Disturbing Japanese Fads: Boobs, Babies and Decapitation

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The Japanese have unleashed some peculiar fads onto the world. Hello Kitty has achieved enormous success as the world’s only mouthless cat to have a boyfriend and a pet hamster; Doraemon has managed to win the hearts of almost everyone in Asia as a catlike robot from the future with a magic bag; hentai comic books have gripped the fantasies of anyone who’s ever dreamed of having sex with a catgirl; and booths selling photo-stickers have become the norm where groups of friends can pose wearing novelty hats. Remember how obsessed the world became with Tamagotchis? Japanese fads are big business, but there are a few recent trends that probably won’t be catching on any time soon.

You may remember the shocking story of Thai teacher Dissanee Thongnarkthae who was murdered by Mohammad Arif in May last year. Arif cut his victim into several pieces and scattered the dismembered body parts across Bangkok. The poor woman’s head was discovered in a khlong by a restaurant worker in Ratchadapisek. The grisly murder occurred after Dissanee met Arif in an internet chat room. Such rare glimpses into the darkest things the human mind is capable of conceiving are so against the grain that you don’t expect them to occur often, but a recent spate of gruesome killings in Japan has stunned the nation.

A 17-year-old boy walked into a police station in Aizuwakamatsu, north of Tokyo, with a sports bag last week. The boy opened the bag to reveal the disembodied head of a woman; the rest of her was found at the boy’s home. He had killed his mother while she slept and cut her head off. Before turning himself in, the boy had casually taken the head to an internet café where he had watched a music DVD.

This isn’t an isolated incident. On Monday May 14 a human right leg, cut off below the knee, was discovered in the Nihombashi River in Tokyo. Police said “the person [to whom the leg belonged] may have been the victim of a crime.” No kidding. The severed leg was said to have no major external wounds (besides the one where it was cut from the rest of the leg).

Japan is widely known for its low crime rate, but this bizarre trend of dismembering people is very real. One man admitted to killing his wife, chopping her into small pieces, and then discarding her body parts in cement. In January of this year a 32-year-old woman confessed to murdering her husband with a wine bottle before cutting him up for ease of disposal, dropping bits of her former soulmate around Tokyo. In Kobe in 1997, a 14-year-old boy murdered an 11-year-old boy and beheaded him, dumping the head outside a school house with a note in the mouth.

Crimes of dismemberment are one craze I hope doesn’t catch on and make its way to Thailand. It’s particularly disturbing to think that children are capable of such acts. On the subject of children, spare a thought for Japan’s unwanted babies. Believe it or not, southern Japan now boasts the world’s first baby hatch, where parents who decide they don’t want their children any more can give them up. The anonymous toddler drop-off has been the subject of intense criticism across Japan from people as high up as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On the day it opened, the hatch received its first child, a boy of 3- or 4-years-old. The hatch was made to help troubled parents who may otherwise have turned to abortion or even infanticide. It’s such a strange concept, and you can’t help but feel that they are making it too easy for the Japanese to get rid of their unwanted children. What will happen if parents change their minds? What if they give up their offspring in the heat of the moment and then decide they actually want them back? Leaving a child in a hatch is not exactly a humane act. For dogs or cats such an idea would be understandable, but for human beings? Is this something that will turn up in Thailand, where sex education is rather limp? One hopes not. Perhaps a husband/wife drop-off hatch would be more suitable for couples experiencing marital problems. It could be like Wife Swap, but for keeps.

On a lighter note, it appears that Japanese women are becoming bustier, and they aren’t afraid to show it! Whereas before, the figure of the Japanese female was predominantly flat and less shapely, now women are embracing their newfound curves and displays of cleavage are becoming all the rage. The new look, known as “big-small-big”, has promptedJapanese pop star Kumi Koda fashion designers to rethink the way they approach the Japanese market. Padded bras are becoming obsolete as bosom enhancing contraptions have been taking Tokyo by storm.

The physical changes in Japanese women are, allegedly, the result of more Westernized diets. Foods such as doughnuts, ice cream and red meat have become popular in Japan, replacing traditional meals of tofu and fish. The extra fat intake is apparently boosting the busts of Japan’s buxom teenagers. Girls are keener than ever to show off their assets following the 2003 boom that resulted from pop star Kumi Koda flaunting her curvy figure in a series of advertisements.

Displays of cleavage are yet to catch on in Thailand outside of go-go bars and beaches, but with the popularity of Western food increasing day by day, you’d think it would only be a matter of time. Spare a thought then for Thammasat student Chotiros Suriyawong, whose antics at the “Thai Oscars” earned her humiliation and fifteen days community service. All she did was attend the ceremony in a revealing dress. Her Japanese peers must have praised her attempt to pioneer this raunchy revolution.

In conclusion:
Dismemberment: no. Cleavage: OK.

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One thought on “Disturbing Japanese Fads: Boobs, Babies and Decapitation

  1. This is an interesting article, but scary on how it desribes how a child could murder another child decapitating another child and leaving a note in the child's mouth. How f-cked up children are these days.

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