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Confessions of a Frigid Man
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Section 1: What Has Happened to Me Since I Published the Book?
This book was published in February 2005. As soon as it appeared in bookstores, it attracted huge attention, and a number of comments were posted on the Internet. This was the unprecedented confession of an incumbent college professor about his sexuality, the content of which ranges from male frigidity to the Lolita complex. This explains why the reaction was so vast.
First, I would like to tell you that after the publication of this book, I was assailed by tremendous psychological depression. Of course I had expected it beforehand, but the actual psychological stress was really beyond my imagination. My mind and heart became unstable; even little things stirred up my emotions, and I was overwhelmed by intense anxiety. Imagine a situation in which a book about your sexual confessions goes public in front of the whole country. Whenever I searched for the title of my book, various comments struck my eyes. I saw many comments sneering at my sexuality. I saw a comment saying, “I don’t want to go out with a man like the author.” Since the book sold well at the college bookstore, whenever I saw students in my classes I felt embarrassed. I felt as if whispers such as “Oh, so that’s the kind of man Morioka is!” were coming from all directions.
News of the publication extended to a surprising place. In 2006 I gave an academic presentation at a bioethics conference in the US. An American male professor who chaired our session introduced me to the audience with a broad smile, saying, “Professor Morioka is a scholar who studies not only bioethics but also why men do not feel in sexual intercourse and why he is sexually aroused by young girls!” I presume he must have said it to entertain the audience, but at the time I was truly embarrassed and had no idea how to react to his words.
I suppose readers must want to know what has become of my sexuality since publication.
First, there has been no change in the empty feelings after ejaculation and the feeling of descent and collapse. I still have them just like before. There were some who kindly advised me how to improve the techniques of masturbation and sex in order to enhance sexual sensitivity. They recommended that I take plenty of time to make the skin of my whole body sensitive, stimulate my prostate, or take several days to enhance my sexual feelings with my partner.
The sensitivity to sexual pleasure could perhaps be developed, and the feeling of emptiness after ejaculation might disappear, by using those techniques. We can read such reports of success in various books and magazines. I never deny their results, but I myself had no desire to follow in their footsteps. It seemed somehow wrong to resolve the problem of “male frigidity” by enhancing sexual pleasure, and that is why I could not follow their advice. I was searching for a way to embrace “male frigidity” and affirm myself just the way I am. “I am frigid, but this is no problem at all. I want to try to find a way to reweave my sexuality by affirming myself just the way I am.” This was my real intention.
Then what about the tendency to get attracted to school uniforms? Honestly speaking, I still feel attracted to school uniforms. I feel very nice when I see junior-high or high school girls wearing uniforms, and I must say I can have sexual feelings toward their uniforms. At the same time, I want to emphasize that I have come to be able to observe my sexual feelings from a distance in a calm way, because after writing this book, the mechanism of why I am attracted to school uniforms became very clear to me. I became able to see my arousal process with a cold eye. For me, the psychological drive toward school uniforms has gradually shifted from an incomprehensible emotion to a clearly comprehensible one.
Then what about lolicon (the Lolita complex)? I think girls in junior high school and the upper years of elementary school are really cute. I do not deny that I still have a tendency to be sexually attracted to them. However, I am now able to observe my sexual feelings from a distance in a calm way because the mechanism of why I am attracted to those girls became very clear to me. An “aha!” experience came to me, and I was deeply relieved.
Regarding actual girls, I have come to have a kind of parental feeling, wishing these girls to survive safely and grow soundly in our society filled with sexual gazes. Although as a person who has been on the side of exploiting them, and may still be on the same side, I might not be qualified to say this, I strongly hope that they will be able to live their lives without being exploited by adults’ sexual desire, and I strongly believe that a social environment in which they will be able to live in happiness should be created and maintained.
Clarifying the mechanism of being attracted to young girls has given me another transformation. I have gradually become attracted to adult women. I have come to feel wonderful from the bottom of my heart when seeing an experienced, intellectual, independent, and beautiful woman. Sometimes I am attracted to female politicians or scholars who are older than I, and sometimes the attractions are sexual. The clarification of that psychological mechanism by logical thinking has brought me an enormous expansion of the age range of women I am sexually attracted to. I do not know the reason why, but nonetheless, it has actually happened to me.
