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This forum - what is it about?


24 Nov 2002
I have wanted to make this post for some time, but have not done so until now because I wanted to see if things would change over time.

However, I have started to wonder why this forum exists. Clearly there are people here who have an interest in Japan, but the conversation seems to be mainly based around obcsure or innacurate stories that people have found on the internet or in other places.

Japanese people don't understand foreigners. Japanese people wear bizarre clothing. Japanese people work 68 hours per day and then get drunk and fall asleep in subway stations (after singing all night in karaoke booths). Japanese schoolgirls are all prostitutes for middle aged office workers. Japanese girls want to date gaijin because they are so much better than Japanese men.

I'm just waiting for someone to resurrect the old story about being able to buy schoolgirls panties in vending machines int he middle of Tokyo. (In case you're wondering, I have never seen these mythical machines, and none of my friends have either - and believe me, we'd know if they were real).

Not everything about Japan is good, but then there is often not much truth in many of the stories that appear here. I appreciate that many people here like Japanese culture, but there are also those who clearly never even been near Japan, but still talk as if they are some kind of authority on the way of life here.

Come and live in Japan! Come and meet Japanese people. Then talk about your experiences. I think they may be different to what you expect.

While I agree with you that actually experiencing Japan firsthand is hands-down the best way to discover for yourself what Japan is all about, you must realize that in reality that is just not feasible for many of our members and or visitors. Having witnessed the Japanese culture firsthand is by no means a necessary criterion for being a member of this board, and it shouldn't be. The only real true criterion should be that one shares a passion for all things Japanese or any of it's unique aspects (J-pop, Anime, etc.).

Members come together to discuss various issues and if you feel that the "content" is sub-par then by all means take it upon yourself to change that by introducing well-thought out topics worthy of discussion. We certainly have enough forums atm that cover a wide spectrum of topics that are insightful and informative imho. Granted, "General" discussion forums as in most boards, tend to be a little more "style over substance" if you will. Nevertheless, board content is pretty much member driven by our little community here for the most part, and if you feel it is wholly unaccurate then by all means feel free to enlighten the rest of us with your input and feedback. Everyone's opinion here is heeded and that is what makes the site such a great discussion place. At any rate, I do appreciate your comments and I understand what you're saying.
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Hi Tiger,

thanks for your feedback, it is much appreciated. While I admit that we post a lot of odd Japan-related articles and stories here at the forum - stories that reflect the distorted image Japan has in "Western media" - I want to assure you that this is not done with the intention to depict "Japan as it is". Such articles are subject to discussion, dispute and controversy. Nearly all posts here at the forum reflect personal opinions, views and experiences. They may be wrong, they may be right, they may be distorted. If you feel that this forum in general or certain posts in particular transpire a negative or untrue image of Japan, I whole-heartedly welcome you to intervene. This is actually what the Japan Forum is about.
Hey tiger,

Indeed, not everyone on the forum has be lucky enough to actually visit Japan and experience it personally. We have to rely on the media to stay updated on what's happening in Japan and that usually gives us a very exaggerated picture of what it's really like in Japan. We just have to live with that, i guess, until anyone informs us of what it's really like.

Or until someone is generous enough to sponsor a trip to Japan for us. :)

While we indeed post those exaggerated mediareports here, but, as Thomas basicly said, we do it with the hope to receive objective counter comments, so we really know what it's about. That's what the forum is really for.
I'm just waiting for someone to resurrect the old story about being able to buy schoolgirls panties in vending machines int he middle of Tokyo. (In case you're wondering, I have never seen these mythical machines, and none of my friends have either - and believe me, we'd know if they were real).

Tiger, I too, spent many hours walking throughout Tokyo looking for the elusive used panty vending machines. I too felt the frustration of not being able to find a reliable source of such panties. May I suggest hanging around the Starbucks and Dotours near girls high schools. Eventually you should find success.

Seriously, though. My understanding was that one or more of these popped up in the early 1990's until the police shut the operation down. That would explain why it could be true and why nobody has seen them. And given how often you hear about enjo kosai and people stealing or buying panties, it doesn't seem that far-fetched to me. Even in recent times we hear similar stories:


Of course if the Shukan Taishu has the edtiorial standards of the Weekly World News, this story could be a complete fabrication.
what stories were false ones? You mean people actually put false stories in the news? :D
sorry.....being weird as usual....here in da forest..... :p

welcome, Tiger....and if you do find them "true" stories, put 'em in here..... :D
Heh, den4... 😄

That reminds me, did any of you see that Tom Green special on MTV where he was in Japan? He went to some underground places where they sold that underwear. It was funny. I was laughing my bum off! :giggle:

He did lots of other naughty stuff too.

And Tiger, welcome. I look forward to hearing what all you have to say about Japan. A few of us are actually married to and live with native Japanese--myself included--so on behalf of them, I thank you for wanting to correct the falsehoods. 👍
Hey Tiger, as much as you want to dismiss these claims as being totally inaccurate and skewed, there is some truth to these matters as well.

Although, it`s not possible to work a 68 hour work day, there are a lot of people whot are putting in a good 12 to 15 hour work day(They are definitely workaholics). Also, alcoholism is a big problem in Japan as well in many other countries. Many People also will go out drinking with their fellow co-workers, rather than go home to their loved ones. I think that is pretty messed up.

Young girls that are selling their bodies for money is an increasing problem here in Japan. It`s pretty sad, but it seems that it takes a significant amount of money to keep up on the latest fashion here in Japan. You would think their would be some alternative ways to make money, rather then resorting to that type of work.

There are Japanese women that date foreigners not because they are better than Japanese men, but that they tend to treat them better, according to them. Many Japanese women that I have talked to have brought up this point, and also I have observed a lot of this as well. That`s not to say that there aren`t Japanese guys who treat their women well, I know some of these fellows. I think a lot of it stems from the culture, Japanese is still a very traditional society still. However, it is becoming more and more liberal everyday, but back in older times men had a higher status than women, just like many other countries. It seems a lot of these Japanese guys still feel they have a higher status than women, and so I have seen the behavior to match this.

There are a lot of fashions in Japan that are non-traditional. I don`t know if I would define these as being weird, but it is far away from the norm. I see many different fashions everyday walking the streets of tokyo. Some are pretty stylish, but some of the time I`m like what are you thinking wearing that attire. I guess that is what makes people more individual and self-expressive.

I haven`t seen the infamous `used school girl`s panties` being sold in vending machines, but I have seen regular panties in these machines.

I see where you are coming from though. Yeah, a lot of these claims have fallacies inside them. I`m not saying that I know it all, or that I am 100% accurate. I am basically stating my opinion from what I have observed living in the Japanese community. It is good to challenge a lot of these bogus claims, so I have to give you some props on that. However, if everything was 100% accurate, then there would be nothing to debate, right?
Well, sorry to inconvience anyone with borish inaccuracies about Japan... turns out that there IS a stupid question (all of them posted here apparently). I guess I will have to wait about 30 years till I save up enough money to see Japan for myself rather than waste eveyones time trying to meet and bond with someone from another culture in a mutual exchange of information. Well... I guess I will just trust the internet for the truth that way I can sit in a dark room reading stories on the internet and assuming all the stories are true rather than question them on the japan.com site.

Please read the previous statement with as much sarcasm that you can imagine cause that is how it was intended
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