As a pride-infested society, shame is ubiquitous in Japan. However, this feeling of personal wrong-doing is absent when it comes to getting naked or publicly letting your natural juices flow.
So I had just finished wrapping up the projector cords when I lifted up my head. To my utter shock and dismay I was confronted with a Japanese crotch. Thankfully, it was masked by a thin layer of boxer fabric. A quirky smile of confusion erupted when upon looking around I noticed EVERY student changing for gym class. The girls showed more refinement though, as they lifted their shorts, or whatever they were putting on, under their skirts. But it wouldn’t take a pervert to obtain a nice money shot. I then took my culture shock to the sensei (teacher) office and immediately questioned this odd behavior. I was told that there used to be changing rooms, but the students did not care and would rather change clothes in their own co-ed classroom. Talk about strange. It’s not wrong, it’s just different, and maybe convenient?
I would have liked this shame-less behavior to cease in the classroom, but my friend it wouldn’t be blog worthy if it did. Let’s go back to the onnanoko tachi (girls) and throw in onnanohito tachi (women) for good measure. In America, and I suspect most of the civilized world, women are taught at a young age to either close their legs or cross them when wearing a skirt or dress. Apparently, Japanese women think they are Sharon Stone from ‘Basic Instinct’ as they clearly didn’t get that memo. In the classroom, at the bus stop, on the train, and at McDonalds there are beaver shots to be had. Honestly, I’m not sure if they are wearing panties or not, because I have maintained a high level of respect and haven’t looked. But I gotta tell ya, those days are waning thin. If they’re not going to learn to close their legs, then my eyes might as well come inside. It’s so bad that when I was preparing a student for her exchange visit to Maine, I put a section called “Cross the Legs” on the ‘MUST DO IN AMERICA’ list. It’s not that the Japanese are polite and won’t look, because I see many a man, especially the old perverts, taking full advantage of the grand canyon view. I think this behavior is more attributed to the innocence that many young Japanese women embody. Or maybe they just don’t care. I’m not sure, and I’m afraid to ask.
Finally, one cool and crisp morning while shaving, I shifted my gaze just outside the window. “Awwww,” I thought as my eyes spied a little boy all geared up for school. But when the sound effects of his urinating on my front yard storage facility entered my ear, “aww” quickly went to “what the f****!” Whatever happened to finding a tree, or going behind the house? This little prick had no shame. Oh well, welcome to Japan!