What about the idea that my male body is dirty? Unfortunately, in this realm no transformation has yet been achieved. I still think that my male body is dirty. The wish to escape from this body into another one still clearly exists inside me. It is not as easy to transform a view of the body that has permeated my mind for such a long time. This will become a bigger and bigger problem as I get older. Recently I have had an experience of providing nursing care for members of my family. People are inclined to regard their own body as dirty when they get old. People surrounding them, too, start to see them that way. Is it possible for us to grow old with dignity in a space where it is presupposed that old people’s bodies are dirty? Perhaps I am going to confront a new problem as I get older because I have not been liberated from the belief that my body is dirty.
To summarize, the publication of this book has brought me a decisive structural transformation of my sexuality. And this transformation has made me unable to go back to my former state of mind. My sexual sensitivity is probably almost the same as before, but in spite of this, the fundamental structure of my sexuality has been transformed, and a completely new scene is now beginning to unfold before my eyes.
The basic tone of this new scene is made up of my heartfelt prayer that every human being in this world lives in peace and safety. Even if in a sexual situation there swirl abnormal desires, there exist unequal relationships, or there is pain and subordination, I really wish that the people involved are never deprived of their dignity, and that all sexual activity can be woven into peaceful human relationships based on mutual respect and consent. And I myself really wish to become gentle and kind, as much as possible, to the woman I love, and this wish has become stronger than ever before.
Section 2: Frigid Man and Life Studies
While almost all books dealing with male sexuality have been written from a general viewpoint, “men are like this,” this book was written from a first-person perspective: “I am like this.” As a result, the content came to resemble the author’s “confessions.” Arguments were put forth both for and against this methodology.
On the one hand, there were compliments: the author’s courage deserved the highest applause because there was no precedent for a man with high social status so deeply investigating his own sexuality based on his naked confessions. But on the other hand, there appeared many criticisms that the author’s discussion lacked objectivity because all he did in his book was just to unload his sexual obsessions onto his readers and hence there was no guarantee that his arguments could be applied to men in general. I say yes to both comments. I needed enormous courage to write this book, and also no objectivity is guaranteed, because what I discovered can perhaps be fully applied only to my case.
First of all, I wrote this book not because I wished to clarify the objective truth on male sexuality in general, but because I seriously wanted to know the true origin of my pain and distress concerning my sexuality.
Delving into our own sexuality is accompanied by unavoidable pain because it also casts a clear light on our “weak points” and makes us look straight at what we have secretly hidden inside ourselves. Since we do not want to face our weak points squarely, we have hidden them not only from other people, but also from ourselves; but without casting a clear light on them, we cannot hold onto the most essential part of our sexuality.
I thought that by completing the above process before the eyes of other people in the form of a book, I would probably be able to encourage others who had embraced weakness or pain similar to mine, and by connecting those people with the thread of “weakness,” we would be able to open up a new world in front of us. I exposed my weakest points in public, but as a result, I created a situation in which anyone could easily come to stab them at any time. This was indeed one of the reasons why I became depressed after publication.
However, this book had to be written in the form of a “confession.” With regard to the criticism that confessions are not science, I would like to answer that they are certainly not included in the category which we presently regard as science. There was something more important to me than keeping up the appearances of science as we know it. That was to live my whole life without regret and to try to communicate with people who were seeking goals similar to mine.
I have just used the term “science as we know it.” By this I mean intellectual activities that seek to acquire “objective” knowledge that can provide truth to all of us who observe the world. In science as we know it, the lack of “objectivity” is considered a fatal flaw. Of course, I do not want to deny the worth of this definition of science. It is one of the most wonderful accomplishments the human race has ever achieved.
However, at the same time, I am imagining that there could be sciences or studies which are basically liberated from the restraint of this kind of “objectivity.” In other words, I am imagining “a network of intellectual activities that is to be thoroughly utilized for each of us to be able to live our whole limited life without regret.” While present sciences seek to acquire objective knowledge, our new sciences or studies try to figure out what it would mean to live our whole limited life without regret, try to discover how we can live our life in that way, and try to have intellectual communication with others who have similar motives and objectives. Thus, here, to engage in intellectual activities and to actually live our own life are considered two sides of the same coin. I have long called such intellectual activities “life studies.” A life study is an activity that tries to open up the possibility of another type of science, the methodology of which is completely different from existing ones.
