Japan for the Uninvited

Japanese culture from a bemused foreign perspective

Shitagi dorobou (Panty thieves)

In every country, there are men who steal women’s underwear from clotheslines for sexual pleasure. However, they are particularly common in Japan, where they are called “shitagi dorobou”. Unsurprisingly, “shitagi” means underwear, while “dorobou” is thief. For women living in the apartment blocks of Japan’s most built-up urban areas, where clotheslines ...

Nyotaimori (Body sushi)

Nyotaimori, "female body presentation", is a service allowing restaurant customers to eat from the skin of a naked woman. Apart from her crotch, which is usually covered with some kind of garnish, the model's modesty depends on the (temporary) position of the food on her body. Also known as "body ...

No-pan kissa (No-panty cafes)

At no-pan kissa (“no panties” coffee shops), waitresses wear short skirts and nothing underneath. Customers of these establishments are happy to pay a hefty premium on the overpriced food and drink to see a little more of the staff, and someone willing to pay extra for a better view might ...

Nanpa (Girl hunting)

Nampa, nanpa, or girl hunting, is Japan's most visible courtship ritual. Although it also takes place online and via telephone clubs, the most famous form of nampa is "suto-nan" (street nampa). Every weekend, across urban Japan, young men ("nanpashi") hang around busy streets or shopping arcades, trying to pick up ...

Hostess bars

Spuriously descended from geisha tradition, hostess clubs offer a welcome break for the salaryman with time to spare and money to burn. For a price, harassed men can enjoy the company of glamorous young women who are seemingly infatuated with them. The girls pour their drinks, light their cigarettes, flirt ...

Host bars

In Japan’s host bars, suave young studs entertain women with some cash to spend. Considered a modern phenomenon, they actually echo a practice from the Edo era, when wealthy women would sometimes arrange secretive trysts with desirable men, often kabuki actors. In most respects, they are hostess bars with the genders ...

Happening bars

Happening bars (“hapu-baa”), one of the newer fads in Japan’s thriving sex industry, are swingers’ clubs that also cater for single people. Cocooned in unremarkable-looking buildings in Japan’s urban entertainment districts, these are forums for group sex, groping, costume play, spanking, and anything other “happening” that might enter the imaginations ...

Deri-heru (Delivery health)

Delivery health, or “deri heru”, is one of the Japanese sex trade’s finest euphemisms, referring to the massive industry for callgirls. The nubile escort is driven to the customer’s house, or a love hotel, so “delivery” seems appropriate enough, but it’s not clear where “health” comes into it. Maybe it’s ...

Compa parties (Group dating)

Group dating, “compa” or “gokon”, is an interesting solution to the difficulty many Japanese people have in finding a partner. Group dating isn’t uncommon in other countries, but compa is unique for being so ritualised. Generally, a single guy and girl who know each other organise the compa in advance, ...

Bukkake

Bukkake, one of Japan's most famous sexual fetishes, refers to a number of people ejaculating on someone, usually a young woman. This kink has become popular all over the world. However, while a Western porn actress might at least pretend to enjoy all the "attention" she's getting, the Japanese concept ...

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