JAPAN:  Protecting Children from Adult Images

JAPAN: Protecting Children from Adult Images

porn protecting children

Japan and porn. (Sigh.)

While the “hardcore” stuff is supposedly illegal, and censors wield a mighty airbrush (Images of pubic hair are illegal), soft porn permeates everyday society. In every convenience store, in every bookstore, and in places you cannot avoid (including on the train,) there are images of girls in suggestive poses, scantily clad. (And that’s not to mention the questionable manga comics that some men read in public without shame.)

It’s very different from the world I grew up in, where that kind of stuff was saved for cable TV, R-rated movies, magazines hidden under mattresses.

I find myself having to have conversations with my children that neither they nor I are ready for.

Part of the problem is that I’m not sure how I feel about it.

The “junior idols” here, preteen girls who pose in T-backed underwear? I find that disgusting and legally questionable. But the other stuff? The women who are of legal age and choose to use their sexuality to make a living? It seems like a cop-out, an affront to the rest of us who make our way in the world with our clothes on. (more…)

Melanie Oda (Japan)

If you ask Melanie Oda where she is from, she will answer "Georgia." (Unless you ask her in Japanese. Then she will say "America.") It sounds nice, and it's a one-word answer, which is what most people expect. The truth is more complex. She moved around several small towns in the south growing up. Such is life when your father is a Southern Baptist preacher of the hellfire and brimstone variety. She came to Japan in 2000 as an assistant language teacher, and has never managed to leave. She currently resides in Yokohama, on the outskirts of Tokyo (but please don't tell anyone she described it that way! Citizens of Yokohama have a lot of pride). No one is more surprised to find her here, married to a Japanese man and with two bilingual children (aged four and seven), than herself. And possibly her mother. You can read more about her misadventures in Asia on her blog, HamakkoMommy.

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