I believe the method of “confession,” in which a person delves deeply into his or her own inner world and personal history, will be necessary for the accomplishment of this kind of studies. Of course, you do not have to make confessions before the eyes of other people. In this book I did it publicly, but please keep in mind that this is never a standard way. I will recommend that you do this work in solitude, in silence, facing only yourself, never thinking about others or an audience. The reason why I employed a method of making confessions in front of others was that I wanted readers to watch the actual process of the investigation of my “self” using this method. I wanted to share the process with the readers, not only the good aspects of the process, but also the bad ones.
I have called this kind of process a study method of “never shelving oneself”—a method of study that can be carried out only by “never detaching oneself from the subject being investigated.” Many people put themselves aside to discuss a problem; however, when we do life studies, we have to tackle the problem while never shelving ourselves, always including our own actual ways of life as part of the problem. We make confessions in order to never detach ourselves from the problem under discussion.
The book Confessions of a Frigid Man was written using the methodology of “life studies” discussed above. I would be grateful if people perceived this book not as a tacky confession meant to expose my own private life to others, but as an intellectual trial of opening up an alternative possibility in the realm of the sciences. I have explored the method of life studies in my past several books, although in an insufficient manner.
The first book written from a life studies approach was How to Live in a Post-Religious Age (1996), which dealt with the Aum Shinrikyo incident, an incident in which members of a religious cult group attacked the Tokyo subways with homemade sarin gas, leaving thirteen people dead and more than 6,000 injured. At first, Aum Shinrikyo was a small group aspiring to gain the truth by practicing yoga, but they got off track somewhere and transformed themselves into religious fanatics who wished to destroy the entire system of our society. Just after the incident, I began research on them, but the more I investigated their crimes and their backgrounds, the more I came to believe that I could have become a person like them, because I found a number of similar thoughts and passions between some of the top senior cult members and myself. I could not avoid asking who I was and what I was all about. In order to investigate the question, I looked back along the path of my life up until then, and tried to excavate from the deeper layers of my memory my past bitter experiences, my strong attraction to religions, and the setback that I was nevertheless unable to follow the path of religion. I confessed these experiences in the book and tried to figure out how a person, myself, who had not been able either to become a scientist or to follow a religious path, could live his whole life without regret.
After that, in the year 2003, I published the book Painless Civilization. This is the most important book I have ever published, which has had a deep influence on those who are interested in philosophy and sociology. In this book, I thoroughly examined the essence of contemporary civilization and raised an alarm that in our civilization, which lures us to avoid pain and suffering and to concentrate on pursuing pleasure and pleasantness, we are inevitably driven to the verge of losing the joy of life in exchange for the satisfaction of our desires. I called the whole structure of our civilization which provides us with pleasure and pleasantness, makes us avoid pain and suffering, and as a result deprives us of the joy of life, “painless civilization.” And this structure permeates not only every corner of our society but also the deepest layers of our inner selves. The word “civilization” reminds us of systems or devices outside ourselves, such as social systems, mechanical devices, and food production systems, but this is no more than one side of the story. In order to think seriously about the trap of painless civilization, we have to gaze squarely and earnestly at what lurks inside us who try to become adjusted to a painless civilization.
In order to accomplish this, I used the method of confession. I resolved to take up my own life as material for discussion and delved into the deepest core of my inner world, which I had never wanted to see or touch. Then I tried to make it clear in front of readers what kind of life I had led in contemporary civilization, what kind of identity armor I had been protecting myself with, what it was that I had been most afraid of, what it was that a painless civilization had protected inside me, and what it was that a painless civilization had deprived me of in exchange for that protection. I adopted the method of studying the researcher himself in order to investigate the most essential mechanism of contemporary civilization, and this became the second publication in life studies.
