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February 28, 2007

Gays in China and Japan, homosexuality

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Maureen Fan's article "For Gays in China, 'Fake Marriage' Eases Pressure," Washinton Post, February 23, 2007; P.A12, was a very interesting report on the life and troubles of Chinese gays. Until I read this article, I had mistakenly thought that homosexuality was forbidden in China even today. Fan writes:

Ten years after China decriminalized homosexuality and six years after officials removed it from a state list of mental disorders, gay men and lesbians say one of their biggest obstacles is parental pressure to get married. (web)

Hence, today, it is legal to have a sexual relationship with a person of the same sex in China. This is good news. However, Fan stresses that coming out to one's parents is still very hard for gays and lesbians in contemporary Chinese society. This is one of the biggest reasons why they try to choose "fake marriage" with a person of the opposite sex, who is also gay, remaining close friends inside their home. But because their parents and grand parents do not know the truth, they sometimes expect a baby to be born to the married couple. Fan quotes a woman's words who got married with a gey man:

There's just one small problem. "My mother didn't used to talk about grandchildren, but now she sometimes mentions that she would like one." (web)

Then, what about in Japan? I doubt that the situation is probably the same as in China. There are a great number of gay people in our country, but most of them have not come out to their parents. Kabukicho 2chome, Shinjuku, Tokyo, is famous as a gay town, and a number of gay people come to this area every night, but many of them come secretly. I had an opportunity to interview some of them when appearing as a guest on a TV program. They said they had not come out to their family. It is still rare to see a gay couple walking on the street hand-in-hand. When I went to Amsterdam some years ago I was surprised to see gay couples walk hand-in-hand in the central area of the city. A couple of years ago, at a cafe in Osaka city, I saw two young women holding each other just in front of the shop and kissing many times. This was the first, and the last time I ever saw such a scene in a public space in Japan. People passing by were completely ignoring them.

I wonder why Japan became a society intolerant of homosexuality. Before the Meiji period (before 1868), homosexuality was not stigmatized among ordinary people. The Kabuki actors were all males, and they played both men and women on the stage, and some of them prostituted themselves with male customers. Homosexuality was an ordinary love relationship in Buddhist temples and in the world of samurai. In traditional Japanese literature, the word "love (koi)" sometimes meant "homosexual love." Japanese society was, once, very tolerant of homosexuality. But after the Meiji period homosexuality has gradually become a taboo. Some claim that this was because of the homophobia imported from European countries in the Meiji period (19th century). What do you think?

Photo: Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto

  -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

September 14, 2006

Japanese imperial baby, sex selection, disability

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Japan's new imperial baby was named Hisahito (BBC). The Japanese emperor must be male according to the Imperial Law, hence, many people have been waiting for the birth of a male baby in the imperial family. Personally, I don't understand why the emperor must be male, and it is clear that there are many people who think like me, but such discussion has disappeared from the mass media since last week.

In many Asian countries, such as China, Korea, and India, sex selection of children is accepted by ordinary people, and as a result, the number of male babies considerably exceeds that of female babies in those countries because parents usually prefer boys. Among those countries, Japan is an exception. In Japan, sex selection is strictly prohibited. Then, the question arises whether the majority of Japanese people prefer male babies just like our neighbour countries.

A research shows that there is no such preference among Japanese people as a whole. However, I have the impression that in recent years many people have hoped for a boy to be born in the imperial family. A conservative scholar insisted that the emperor must be a man because the important essence of an emperor has transmitted from a male emperor to his son, from generation to generation, inscribed on their Y chromosomes. (I think this is nonsense.)

Then, how do the imperial family think about it? The Asahi Shimbun Newspaper reported the press conference held on the day of the birth of the baby. Two doctors attended the conference. The following are the translation of the most interesting part of their remarks:

-- Asahi Shimbun: "Didn't Their Majesties know about the baby's sex?"

-- A doctor: "Their Majesties have talked to us that they don't want to know about the sex of the baby, information about whether the baby has a disability, and other things. ....."

-- The other doctor: "Their Majesties not only didn't want to know about them, but also strongly wished to welcome whatever baby they might have because it is their own baby. They said that they wanted to accept in a natural way, and asked us not to intervene in the birth process. These were truly impressive words."

