How the Sexual Revolution Hasn't Occured in Japan

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
Maki HIRAYAMA, Meiji University, Japan
Today more and more Japanese people turn their backs to sexual relationships.Sexless couples,'herbivorous' young men,virgin men and women in their 30's are increasing.

The difficulties of the Japanese sexual relationships were formed in long and complicated history,and now are still formed in new ways. But we can see the history on the whole as lack of sexual revolution,compared with Western societies.In this presentation we see briefly how the sexual revolution hasn't occued in Japan.

In modern Japan there were two public spheres on sexuality,one was honourable and formal,influenced with modern Western culture,the other was informal,holding premodern Japanese customs.Adult men were to live in both spheres but decent women were to live only in the former sphere.Commercial sexual service and porns in the informal sphere developed since 1960's and men became calable of realizing any fantasies with commercial sexual service easily.

Sex of married couple became more erotic after the WW2,but men and women had different background of puplic spheres,had communication gap in sexuality,so the eroticization came to the limit.In 1970's and after,women became gradually the subjects in sexuality,and as the result the communication gap appeared on the surface.Many men have thought sexuality as the issue in informal public sphere,so they have hesitated from sex education,or science and philosophy on sexuality.

In the first decade of 2000 the Japanese came to think couples being sexless is popular and normal not finding the exit. 

In Japan,sexual liberation occured which means the strict norm bonding marriage and sex became loosen,and the sex media and sexual service industry improved broadly,but sexual revolution didn't occure which means people subjectively project and act to change the situation of sexuality.Not a few Japanese feel insufficient for their sexual life but don't know how to change the situation even today.The making of a single new public sphere of sexuality for all would be needed.