Japanese dating rules
Japanese dating rules
Such "scandals" are common in Japan; despite the flagrant marketing of J-pop idols as sex symbols, any hint of them engaging in an actual relationship is harshly frowned upon.When AKB48's agency released the Minegishi video along with a blog post demoting her to the "training" ranks of the 88-member-strong group, it was only the most extreme example in a long line of similar incidents. That's the age of majority in Japan; two weeks previously, she had celebrated her coming-of-age day along with every other Japanese person who reached the age of 20 in the past year.
The group was formed in 2005, taking its name from the Akihabara district of Tokyo ("Akiba" for short) where various members give performances each day at the dedicated AKB48 Theater.As an adult, how is it even possible to be stopped from forming a relationship by your employer?And how can fans accept the ritual humiliation of someone they look up to?A Japanese pop idol, hair freshly shaved to the skin, takes to You Tube and bursts into tears as she begs for mercy over her transgression."My name is Minami Minegishi of AKB48 Team B," she says, referring to the hugely successful group she became a founding member of seven years ago.The members of AKB48 are aggressively marketed as sex symbols; barely an issue of Weekly Playboy goes by without at least one girl from the group appearing in a swimsuit or less, and the "Heavy Rotation" video opens with a lingerie-clad pillow fight.
The positioning of the group has caused controversy in Japan: a suggestive 2012 candy commercial was accused of promoting lesbianism, for example, and last month singer Tomomi Kasai was pictured topless in a photobook with nothing but a small child's hands protecting her modesty, prompting a child porn investigation.Clad in baseball cap and cotton surgical mask, Minegishi was aiming to dodge paparazzi, but evidently her disguise didn't work.The result was the profoundly disturbing apology video posted last week and later pulled from the official AKB48 You Tube channel.But the non-obsessive fans aren't the ones responsible for the group's success — the avaricious otaku is where the money's at.Those with the spending power have influenced a poisonous moral norm that's worked its way through Japan, and it's come to a head with the furore over Minami Minegishi.The concept behind the group was to create stars that fans could not only relate to, but actually meet.