And through the investigation of my inner self I came to realize that it was nothing but my own desire that had generated the very basis of the painless civilization that had provided me with pleasure, pleasantness, and comfort, and hence that in order to transform the painless civilization surrounding us, we have to transform ourselves first of all. Then, during the period of writing, I was repeatedly forced to dismantle the inner core of my self, until finally I was dismantled from within and at last an unanticipated self appeared. Strangely enough, during this period my sexuality was also deeply transformed. Aggression and violence in my sexuality gradually disappeared from me, and a new sexuality filled with gentle and kind emotions started to take form at the bottom of my heart. Looking back from the present, I believe this transformation in sexuality must have laid the groundwork for the idea of the “frigid man.” In Painless Civilization I used the term “the self-trapped corpus cavernosum penis” to describe the true nature of painless civilization, which seems to strongly suggest a close relationship between the function of a painless civilization and that of male sexuality.
Painless Civilization is a thick book of philosophy that deals with a variety of issues in contemporary society; hence it is impossible to summarize the book’s contents here. But at least it is certain that it was this book that prepared the basic idea and framework of Confessions of a Frigid Man. We can say that life studies has developed first in the field of religious studies, second in the field of civilization studies, and third in the field of gender and sexuality studies.
It is impossible to explain life studies in a word. I want to say instead that the central concept of life studies will emerge with clarity from a careful reading of these three books, How to Live in a Post-Religious Age, Painless Civilization, and Confessions of a Frigid Man, which comprise the trilogy of Morioka’s “life studies.”
Life studies has continued to develop since the publication of Confessions. In 2008, the book Lessons in Love for Herbivore Men (Media Factory) was published, in which I sent young men who were inexperienced in romantic love the message that it is not necessary to become “masculine” in order to build romantic relationships with women. The term “herbivore men” became a buzzword just after the publication of this book and spread around the world.
I wrote in Chapter Five of Confessions of a Frigid Man that “since having frigidity is not really a problem, what I want to strive for is becoming a kind and gentle man in the truest sense of these words.” The reason I wrote this was that in the process of writing this book I came to fully realize that there lurked an inevitable and overwhelming tendency towards violence in the sexuality of one, myself, who had been born and brought up as a man. I then began to think that this tendency toward violence in my sexuality should be dismantled, and I began to hope from the bottom of my heart that young men who were about to set out on a journey into the world of romantic love and sex would explore alternative paths of enjoying them in as nonviolent a way as possible. I really hoped that I would be able to convey the knowledge and wisdom that had accumulated within me to young men who resembled me as I was almost thirty years before, and that they would grow into men who were really able to develop and nurture gentle and kind relationships with their partners. At first sight, Lessons in Love for Herbivore Men appears to be a practical manual that illustrates in detail the way to success in romantic love, but underneath appearances, there was also a message of the sort described above.
I recall the following sentence in Painless Civilization. “It is the person who has thoroughly reduced his or her pains and sufferings by artificial means who least perceives others’ pains and sufferings, least lends an ear to others’ pleading voices, and least recognizes the fact that others are being unilaterally crushed under his or her own foot when it is actually happening” (p.33). The person who has made him/herself insensitive to pain and suffering in order to protect him/herself becomes a person who can exercise the most brutal violence toward other people. Frigid men, herbivore men, and violence caused by avoiding pain are connected in a straight line here.
However, herbivore men may not be completely innocent of violence. If nonviolent people such as herbivore men become adapted to painless civilization and support it, they passively share in the responsibility for the violence of painless civilization that aims to deprive people of their joy of life, and even if the time comes when herbivorous men have to fight against painless civilization, their herbivorousness might prevent them from resisting painless civilization by force. This is a completely new topic of discussion. We will have to give it thorough contemplation.
I am now also looking for a new way of thinking in the field of philosophy of life and death. I am planning to create, in contemporary philosophy, a new genre of “philosophy of life” in which we can think philosophically about the meaning of birth, death, and nature against the background of contemporary society and technology. The most basic idea of the philosophy of life is, “I am really glad that I have been born.” I call it “birth affirmation.” I am investigating the meaning of this idea and imagining what kind of view of society, the world, and nature will loom large when we place this idea at the center of philosophy of life. This is also one of the thoughts that has been handed down from Confessions.
As I wrote in Chapter Four, I had not been able to affirm, at a deep level of the self, the fact that at puberty’s fork in the road I turned towards a male body. This was one of the reasons why I have grappled with various problems relating to sexuality. However, it is impossible for me to go back to that point of bifurcation and live my life over again. I have already lived more than half of my life. Is it really possible for me to live from now on with a sense of affirmation of my whole life? Is it really possible for me to truly bless the fact that I have been born to this life, with its particular content? I want to think philosophically about this kind of problem in depth. I have published some papers on “philosophy of life” in Japanese. I am now writing a thick book on the philosophy of life that deals with the meaning of life from the perspective of “birth affirmation.”
