A history of Japanese sexual mores and a survey of modern Japanese love, marriage and family life. The author explores the subject starting with creation myths and ending with present-day love hotels, soap ladies, porn videos and sex shows. He discusses the Japanese attitude to bringing up children, marriage, work and alcohol. What emerges is a race refeshingly guilt-free about sex, but at the same time mother-fixated, voyeuristic, obsessed with the female genitalia and whose national pastime is peering beneath skirts.
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To the Western mind, the Japanese attitude toward sex is at once bizarrely structured yet refreshingly frank. In a land where marriages can still be arranged and a woman¹s place is most definitely in the home, love hotels dot the landscape and late-night television is brazenly risqué by Western standards. Censorship is perverse: no pubic hair may be shown, yet violent porno-comics featuring gang-rape and mutilation are openly read on the train. Homosexuality has a long, venerable history of tolerance, but an office worker ‹ gay or not ‹ will forgo promotion if he doesn¹t marry. These are just some of the paradoxes explored in this provocative book. Written nearly a decade ago, but still timely, this is an eye-opening examination of Japanese love, marriage, and eroticism.From Library Journal:
This graphic treatment of the evolution of the mizu shobai-- that much talked-about world of sexual freedom that exists in Japan--follows the "foreigner investigates" style of writing. Giving less space to love and marriage than to sex in its many guises, Bornoff seeks to guide the reader from a series of tatemae (if it looks good it is good) vignettes to the honne (real) sexual soul of the Japanese people. Although most of the modern references to the goings-on in Tokyo and elsewhere ring true, the inclusion of an analytical summary after 470+ pages of description seems like an afterthought and leaves one wondering if the writer was more interested in titillating storytelling than in highlighting the maturity of the Japanese. The book redeems itself somewhat in pointing out truly destructive trends that show the currents of change in Japanese popular culture. For comprehensive collections. Photos not seen.
- Mike Heines, USAF Rome Lab., N.Y.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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