If this is a true story, this shows that the imperial couple was against sex selection, prenatal screening and selective abortion. And this is good news to disabled people who have fought against prenatal screening and selective abortion. By the way, Japanese left-wing activists have objected to both the imperial system and selective abortion. How do they think about the above words uttered by the imperial couple? I am probably a left-wing thinker, but I want to support their words.

Photo: Albany, NY, USA

   -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

November 13, 2005

Kinsey and the emptiness after ejaculation

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I have uploaded the translation of the remaining part of Section 1, Chapter 2 of The Insensitive Man. In this part I illustrated how sexual science and sex therapy have ignored the idea of post-ejaculatory emptiness. I think the cause of this neglect should be attributed to Alfred Kinsey. Kinsey realized through his extensive research that there were men who do not feel good after the ejaculation. However, in his book Sexual Behavior in the Human male, he ignored the psychological diversity of ejaculatory experiences.

Kinsey deliberately states that orgasm should not be mixed up with the “pleasure” resulting from orgasm. Furthermore, Kinsey clearly states that there are various degrees of sexual satisfaction, and that there are such cases where “there is little pleasure accompanying an ejaculation.” Kinsey had realized the existence of “male frigidity.” But, surprisingly enough, just after that he declares as follows:

"But we have no statistics on the frequencies of physiologic differences, or of the various degrees of satisfaction, and, in the present study, all cases of ejaculation have been taken as evidence of orgasm, without regard to the different levels at which the orgasms have occurred. "(Alfred C. Kinsey et al., Sexual behavior in the Human Male. 1948, pp.159-160.)

Kinsey ignored the psychological diversity he had realized. By this declaration, made by Alfred Kinsey, the father of contemporary sexual science, was created the formula that ejaculation equals orgasm equals the sexual climax. And then, the issue of “male frigidity” has since disappeared from the forefront of sexual science. (The Insensitive Man, p.42.)

I think Wilhelm Reich had clearly realized and stressed that some men feel emptiness or a sense of disgust after the ejaculation, but he was the exception. Kinsey himself refered to Reich in this book, but he did not follow Reich. Three months ago I saw the movie Kinsey directed by Bill Condon. Although this was a second-rate movie, it was a really interesting film because it provides us with lots of information about Keinsey's personal life and the American society's responses to his sex research. I would recommend you if you are interested in sexual science and/or Alfred Kinsey himself.

The next part of Chapter 2 of The Insensitive Man deals with the sense that "something is gathering there," the sense of which most men know and most women (probably) do not.

Photo: Sakai Station, Osaka

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

October 15, 2005

Korean translation of The Insensitive Man

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I have been very busy in preparing for a new class in the fall semester. Yesterday, I received the Korean translation of The Insensitive Man (2005). The translated book was published from Random House JoongAng, on October 1st. The translation was made by Kim Hyojin, who is a Harvard graduate student majoring cultural anthropology. She wrote a detailed analysis and comment for this book, which is contained as a postscript of the translator. Thank you, Hyojin.

I am looking forward to hearing reactions from Korean readers.

By the way, I am now editing the English translation little by little. Please give me time to finish the rest of the first section of Chapter 2 of The Insensitive Man.

Related Post: Translation, publication, and volunteer

Photo: The cover of the Korean version of The Insensitive Man.

September 14, 2005

Death after ejaculation

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Today, I uploaded the second part of Chapter 2 of The Insensitive man, "Men Who Turn Their Eyes Away from “Male Frigidity”." In this part I talked about the "emptiness after ejaculation" further, and emphasized that it is just like the "feeling of falling" into death.

There are two indications as to the frigidity of man. The first is that there is not an immense sense of physical ecstasy in the ejaculation. It is no more than the instant pleasure of bodily excretion. Secondly, after ejaculating, the excitement instantly dries up. My whole body is listless and there is a dark emptiness as if in a nightmare. (p.32)

I don't know how many of you agree with me, but this is my reality. However, not a few readers of the Japanese edition of this book have agreed with me on this ponit, hence, I presume there will be many men around the world who feel just like me. I wrote as follows:

That is to say, the process from erection up until the ejaculation is like this: First there is an “I feel great” satisfaction, and a moment of excretory pleasure follows. Then, all of a sudden, like a big gap, the process of lethargy, emptiness and defeat come down upon me. Whenever I have sex, or perhaps, whenever I masturbate, there is this attack. After ejaculating, I have the feeling of wanting to divert my eyes from things sexual, but as time goes by, my sexual desires come back and the process continues all over again. In this way, through one’s whole life there are the repeated feelings of falling and this is the typical symptom for male frigidity. (p.34)

Of course when I have sex with a woman I love, things are so different, but in this case emptiness is just "mentally" compensated by my affection to the woman. If you are interested in this, please read the translated text.

