QotD: “Porn in Japan”

Something has happened to the women of Japan.

I am not Japanese, but having lived in Japan for nine years now, I do find myself asking questions.

What is their unwritten herstory?

In Europe and America, the witch craze has kept women silent and cowering for centuries until the present day. In China, it was foot binding. In other countries it has been FGM. In India it is widow-burning. Western psychiatry (lobotomies), gynecology (sexual torture and hysterectomies, and clitoridectomies), have been exported abroad. I don’t need to keep listing the atrocities against women.

What has happened to the women of Japan? I caught myself wondering one day as I looked around. Something has happened here. What is it?

The women of Japan, especially the women of Okinawa, were hit hard during the second world war when local governments set up brothels to serve the American soldiers. (by 1945 there were 70,000 women in brothels designated specifically for soldiers) And let’s not forget the mass suicide of women at the Cliffs of Marpi, who all jumped to their deaths upon hearing that Japan had been defeated and they were being invaded. So there is a history of colonization that can’t be ignored.

I don’t mean to draw attention away from the crimes that Japanese men have committed against women in China, Korea and elsewhere – but today I just want to talk about Japanese women.

I believe it’s the pornography that has killed the spirit here. Japanese porn

[…]

It’s hard to put into words the way that Japanese porn draws an parallel, and a link, between female sexuality and female death. […] I can’t explain it. It’s as though they go one step further. They’re showing that the killing of a woman is poetry itself. Pure art.

The killing, therefore, should be done in a properly artistic way, as is fitting with the intellectual posturing that seems to go on in Japanese porn. We have the similar posturing from politicians and writers in the West who define porn as radical, edgy and sometimes revolutionary.

Dear men: there is nothing radical about hurting and degrading a politically and economically disenfranchised group of people.

I have since learned that prestigious and famous Japanese artists, those who are celebrated in the public eye and who are shown in galleries around the world, have drawn pornographic pictures of women nearing death, or dead. They date from the 19th century, but the artistic and creative practice of binding criminals with rope in order to torture them to death dates back further. Women, remember, have been regarded as criminals under the flimsiest of pretexts. Prostitutes are criminals, by default.

I went into the home of a man (European) who was involved in Japanese pornography. He had all kinds of paintings on the walls of his house, but there is one that I remember well because I just couldn’t quite believe what I was looking at. The setting was Japan. It was a Japanese painter. Women were being brought on a ship, by men, to an island, where the victims – all women – were stripped naked, tortured, beheaded, and their heads were put on stakes. I kept staring at this painting because I just couldn’t believe that such a huge and glorified piece of art, from a renowned painter, was showing what my eyes were telling me it was. Women being lead to their death.

But the hanging women are the worst. Artistic depictions of pregnant women, hanging upside down, one dying while an old hag presides over her. Women hanging, slowly dying, while men smoke, drink and play cards in the corner of the room. Old women, hanging. Women of ideal beauty, hanging with their genitals on show. Women orgasming while hanging, with a particular look on their faces that I now realize is supposed to depict the shame of being exposed coupled with sexual pleasure. And another one that stood out for me: a woman in a kimono with autumn leaves falling about her, Autumn leaves representing the beauty of her death. All the women are intricately bound into varying contortions and positions by rope (the tying and binding itself being classed as an “art” in its own right.)

These images are the inspiration for Japanese pornographers today. A popular image is women in snow. Seasons are important in Japan. I have seen images of women, real women, whose hands and feet are so cold that they are blue. Not only from the cold, but from the ropes which cut off their circulation. Photographers proudly take pictures of the damage the rope has caused on flesh. The images are easily googleable. Real women. Real rope. Real trees. Real snow.

Excerpts from an article by Cherryblossom Life

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