As described above, Confessions of a Frigid Man was a book that came into existence as a necessary result of my thought process up until then, and it is a book that will surely prepare the basic groundwork for my future thoughts and publications.
Section 3: Public Responses to Confessions of a Frigid Man
A variety of questions have been posed since the publication of Confessions. I would like to answer some of these questions here.
1) “Male frigidity can be explained biologically.”
I wrote in the book that the causes of “male frigidity” and of “the sensation of something piling up” can be explained in two ways: biologically and psychologically. Some readers advised me to study recent scientific discoveries because the cause can be fully explained by biology. For example, they said “male frigidity” was explained by evolutionary biology: it comes from the instinct of male animals who have to quickly stand up after ejaculation to guard their mates against other males or predators. Or, they said that the “sensation of something piling up” can be explained by the concentration of androgen in the blood and the quantity of semen in the prostate gland.
As I pointed out in this book, I do not deny that there may be biological causes for those phenomena. What I want to stress is that it is not a good idea to think that “only biological causes are to be considered” or that “there is no such thing as social causes.” Psychology and brain research have discovered that what is thought to have been created by biological causes may also have been influenced by the social environment, and what is thought to be created by social causes could also be influenced by biological processes or substances. The very idea that biological causes can be clearly separated from social causes and vice versa may be completely wrong.
Therefore, to the criticism that “male frigidity can be explained biologically,” I would like to reply, “There may be some aspects of male frigidity that can be explained biologically.”
2) “I am not frigid.” “For the first time I have come to know that men do not have pleasure in sex.”
In this book I have made an investigation using myself as an example, and I have repeatedly emphasized that my theory cannot necessarily be applied to men in general. However, there were male and female readers who had the wrong impression after reading this book that my conclusion was, “All men, without exception, are worried about frigidity.” Actually, there were male readers who argued, “I’m not frigid!” and female readers who expressed the feeling that “It was really shocking to find out how men feel during sex.”
With regard to this point, I have to confess that there were actually some misleading statements in the book, and I deeply regret that I did not express myself better. While I was writing this book, I was never confident that there really were men whose sexuality was similar to mine. While writing about myself sincerely, I was really hoping somewhere in my mind that other men who had feelings like mine actually existed, at least somewhere in this world. Such emotions probably influenced me to write sentences which could be read as if I were generalizing my own sexuality.
After publication, several men who confessed that their sexuality was similar to mine sent me sympathetic opinions. On the Internet, too, there were men who wrote: “Oh, this is just like me!” Here I write down the fact that reading those comments I came to know I was not alone; there were fellow men who lived their lives in a similar situation. And by knowing that I was deeply consoled and encouraged.
3) “Sickening because the author idealizes women too much.”
There were criticisms that women were overidealized throughout the book. For example, when “male frigidity” was discussed, the fabulousness of female sexuality was overemphasized, and when “lolicon” was discussed, the girl’s body that begins to show secondary sex characteristics was depicted as something unimaginably beautiful, so beautiful that it lured a frigid man to slip his consciousness into her body. One reader commented that this was sickening.
If they had read carefully, such readers would have easily understood that my point was not that I wanted to know whether or not a woman’s body or sexuality was actually fabulous; what I wanted was to make clear why the idea that “a woman’s body or sexuality is fabulous” had been inscribed inside me. I wanted to clarify where the inclination to idealize women came from, if such an inclination really existed in me. And I searched for the cause of this inclination in the sense of emptiness after ejaculation, in the thought that this male body of mine is dirty, or in my having the thought that I had developed in the wrong way.
Some female readers expressed the criticism that the images of women’s bodies described in this book were very superficial and never reflected women’s reality. Now, I think this may be correct. It is almost impossible for a man to understand what it is to actually live in a woman’s body. However, the same thing can be said about women’s understanding of men’s bodies. Hence, it is very important to encourage the quest for mutual understanding between women and men about their bodies and sexualities. Of course a number of unimaginable obstacles will arise in this pursuit, but I believe the time has come for collaborative work between the two sexes. (I have suggested such activities in the book Lesson in Love for Herbivore Men, as far as I could.)
