- Child sexual abuse and pedophilia in our world is intolerable. We must fight it wherever and whatever form it exists. I was married to a pedophile for twelve years. While he considered a deviant in the US and is currently serving a 10-30 year sentence, he would likely have never spent a day in jail had he lived in his home country of Japan. There, men with his preference are known as “lolikon”– a person with a lolita complex. LINK No Ordinary Pedophile: Japan’s Idolization of Children
- Cultures are man-made systems of value. As such, they are subject to having flawed ideals and norms. Never blindly accept any aspect of a culture that could result in harm– especially when children are involved. Children need adults to speak up on their behalf, and being critical of a culture for maltreatment in its various manifestations is important, as the host culture may not recognize or admit the harm their ways are causing.
- In Japan there is a culture of child idolization, a “cutie” culture that sexualizes under age girls. The result of this idolization is the commodification female junior and senior high school students whereby at risk girls sell their time to much older adult males. While they may just be engaging in conversation or having tea together (which is creepy enough…), oftentimes the transaction involves sex. LINK Video: School Girls For Sale in Japan LINK Research on the Negative Effects of Japan’s “Cutie” Idol Culture
- Aspects of child idolization and even pedophilia can be seen in Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga). Fans tend to dismiss such content as harmless and even staunchly support such scenes involving virtual victims as freedom of speech. This is problematic as life imitates art and normalizes certain views and behaviors towards underage girls. LINK The Social Blindness of Anime Fandom
- Women in Japan should be in a position to fight the commodification of their children, but wives and mothers typically fall into traditional roles. Few hold positions of power where they can make a difference. Although Japan is a first-world industrialized nation, the infrastructure to support at risk teens and individuals with mental health issues sorely lags behind that of the West, and there are very few women involved in pushing for change. LINK Boys: We Don’t Need Your Ultraman!
- Child idolization creates a culture where women are old before their time, and that’s a tough road. My ex being a lolikon Japanes man, a pedophile in the US, I lived under these circumstances from my young twenties. I was “too old.” When I became a mother I felt the scrutiny more. Nightmares of an Anging Twenty-Something
- There are universal truths, the ways by which the world works best, chief among these is a selfless love for fellow human beings. This overrides everything, and although often difficult in practice, we must constantly strive to be understanding of all people because life is complicated and hard. I love Japan and the Japanese people. But I discern from experience and research that certain aspects of the culture are detrimental to children and grown women and care to speak up– not to condem the person, but advocate for change. Judgement of individuals should be left to the law and in the end to the all-knowing.
These are the reasons I write, and most of my posts in one way or another touch upon matters related. The book, “The Six-Foot Bonsai,” is a real-life example of what can happen when human beings selfishly ignore signs that all is not well with their chosen way of life. In all of my research I’ve never read another story like it.
I can’t in any way make up for the past and the harm caused by my cultural addiction and blindness. I can only hope that the telling the Bonsai story opens some eyes. It is cliche to say, but if just one parent gains perspective, if one child victim is spared, if a few anime fans around the world become more socially aware and speak against lolita content, if travelers to Japan recognized maid cafes and the gratuitous pandering of underage girls for what it is, if Japan begins to hear more vocal criticism of their commodification of girls, if one soul is saved…the steep financial cost of publishing (7k + years of “free time”) and the indescribable heartache of estrangement is in the end I pray worth it. Hopefully you as a reader of this blog or my book can back me on that.
Love and Peace,