I am continuing to examine the translation of the next part, so I hope it will be uploaded soon. If you have any comments please post them on the comment page below.

Photo: Namba Parks, Osaka

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

August 30, 2005

Yaoi, pop culture

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I have been busy writing a paper on men's sexuality and its relationship with contemporary pop culture. Yesterday I finally finished writing it. I read one of the classics of the Japanese girls' comic (shoujo manga), Poem of Wind and Tree (Kaze to Ki no Uta), and I was greatly moved by the drama the author created. This manga is also well-known as the origin of contemporary "yaoi manga" or "boys love," in which beautiful young boys make love with each other, including SM and/or rape between the same sex, but the readers of such mangas are mostly girls and women, and the authors are also women. The author of Poem of Wind and Tree, Keiko Takemiya, female, is widely respected as one of the founders of the Japanese manga, and she is now a professor at Kyoto Seika University. Is this interesting to you? I will talk about this topic in the next (next) entry.

By the way, I am going to upload my paper, "Cross-cultural Approaches to the Philosophy of Life in the Contemporary World," which was written three years ago and published last year. Please give me time to retype the whole text because the published one was edited and improved by an English editor.....

After that I will examine the translation of the rest of Chapter 2 of Insensitive Man. And after that the translation of Painless Civilization..... Alas!

Photo: Ryukoku University, Kyoto

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

August 04, 2005

Emptiness after ejaculation

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"Men Who Turn Their Eyes Away from “Male Frigidity”", the translation of Chapter 2 of The Insensitive man, was uploaded. In this chapter I talked about an aspect of the reality of men's ejaculation, particularly, the feeling of emptiness after ejaculation, that is to say, the fact that the ejaculation is not ecstasy at all for many men, or at least for me.

There is a myth about the ejaculation. This is the myth that the ejaculation feels wonderful and is the experience of supreme bliss. There must be many people who think that the ejaculation is an experience of supreme bliss for men. In particular, women simply believe that to be true, don’t they? Nevertheless, here lies a big trap.

In retracing my thoughts during moments of sexual excitement, I realize that I was thinking that I could experience an amazing pleasure by ejaculating, but in fact, after ejaculating, there is only a mocking emptiness as if I were stranded in a dry desert. (The Insensitive Man, p.28, 31.)

I began my discussion with the question, "What do men do with pornography after ejaculation?". What about you? Take the time to think about yourself, and read this chapter. This chapter is one of the most controversial ones in the book. The translation of subsequent sections is under way. The meaning of the word "male frigidity" is slightly different from the ones found in textbooks on sex therapy. This topic is discussed in the next section.

By the way, the Korean translation of this book will be published later in the year. My former book, Painless Civilization, was translated and published in Korea early this year, hence, this will be my second Korean book. I met the translator last month. She had already translated the whole book. I am going to write about our meeting in this blog.

I am planning to find a publisher for the English version of this book, but what do you think?

Photo: Ryukoku University, Kyoto

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

May 07, 2005

Sexuality and public lectures

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I am now editing a new book, a collection of public lectures on life studies. This book will be published probably in July this year. This is a book for beginners of life studies and philosophy of life. I have to finish editing by this weekend, so I haven't had time to update this site. And I have to go back to my work after writing this entry.....

By the way, AmbivaBlog talked about the book, The Insensitive Man, in her posts:

More Morioka: Male Sexuality Exposed?

and

Male Sexuality - From The Horse's Mouth

Very interesting. Thank you Amba.

