kissing and love in japan

Posted on Oct. 26, 2009 by geoffropuff

love is different in japan than in america.  things are a lot more innocent and move more slowly over here.  i have not once seen students hugging, kissing, holding hands, etc. while at school.  i remember when i was at north high, walking around the quad was like walking the floor of a porn convention.  horny ass high schoolers sucking face all over the place, just nasty.  and yes, i was one of those hormoned-up little monkeys, but i digress.  let’s talk about love…

did i seriously just do that?  SERIOUSLY?!

yeah..that just happened

first on the agenda is the kiss.  pretty simple idea, right?

everyone kisses

everyone kisses

two people smoosh their faces together in a show of affection.  in america, it’s often accompanied by a game of tonsil hockey, the exchange of oral fluids, and possibly light petting (don’t you just love the terms they teach in sex ed class?  i prefer to call it “copping a feel”).

the kid has a lot to learn.  the hand goes UNDER the shirt.  rookie mistake.

the kid has a lot to learn. the hand goes UNDER the shirt. rookie mistake.

not so in japan.  a kiss is two people delicately moving their faces toward each other until their lips touch ever-so-slightly and…that’s it!  no tongue action, not even so much as a pucker.

see how she didn't pucker at all?  imagine that the cherry were another face just like that.  (no, don't imagine 2 girls kissing, sickos...)

see how she didn't pucker at all? imagine that the cherry were another face just like that. (no, don't imagine 2 girls kissing, sickos...)

this conservative version of kissing sorta fits in with the whole outlook on love and public displays of affection.  let me set up how love is portrayed in a japanese drama:

1. boy likes girl, girl likes boy, or both like each other, but both parties remain painfully passive in regards to the situation

2. one of the two, usually the boy, has such a build up of blue balls that he explodes in a giant gesture of love.  and by giant gesture, i mean an awkward ninja hug from behind while uttering the word, “suki!” (meaning “i like you” but usually interpreted as “i love you” for dramatic effect) in the person’s ear.

3. girl likes him back but won’t admit to it or doesn’t realize it yet and ruins what they have.

4. boy moves on to another girl but girl #1 gets jealous and tells boy her feelings (sometimes also with a ninja hug), leaving him to choose between the two great girls (he always chooses girl #1).

5. boy chooses girl #1 so she closes her eyes and waits for the kiss.

6. they consumate their love with what can hardly be called a kiss.

7. roll credits

number 6 especially bothers me.  the girl will always close her eyes for the kiss, which is pretty status quo.  in fact, it would be kinda creepy if she kept her eyes open, but the problem is WHEN she closes her eyes.  sometimes she’ll close her eyes and wait for him to kiss her when they aren’t even standing next to each other.  then he stands there awkwardly deciding, “should i kiss her?  i like girl #2 too, but i liked #1 first.  i’ve loved her for so long (actual time being only a week), so i should just do it.  when can i make time to pick up my dry cleaning?  wtf, she’s still closing her eyes?”  most awkward 10 seconds of my life…

this girl is taking a nap, but she may as well be asking for a kiss.  no joke.

this girl is taking a nap, but she may as well be asking for a kiss. no joke.

let me attempt at recreating that same 7 step scenario in an american show:

1. boy likes girl, girl likes boy, they both like each other, or they despise each other (doesn’t matter).

2. they bang.

3. roll credits.

okay, i’m sorta kidding about that but you see what i mean.  it’s a bit anti-climactic to work through 10 episodes of angst/drama/whatever for the reward to be an awkward kiss.  the viewer should be rewarded with some slobber!  i guess what they don’t show on tv is that the characters immediately go to a love hotel to REALLY consumate their new love.

this is actually pretty tame compared to some other things i've seen on american tv

this is actually pretty tame compared to some other things i've seen on american tv

back to the ninja hug.  it’s a pretty funny, i’m not gonna lie.  boy and girl can be having a conversation, serious or not, it doesn’t matter.  maybe they’re at the park, on the sidewalk, at a riverbank, or at school.  one of them turns their back, BOOM, the other is hugging  and confessing their love.  queue dramatic music!  (does anyone else think that the ninja hugger is like Boo from super mario bros.?)

see the surprise on her face?

see the surprise on her face?

the funniest part of ninja hugs are that they’re treated as if they are the most romantic gesture one could make.  the love cue cards or colin firth learning portugese in “love actually” was romantic.

mickie once did this for a different guy.  if i ever see him, i'm gonna punch him in the nuts just on principle.

mickie once did this for a different guy. if i ever see him, i'm gonna punch him in the nuts just on principle.

shane west taking mandy moore to the border to be in ‘two places at once’ is romantic.

couldn't find the picture of them at the border, but man.  that being in 2 places at once thing KILLED relationships when the movie came out.  "WHY DON'T YOU DO THAT KIND OF STUFF FOR ME..."  bleh

couldn't find the picture of them at the border, but man. that being in 2 places at once thing KILLED relationships when the movie came out. "WHY DON'T YOU DO THAT KIND OF STUFF FOR ME...BLAH BLAH BLAH"

[AVE Q SPOILER ALERT] princeton and kate monster getting it on was romantic (and creepy).  ninja hugs are awkward and unintentionally funny.

wanted to post a picture spoiler but resisted the urge

wanted to post a picture spoiler but resisted the urge

overall, i think it’s kinda funny that japan’s view on love is so conservative, yet there are pay-by-the-hour love hotels,

you probably can't read it, but the charges on top are for 90 minutes and the bottom are for a night

you probably can't read it, but the charges on top are for 90 minutes and the bottom are for a night

porn/adult toy shops,

a japanese porn shop, blow-up doll advertisement and all

a japanese porn shop, blow-up doll advertisement and all

and hostess clubs all over the place.  (and these places aren’t on the back street.  there’s a love hotel about 5 minutes from the school i teach at, there’s porn shops all up the main street in akihabara, and the same can be said about hostess clubs)

this is what a hostess club roster looks like

this is what a hostess club roster looks like

and there's also host bars

and there's also host bars

anyways, those were just some of my observations.

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2 Responses to “kissing and love in japan”

  1. Ninja Hugs = totally awkward, totally true.

    Also, props on the Avenue Q reference.

     

    stacy

  2. i’ve never experienced one but that’s mostly cuz of mickie. i don’t think she’d appreciate me getting awkwardness from anyone but her.

     

    geoffropuff

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