Repressed Japanese men gone naked
Posted April 27, 2009on:
The big domestic news of the week was the arrest for public indecency of mega-star Tsuyoshi Kusanagi on Thursday. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi is one of the most charismatic members of the SMAP boys band that has been popular for as long as I can remember (to be specific, 1990). Kusanagi was reportedly found nude at a park in 3am drunk, completely wasted.
I can’t believe it! I can’t believe that
- it is the biggest domestic news of the week since last Thursday and that most Japanese news stations would discuss this incidence ignoring the swine flu,
- he is called “crime suspect” and no one shows sense of humor. He has been criticized widely for his behaviour and dropped from commercials and advertisements by various corporate sponsors (for God sake, he just got drunk, that’s all!),
- his nudity picture cannot be found anywhere on the internet, no where to be seen!!!
- getting drunk and stripping is not a peculiar behavior in Japan. Many Japanese men (not women lol) strip down to underwear when they get intoxicated.
The fourth point is most surprising to me. I have actually heard from my friends and family that they have seen such behavior in various places including college drinking parties, wedding after parties, and even in office parties! Apparently, these people habitually strip themselves when intoxicated.
For example, my friend’s boss is known for this behavior and, everyone in the company knows about it and whispers “he’s gonna get naked again tonight” every time there is an office social event. Another friend of mine was a member of golf club in university, where several members were regular strippers when it comes to drinking party (nomikai). For every drinking party (nomikai) there was, they would come prepared to get stripped, by wearing fundoshi, traditional Japanese underwear for adult males, made from a length of cotton and looks like a thong. It is certainly not an appreciated behavior for everyone, but people generally accept these strip boys for a laugh. At least, no body would report them for harassment!
What is up with this behaviour?
I asked my Japanese friends, my father (who has worked in a Japanese company for years) , and my sister (who went to Japanese university and has seen such strip boys) and they all gave me the same explanation, that they strip out of repression. These men are repressed in the Japanese society and they can only free themselves when they strip off their business suits and reveal their true self. Under family stress, school stress, work stress, social stress, and even stressed in dating scene, they can only release their frustration by stripping off their armor and show their peers who they are. You see, the point is that they strip in front of their peers, colleagues, team mates, or school mates, and not for strangers.
So… Kusanagi stripped in a park for the public, people who has been idolizing and worshiping him, hoping to liberate himself from repression. The most we can do for him, is to laugh and put the pictures up for the public eyes so he can relieve his stress.