, it sounds like a freaking fairytale! How happy a country must Japan be if not only someone gives a shit about ass-grabbing on trains but it’s treated like some kind of a national problem? LOL!

  17. sam

    i thought its very less appreciative in asian countries .

    why does women let this thing happen
    in a way they promote these lewd personalities .

    surely this psychology is environment build .

    where i live if someone do even the eve-teasing people beat hell out of that person . yeah full fledged train is easy way to find the targets .
    but still its women’s right to travel and no one is allowed to violate the personal property of someone .

    if i were the female and i knew that this person intentionally doing this
    i would have given him that much powerful low blow that he would lose his manhood .

    females have right to protect themselves and their body

    its highly unacceptable from any men/women to show such indecent behaviour anywhere .

  18. april

    I love the idea that all i have to do to be molested by japanese men is ride the train. now i just have to save up for a plane ticket to japan. maybe i can get my parents to buy it. only problem? id never want to leave. as a submissive female, maybe thats where i belong anyway. let those girls get tasers and pepper spray to show how we american girls respond to unwanted attention. second thought, maybe theres an exchange program…

  19. 2 atomic bombs and an eathquake wasnt enough

  20. wolfy

    wtf! Wen i grow i was going to japan but fuck it. Im glad japan had those tsunamis hopefully the gropers were killed in the process. But if i ever go to japan I will fucking kill any gropers. They don’t deserve to live but first i’ll cut their dick off lol. Men are such dogs. Wait till i take over the world! Females will be on top and unlike u dirty men we will be fair.

  21. Wesley

    Im an 18 yr old young man and i must say…all this bs..its just a serious lack of self control. Im a smart cookie ^.^ but i have my moments where i see a cute girl and suddenly feel hot in the face but you gotto know somthing first (you dont even know this person)
    I think groping is nasty…and idk why girls at school wear those skirts but hey…as sexy as they are i still think its not a good idea to hit the perv trains with ya little skirt.

    Also nobody should have to put up with this stuff Just sayn!!! 😛

  22. AthyG

    I really wanted to go to Japan for the longest time ever. When I told my recent boyfriend. He told me about all the perversion in the trains and since then the only dose of Japan I ever want to get is the Anime


    There should be a website run by girls, where we put pictures of men who grop. If someone is guna grop you either give them a piece of your or SCREAM! Its amazing how many people will help you if youjust let them know. Ohh and then take a picture of their shocked facesand upload to the website for everyone to see even the police. Also carry a rape alarm, our school gave us alarms which you pull or press and it alerts everyone around you, A really loud noise!WithoutYOUSCREAM


    Give them a piece of your mind! True nobody should have to lol it up with this stuff! I find it so hard to believe that it happened so often. If I do going to Japan, definitely not using the train bus or subway even the toilets, without three people atleast plus a male that i trust. Noway. Im also guna take that rape alarm! And use the only female carriages. This is unbelivable.

  25. If women didn’t like it in Japan, it would have ended right from the start.
    When it comes to sexual behavior, you never know with women

  26. Syam

    I am not really a good guy that can control my lust here, but this brotherhood thing is sucks and as a “HUMAN” we all know it

    and for u people whose saying its better groped than get stabbed in public, u are comparing one bad thing to another bad thing and say as if its ok, really? Pathetic

  27. Sati

    Oh, yes. It’s not a crime to touch another human being. On the buttocks, or maybe on the breasts. So maybe it’s not a crime for girls to wring the balls of their molesters until they exploded? Let’s try that then. God knows we need a lot of entertainment, and I bet it would be pretty funny if the molesters are unable to walk for, say, one week? Hey, that is just socializing right? That’s not a crime right? Good. Next week, let’s escalate it with stun gun. May God grants them peace.

  28. Red-a-neck

    The only thing wrong in all this is the usual puritan and hypocrite comments from the same pitbucket of redneckery as always.

    Yawn. Boring. Might as well go out and grope some chicks.

  29. FunfGuy

    I saw video of Japan train during rush hour on youtube and it seems like its so packed that even if you dont want you are in VERY VERY close quarters of another person. Given the situation I will prefer it to be a girl than a guy. I know guys must be groped too, its just that no one gives a f*** for their feelings.

    Only viable solution is to increase “women only” carriages and look at ways of increasing capacity.

    It might sound pervertish, but it sounds like its worth experiencing at least once. 😀


    Famous saying – if you cant avoid rape, better enjoy it.

  30. That’s so freaking hilarious! I can’t believe it, it sounds like a freaking fairytale! How happy a country must Japan be if not only someone gives a shit about ass-grabbing on trains but it’s treated like some kind of a national problem? LOL!


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