I have received a number of comments from LGBT readers. Some of them were critical that this book was written from a heterosexist perspective, paying no special attention to the gay or queer point of view. Basically I agree with their criticisms, but I would like to add some words here. The basic backbone of my own sexuality is heterosexual; hence, when I examined my own sexuality, there was no other way to do it but from a heterosexual point of view. This does not mean that gays’ or queers’ perspectives were belittled or ignored.
There were other people who praised my courage in making my sexuality open and public. According to them, there had been many people who had confessed their own sexualities in a straightforward manner, but almost all of them were members of sexual minorities; it was very exceptional for a person who was considered a member of the sexual majority to publish a book like this. This comment moved me because that was just one of my motivations for writing this book. However, after publication I became confused about whether or not I really was a member of the sexual majority, because many readers pointed out that the descriptions of the mechanism of my “lolicon” sexuality sounded very strange and peculiar; hence my sexuality could never be thought of as “ordinary” or “normal.”
4) “I do not understand why photography books of sexy young female idols are morally wrong.”
In this book I criticized the publication of young girls’ photographs in which sexual messages are tacitly inscribed. However, a number of opinions came out, especially on the Internet, saying that the reason why such photographs are morally wrong is not clear. They said that there was no explicit image of genitals in the photographs, and clear consent was given by the girls themselves and their parents, so no problems could be found at all, and if we regulated those photographs it would violate “the freedom of expression” and cause a huge problem.
I object to this kind of opinion once again. Even if a girl herself consents, it is highly unlikely that every such girl is able to clearly understand the implications of the sexual messages inscribed in her photos, especially in the case of an elementary school girl. There is a danger that when she grows into an adult woman, and for the first time is able to understand every meaning of the sexual messages, she will realize that the images of her own body have been consumed as a sexual tool in an unbearable manner, and it will cause serious damage to her mind and body. I believe we should never make young girls take such a risk, even if their parents have given consent for it. Readers might wonder how such a thing can happen in Japan. Current Japanese society is very permissive toward sexualized images of young girls. If you come to Tokyo and enter a bookstore in Akihabara, you can see a number of photography books filled with images of sexy junior high and/or elementary school girls, as described in Chapter Four. Since these are all legal, you can buy them even in ordinary bookstores.
Since the publication of this book, photo books of sexy young female idols have been replaced by DVDs, and in these videos the “child pornography in disguise” I described in this book has started to proliferate. I will refrain from writing the details, but videos in which the producers make junior high and/or elementary school girls act almost exactly like sexy adult actresses are sold in broad daylight, as if they were ordinary commercial goods.
On December 24, 2005, I published an essay entitled “Is It Really Permissible to Commodify the Sex of Small Children? Lolicon Society, the Source of Crimes, and a Series of Murder Cases of Young Girls” in the Asahi newspaper, the Osaka evening edition. I pointed out that we were able to buy a DVD of an eight-year-old girl legally on the Internet, the cover photo of which was filled with sexual connotations in every detail. In the essay, I stressed that it ought to be regulated as a kind of child abuse to commodify photographed images of early elementary school girls in a sexual context, even if their parents have given consent. My aim was to legally ban the use of the images of young girls in a pornographic context.
There was almost no public response to my essay. There were some responses on the Internet, but all of them were objections to my argument from the viewpoint of the freedom of expression. I asked feminists, but they did not show special concern. I must say that current Japanese society is very insensitive to the danger of putting the images of young girls in a pornographic context. We have to continue discussing this problem seriously in our society. People do not talk out loud about the fact that a successful promotional video of the young female idol group AKB48, which made its debut in 2005 and has now become the Japanese national icon, was only one step away from “child pornography in disguise.” (You can see in that video, which was aired repeatedly on TV, at least one of the member girls in her underwear; she was under 18 at the time.)
