Saturday, January 14, 2012

Prostitution in Japan is Illegal but the Police Often Look the Other Way! Prostitution Should Not be Illegal!

My best friend, Ken, just went to a birthday party at Yoshiwara. Lucky guy. Yoshiwara is the traditional "Red light district" in Tokyo that is full of the, er, "prostitution parlors" No! I mean, the "health massage" parlors.

Yeah. "Health massage" that's it.

Gratuitous cheesecake photo #1

This is a blog post about prostitution in Japan. I've wanted to write about this subject for a very long time. I don't mean "prostitution in Japan" I mean prostitution in general. 

Folks, in Japan or any other place on earth, the utter notion that prostitution should be illegal is complete and total nonsense.

Prostitutes on display in Edo period

The idea that prostitution is illegal is ridiculous. What two consenting adults want to do is none of your business or mine. If some guy wants to pay some woman for consensual sex, then what do you or I care? It's none of our business. I certainly don't want to pay taxes to stop some guy (who I don't even know) from meeting with some other guy or girl (that I don't even know) and having sex. Who cares what they do?

In Japan, prostitution is illegal on the books, but it is going on, everywhere, even as I write this post. In fact, right after the big March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster of 2011, sex-services were some of the first to get back into business and get the economy back on track.

Sex-services provide a much needed service to society. Please refer to Sex Services in Japan First to get Back to Business After Earthquake:

Well, hats off to the world's oldest profession. It seems that right after the Tohoku disaster,  sex- related  service industries were the first back to business. 

The excellent Tokyo Reporter has the story for us:

Even the horrifying death and devastation that struck northeastern Japan on March 11 could not suppress the human sex drive for long. Friday (June 10) reports that sex businesses were among the first to recover, many as soon as one week after the disaster.
“I was back at my job on March 18,” says Kitty-san, a 21-year-old employee of a delivery health (out-call sex service) service named Ainori in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. “From the day we reopened demand was even higher than it was before the disaster. Many customers had suffered from the catastrophe, and had even lost family members. They justified their urges, saying they ‘sought psychological relief’ or ‘wanted to be consoled.’ 

Prostitution is one of the oldest professions on earth. No amount of legislation is going to change that. Like I wrote, when two consenting adults want to meet and have sex, then that is none of anyone else's business. Whether money changes hands is also not important.

"No! You're going the wrong way! It's that way!"

Ask any guy if they've ever spent big money on a date in the hopes of getting a girl in the sack! Ask any employee if they trade their time for money at work. 

Who is it to judge what is morally correct or not. Hell, Jesus hung around with prostitutes and drunks... Sounds like a fun crowd to me!

And why can't a person sell what is theirs? Be it time or their body (I do not subscribe to the idea that prostitution is selling one's body. Prostitution is selling one's time). The only things that any one of us truly own, without any argument, is our bodies and our time. Those are two things which we, as free adults, have the inalienable right to do with as we please as long as we don't bother, burden or interfere with others. 

If a person can sell, say, a car they own, then a person can surely sell their time (or, "body" as some claim)* 

Yoshiwara's old gate (it's gone now)

The idea that this sort of legislation of morality can and should be controlled is madness. And how can we be sure that a money exchange is occurring? By police entrapment? Oh, yes, I'm sure that's what we are paying taxes for. So that the police can go undercover as prostitutes to entrap guys who need some kicks.


Gratuitous cheesecake photo #2

I didn't always think this way. I used to think that prostitution should be illegal. But a good Japanese friend of mine once pointed out to me, "Prostitution in Japan is illegal, but if two people fall in love for fifteen minutes, what's to stop them from falling in love?" When he first told me this, I thought it was completely crazy nonsense, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the nanny-state morality that most people have up their arses is what the really complete nonsense is here.

Tonight's "menu"?

Prostitution should be legalized. Period. (Let me also give a disclaimer here that I have never paid for prostitution services and have no interest in them. But I am certainly not interested in paying taxes so that the police can spend hundreds of millions of yen running sting operations to bust prostitution parlors!)

The biggest place in Japan where prostitution is traditionally going on, and everyone knows it, yet the police look the other way is Yoshiwara, near Asakusa. Like I said, prostitution in Japan is "illegal" but, well, like I also said, "if two people meet for 15 minutes and fall in love, what's to stop them?"

Yoshiwara today

Wikipedia says about Yoshiwara:

Yoshiwara (吉原) was a famous Akasen district (red-light district) in Edo, present-day TōkyōJapan.
In the early 17th century, there was widespread male and female prostitution throughout the cities of Kyoto, Edo, and Osaka. To counter this, an order ofTokugawa Hidetada of the Tokugawa shogunate restricted prostitution to designated city districts. These districts were Shimabara for Kyōto (1640), Shinmachifor Ōsaka (1624–1644) and Yoshiwara for Edo (1617). The main reason for establishing these nightless cities was the Tokugawa shogunate's trying to prevent the nouveau riche chōnin (townsmen) from political intrigue.

The 1923 Tokyo Earthquake fires destroyed this town. Then, the US air force bombed the hell out of it during the war (what for?) so it is a shadow of what it used to be. And, you won't find it on any maps. But, I've found it for you so that when you visit Japan so can go see it for, er, "research purposes"... Or, who knows, it might even be "healthy." 

Den of ill repute (notice the photos of the "staff" on "duty")

Prostitution is illegal, but the police often look the other way. Especially in Yoshiwara. These places are not called "prostitution parlors" they are called "Soapland"... Sounds like good, clean fun, no? Isn't that hilarious? And so Japanese. I love this place.

HOW TO GET THERE: To go to Yoshiwara, go to Minowa Station on the subway Hibiya Line (two stops past Ueno station heading away from Akihabara) and take Exit #3. Walk left (south-east) on Meiji Dori until you come to a big fork in the road. Take the right fork (not Meiji Dori) and continue on for 13 short blocks. That intersection is called Yoshiwara Daimon, and is where the old gate used to be. Turn right and you’ll be in the district. If you need directions, ask for Senzoku 4-chome.

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