Friday, October 24, 2008
An honorable death?
I freely admit that I'm not really providing you people with the latest news from Japan and news and other items often nest themselves in the back of my head and slowly move forward to in the end manifest themselves in this little blog.
You see, about a month ago there was an incident in Osaka where a fire started in a building with a video booth shop in it. As a Swede, these type of establishments are very much connected with the red light districts and has an overall seedy image and I don't think I hardly ever even has seen one until I came to Japan. Also, after the home video became widespread I think most of those places dissapeared since people could now get their regular porn fix in the privacy of their own homes and the few remaining establishments must have catered to that crowd of people that for some reason got a kick out of going outside for their porn fix.
However, not so here in Japan, I don't know how many such establishments there are in the Ikebukuro area where I live alone, but I would guess that at least 50 is not a bold estimate. In the local restaurant and nightlife area they are a common sight nested in between the bars, the restaurants and the places that provide recommendations to the bar/hostess bar/sex club scene. Looking from the advertisements and signs it seems like they very much target the salaryman crowd, perhaps they like to "take a break" there before going home to the wife and kids in which watching porn has proven to be to difficult.
Now, in the Osaka fire, something around 7 men were caught in there, couldn't escape and died from the smoke and the fire. In Japan, such an event is of course nation wide news and it was the headliner news on basically all the news channels. The peculiar thing that I noticed was that no names were given... If a similar accident had happened at, say a department store, they would list the names of those who expired in the fire, but nothing such for this event. I am not sure on whether this was because the relatives that didn't want to have it blasted all over the news that their husband/brother/child frequented such establishments or because the tv companies decided that keeping it a little more discreetly would be the best route. In any case, it's a tragic event and nothing to joke about really.
Personally, I have never visited one of these places, but I do admit to a general curiousity of how it works, how the rooms look and how the service is, it wouldn't be to "use the facilities" but more to see how one of these places actually look like. However, the thought of being in a room where hundreds and hundreds of people have been sitting jacking off is less than appealing to me (do they clean the walls too?) so I decided to outsource it. For the bargain sum of 2000 yen plus expenses covered, The Boy will visit one establishment on my behalf and provide me with some pictures and a report. The current timeline for this project is in two weeks and I will happily report back to you so you can decide if it's worth taking a look.
I did clearly state that I could provide no insurance for him in the case of a fire, but I could approach his mother and tell her that he visited at my request which I'm sure she wouldn't believe in any case...