Photo: Kenzo Tange's Building

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

April 27, 2005

Philosophy of mini-skirt

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The second part of Chapter 1 of The Insensitive Man was uploaded. Now you can read the entire translation of Chapter 1. In this chapter I talked about the dynamism of the mini-skirt, and men's absurd fantasy toward it. This part is a light introduction to Chapter 2, where the serious topic of "male frigidity," that is to say, for example, the experience of unpleasantness after ejaculation, is to be discussed.

The following is a quotation from the last paragragh of Chapter 1.

The reason why men are so attracted to mini-skirts is that they can feel as if they are seeing a glimpse of something amazing in the shape of panties, namely, something transcending this world, inside the mini-skirt. During those times, flesh-and-blood women in mini-skirts, that is to say, real women who have will and emotions, are just an eyesore for men.... (p.23)

What do you think? If you do not agree, why don't you think deeply about your emotions and try to figure out the reason why you are so attracted to mini-skirts (if you are male).

Photo: The Metropolitan Government Office building designed by Kenzo Tange (1913-2005).

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

April 22, 2005

Men's liberation

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The translation of the first part of Chapter 1 of The Insensitive Man was uploaded. You may be surprised to see that the author of Brain Dead Person and other serious writings published a book full of "coarse" words such as mini-sirkt, panties, etc. However, contrary to the appearance, this is another serious approach to men's sexuality and men's liberation. At least I believe so. And I think this is also an example of research in "life studies."

In this part, I analyzed the reason why I am attracted to women's mini-skirt and found that it has a close relationship with men's mental function of expectation of something under the skirt. And this expectation is made against the woman's intention.

... Hence, I must accurately restate myself. That is to say, the most important thing is that the inside of the skirt is on the verge of visibility despite the fact that the woman intentionally tries to conceal it... (The Insensitive Man, p.18)

The second part of Chapter 1 will be uploaded soon. Please enjoy.

Photo: A building near my apartment.

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

April 14, 2005

Men's sexuality

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The third printing of The Insensitive Man is going to appear in bookstores this month. Many book reviews appeared in newspapers and magazines. I will translate some of them, and add them to the page of The Insensitive Man. It is very interesting to see that when the reviewer is male, he sometimes tries to stress that he does not fully understand the author's sexuality. I don't know why, but he is probably afraid to be considered as a person with same sexual tendencies. On the contrary, in some blogs where people can speak anonymously, we can see lots of sympathy with the author's sexuality. More than 200 comments have been posted on personal blogs. These commentaries are, in a sense, an important subject of study on men's sexuality and their inner thoughts about sex.

The translation of Preface of The Insensiteve Man was uploaded. Please visit and read. Translation was made by Jamie Grefe. Thank you Jamie. The translation of Chapter 1 will be uploaded soon.

It is getting warm here. I am very happy to see cherry blossoms and other spring flowers again.

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

March 14, 2005

Feminist philosophy of abortion and bioethics

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I have posted some comments on a Japanese women's liberation activist, Mitsu Tanaka, and her philosophy of abortion. I published a very short essay in English, and a close examination of her works in my book written in Japanese. Now I am writing a new paper on feminist philosophies of abortion in women's lib movement in Japan in 1970s. I am thinking of adding some more translations of Mitsu Tanaka's words at that time.

I received an email from a woman who uploaded on her blog her own experience of abortion and her contemplation of the meaning of her experience. Her blog, Ambivablog, is here. Please visit and read it.

By the way, the following is an excerpt from the manuscript I am now writing:

Tanaka thinks that a woman who chooses abortion sways between two kinds of honest feelings, that is, the honest feeling that it is her right to abort a fetus, and the honest feeling that if she chooses abortion she becomes a fetus killer. She is thrown into the state of the swaying between these two honest feelings. Tanaka stresses that women should start from this "sway of the confused self" because this sway of the confused self leads us to encounter other people who are also swaying between other types of honest feelings in the midst of their lives. The real encounter is made possible, Tanaka thinks, only between people who are swaying and suffering between contradictory honest feelings. For Tanaka, the important thing is not to solve the dilemma but to live with it.

Tanaka rejects the dichotomy of pro-choice/pro-life, and persists in thinking just between them. She stresses that women must be able to choice abortion, but she also thinks that women do not have the "right" to abortion. Her philosophy is very fascinating and stimulating. Her thought created, in a sense, the foundation of Japanese bioethical thoughts in the 1970s together with disabled activists who were opposing a bill admitting selective abortion (See this paper).