On this very subject, I am now worrying about the possible effects of my own book. I sincerely wrote that I have the susceptibility to be sexually attracted to young girls. However, by publishing this confession in a book, there arises the possibility that actual girls might suffer great psychological damage by reading my words, because in my book there is a clear declaration that even a teacher like me has the tendency to see young girls as sexual objects. Learning of this, girls might be overwhelmed by the relentlessness of the sexual gazes directed toward them and even feel fear about living in our society. My book itself could be part of the same problem as photography books of sexy young female idols. I became aware of this problem when the mother of a young girl pointed it out to me.
I still do not know how to solve this problem. Perhaps one solution could be to restrict this book to adults only, but this does not lead to a fundamental resolution. There are those who think that we do not have to worry so much about it because as girls grow up into adult women, they deftly adapt themselves to the sexual gazes surrounding them. However, there are probably an unknown number of girls who get hurt and drown in the sea of sexual gazes, so this is never a small problem at all. I would like all of you to think about this difficult issue once again from the beginning.
Section 4: Conclusion
The most moving comment from readers was, “I determined to delve into my own sexuality after reading Confessions of a Frigid Man.” Hearing these words, I had the feeling that every effort I had poured into writing this book was truly rewarded, because I really wished first of all that every reader recognize the problem of sexuality as his or her own existential issue, and be inspired to explore his or her inner world of sexuality in a sincere manner.
Delving into your inner world is accompanied by pain and risk. I do not recommend it to all people. However, when you have gone through it, driven by some sort of “necessity,” and you understand the meaning of your accomplishment, a completely new world you would never have imagined can open itself before you. Writing this book was, for me, indeed nothing but this kind of experience.
Afterword – 2017
Confessions of a Frigid Man was published in Japanese in 2005, and a revised edition in the form of a paperback book was published in 2013, together with the newly written Epilogue. A Korean translation was published in 2005, the same year of the publication of the first Japanese edition.
In 2012, I began working with Robert Chapeskie to produce an English translation of the book. We tried hard to convey the shades of meaning in the original Japanese into English as much as possible; however, here and there, we added additional information for an international audience to better understand the cultural background behind the discussions in this book. And in this process, I made a number of small revisions in the translated English text.
As I have noted in the epilogue, this book constitutes the third of the trilogy of “life studies.”
As a translation of How to Live in a Post-Religious Age has been half finished, readers will be able to read it in some form in the near future. A translation of Painless Civilization is currently under way, but now I strongly feel that I will have to write Part II of this book in Japanese, hence, it might take long time to finish the translation of the entire book. The contents of these three books are closely interconnected. I hope readers will become interested in the method of “life studies” through these three books.
After I finished writing the trilogy of “life studies,” I turned to the field of philosophy again, and began writing a series of books on philosophy of life. The first book was published in Japanese in 2013 under the title, Manga Introduction to Philosophy. This is a book that discusses hard problems such as “What is time?” “What is being?” “What is I?” and “What is it to live?” in the form of manga (cartoon), the original drawings of which were drawn by me. This is not a usual introductory book. This is a book entirely made up of my original philosophical thinking on the above themes. A translation of this book is also under way, hence, readers will be able to read it in the future.
I am now writing two other books on philosophy of life, which are also deeply interconnected with each other.
It seems to me that it will take at least several years to finish Philosophy of Birth Affirmation, but I believe this will be the most important book of my entire works. With regard to Book 3, I am not sure when I will be able to start writing it. These three books are envisioned as another trilogy, the trilogy of the “philosophy of life.”
By the way, after finishing a first draft of the translation of Confessions, I spent a long time wondering whether I should send it to publishers and pursue the possibility of commercial publication, or self-publish it in the form of an e-book. After careful consideration, I decided to choose self-publishing via e-book and on-demand platform first, because I really wished to convey the message of the book directly to international readers without any alterations for commercial purposes, which sometimes occur in the publication of the translation of foreign books by commercial publishers. In our translation, readers can read almost the same content as the Japanese edition, although many minor changes have been made for reasons described above.
Since the publication of the Japanese edition, I have received a number of emails and messages from around the world that encouraged me to publish an English translation so that international readers can read the content of the whole book. I really wish that this book reaches unknown readers who are worried about their sexualities and the philosophical meaning of their lives. I would like to thank Annie Gottlieb for her longtime encouragement and professional suggestions, and thank the editor of the Japanese edition, Hiroyuki Ishijima, for publishing this controversial book at the publishing house Chikuma Shobō.