I will submit the paper in progress to a journal, and when published I will upload it to the INLS website.

This topic is really interesting and important especially in the age of new eugenics which we are now entering.

Photo: Roppongi Hills

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

February 21, 2005

Sexual desires and Men's fantasies

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Today I made a special page for The Insensitive Man. This page has not been completed, but you can see the table of contents of the book. Some readers say that it is surprising that a scholar like me wrote a book like this. However, I believe this is the topic a philosopher should investigate if he/she seriously contemplates a human being in contemporary society flooded with a great deal of pornographic images and discourses.

Men's studies written by heterosexual men have unconsciously avoided talking about the authors' own sexual desires and fantasies toward women, and analyzing them from the perspective of gender studies. However, I talked about it and analyzed in this book. This is probably the reason why many readers have actively responded to this book on their weblogs. There have been 63 blogs which refer to this book so far.

By the way, the translation of Chapter 5 of Brain Dead Person was finished. The entire text will be uploded soon. Thank you, Alex Jones, for your splendid translation!

Photo: Mona Lisa printed on a T-shirt.

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

February 15, 2005

Self-denial

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A week has passed since the publication of The Insensitive Man. The book seems to sell well. I received an email from the publisher saying that they are preparing for the second printing of the book. This is good news. Some friends of mine were saying that this was an interesting and provocative book. A female journalist told me that she was shocked to know that even a "successful" man (like me) has a sense of self-denial about his own body and sexuality because she has thought such self-denial was unique to female sexuality.

A number of comments on this book are beginning to appear on personal blogs on the web. Some are sympathetic but others are critical of my theory. If you read Japanese you can see them at http://d.hatena.ne.jp/kanjinai/ .

I will make a special page for this book including the detailed table of contents and other information soon.

Photo: Yasumasa Morimura's Mona Lisa.

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

February 07, 2005

Fetishism

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The Insensitive man was published today (See Feb.1). This is probably the most sensational book I have ever published. This is an analysis of male sexuality, (especially male frigidity), school uniform fetishism, rorikon, etc. The followings are the translation of the first paragraph of the book.

In this book, I'm going to write about the insensitivity of men. Some men suffer from sexual fantacies such as mini-skirts, uniform fetishism, rorikon (Lolita fetishism) and rape because of their insensitivity. For the purpose of this study, I will be talking a lot about myself. This is not a general theory of man, but actually, I want to investigate this problem from the perspective of my own self. (The Insensitive man, p.7)

Sex therapy talks about male orgasmic dysfunction, and sometimes calls it "male frigidity," but what I mean by this term is completely different from sex therapy's concept. In my view, it is something that is closely connected to various fetishes and "abnormal" sexualities (including desire toward anime girls, which is prevalent among young Japanese men).

I will show you the table of contents next time.

(To be continued...)

Photo: Cover of The Insensitive Man

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

February 01, 2005

Rorikon

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A new book on male sexuality, entitled "The Insensitive Man (Kanjinai Otoko in Japanese)", will be published next week. In this book I emphasized that men's sexuality like mine is basically characterized by its insensitivity to sexual fulfillment and happiness, and the basic emotion is that of depression concerning sexual desire. I called this "male frigidity." Male frigidity is not a matter of dysfunction of a sexual organ, as sex therapists put it, but a kind of existential, philosophical problem of a person like me. (What about you?) I wrote a related article on Octber 24, 2004.

In the book, I also analyzed the reason why men like school uniforms, and why they become rorikon, Lolita fetishism. My theory is very strange and unique, so I am not sure how this book will be accepted to Japanese readers. I have read books on male sexuality written in English and Japanese, but I couldn't find books similar to mine. So, it might be stimulating to not only Japanese but also English readers.

The translation of this book is now in progress, so I think I can show you the contents here or on the main website little by little in the near future. If you are interested in this topic please stop by from time to time. I am not sure how many of you are interested in Japanese anime/manga culture, especially its fetish of rorikon, seifuku, and little girls (Just like Hayao Miyazaki's anime film, f.g. Spirited Away and others), but if you are interested you are sure to enjoy my book!

(To be continued...)

Photo: Yasumasa Morimura's post card

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org