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Maciamo
Aug 20, 2003, 16:04
Long before coming to Japan, I had heard that lots of Japanese were sadomasochist. Now that I am in Japan, I sometimes see "SM" pictures in (otherwise normal) magazines, but if one is looking for SM clubs, they are actually hard to find... because they aren't advertised in the street. There are lots of them but if you don't know someone who knows it, they are almost impossible to find.

Westerners usually know Japanese for the practice of "hara-kiri" (which is not much practised nowadays :p ) and "karoushi" or "death by overwork". So I am wondering, do Japanese really like suffering or make other suffer ?

My wife, like lots of Japanese women, love massages, but I admit that I personally associate it more with torture. Everytime I tried, I had to withdraw after 10 seconds as it was too painful. But she actually enjoys it. Maybe that's more a male-female sensitory difference. (or it's me who is oversensitive :blush: )

Let' find more examples... Did you know that there was (usually) no anaesthesia for women giving birth in Japan. I've been told that it was changing slowly, but most women still prefer to "feel" they are giving birth.

A friend of mine went to the dentist in Tokyo to take out a painful molar and the dentist wanted to do it without anaesthesia at all. She refused and went to see another dentist, of course. How could some dentist still tak out teeth without anaesthesia in Japan ? :mad: But I've been told that even doctors were often reluctant to prescribe painkiller to patients with cancer or any painful disease (or injury).

Is this a cultural fact that Japanese like suffering ?

Erik
Aug 20, 2003, 17:17
Given the choice, I would think most japanese would choose to goto work because they enjoy working and acomplishment. They may not like their job, but to some degree there is satisfaction. If that workaholic was home all day instead of going to the office like he/she normally does, I'm sure he/she would be climbing walls. I know I do. I'm a workaholic IMO. Work is probably the single most important thing in life, then family, then friends. This may sound kind of callous, but to enjoy life, you need money. Work provides you with just about everything you need in life pretty much. Can't have a family or life outside of work without income. you can certainly try, but it doesn't get very far with most people.

My girlfriend is japanese and pretty much shares the same opinion as me. I thought this was a little strange because I figured it was males who mostly thought this way in japan... I guess not.

neko_girl22
Aug 20, 2003, 18:49
when my hubby first gave me a massage I, too, was ready to give up after 10 minutes.... but he assured me that although it hurts it actually feels good too.
So, I tried relaxing a bit and I now love it!! afterwards my muscles feel great :) you should give it a try again Maciamo!

I know a gaijin wife around here, who said when she gave birth they were reluctant to give anaesthesia.... ouch!

As for their attitude to work I think it's the reason they live so long. Here in the countryside I see Grandma's doing counsil road work! At first I thought "poor Grandma's! they should be home watching day time soaps!" but talking it over with hubby I came to realise it's really important to a person to feel worthy, feel like they are contributing something. In western countries retired people often feel useless. In Japan, people work until they die.
but, there needs to be a balance, I think it's crazy how some husbands come home from work at 10pm everynight :s

maji
Aug 20, 2003, 19:24
japanese like suffering? certainly as much as any other country.

about suicide in japan: that has nothing to do with pain (and japanese people dont commit suicide more often then westeners either, it is just a prejudice and seems to be right cause of different ways to deal with it).

about working: i learned that japanese people stay in general longer at work then westeners but that doesnt necessarily mean they work longer. i was told that they make more breaks or just stay because its impolite to leave before another person and such.

about sm: the point is not suffering but using pain as a way to get into ecstasy, and reaching that was/is a common goal in many societies, even if in "modern" societies some ways to reach it are rather hidden while in socities like that of some indian tribes its still public. just think of those rituals where indians are hung up on their skin.

i could be horribly wrong with everything but thats whats on my mind to that topic right now ;)

kirei_na_me
Aug 20, 2003, 21:42
About massage: My husband does it and it hurts like hell, but it makes me feel better. If I have a splitting headache, he can mash on either side of my head hard and it makes my headache disappear. Of course, it feels like my skull is going to collapse, but anyway. He also sometimes has me hit his back with my fist. I mean, not like punching it, but almost. He once said that it "had to hurt"....

About childbirth: That's true. They are not very liberal with pain medication in Japan. I don't think it's that they want to "feel" childbirth, exactly, but it's just the doctors think it's unecessary and any extra measures would get in the way. That's not a bad thing as far as I'm concerned, though. There are other ways to deal with pain during childbirth...but they don't really know those either. They just go through childbirth with no pain meds because that's just they way you do it. But anyway, Japan has a very low infant mortality rate, and they hardly ever use epidurals or narcotics. The cesarean rate is also extremely low, so they must be doing something right. The only intervention they do regularly during childbirth are episiotomies. Ouch.

About work: I don't know about this. I have seen all kinds of abuse taken at work. Do they subconsciously enjoy it? I have no idea, but they sure do take a lot of abuse. I have seen my husband work for 16-18 hours per day for months before we were married, and being reprimanded physically by his boss--something that you might not be able to get away with in an American company. Thank goodness that is now over. He sometimes works 12 hours now, but never over that, and his new boss is much better. Maybe he's secretly hating that it's better now? :confused:

Maybe I am seeing a trend here...

kaz
Aug 21, 2003, 01:23
I do feel sometimes that Japanese are putting too much stress on themselves. Especially service sector. People are bowing so hard, which may or may not work to attract customers.

Maciamo
Aug 21, 2003, 11:39
Originally posted by maji
japanese like suffering? certainly as much as any other country.

Well, that's what I was trying to disprove (or discuss anyway).



about suicide in japan: that has nothing to do with pain (and japanese people dont commit suicide more often then westeners either, it is just a prejudice and seems to be right cause of different ways to deal with it).

Actually Japanese still have one of the highest suicide rate in the world. But I was not saying they did it because they liked pain. What I meant was that traditionally people commited ritual suicide (seppeku, harakiri) by opening their bowels wityh a sword, which must be extremely painful. Thst pain was a kind of proof of devotion and honor, and a quick death without suffering wasn't enough to show that.



about working: i learned that japanese people stay in general longer at work then westeners but that doesnt necessarily mean they work longer. i was told that they make more breaks or just stay because its impolite to leave before another person and such.

I can assure you they do work longer, and even at home when their boss or colleagues don't see them. That's true that they shouldn't leave when others are still working, but that's because of the group mentailty. If other people (in your section at least) haven't finished, you should help them. If I believe Japanese work less intensively than lots of Westerners (slower to do the same task), they still spend more time working. It's also because of their entire comitment to their job and company. But I am speaking mostly of salarymen here. There are lots of people who just work 9 to 5 and knock off exactly at closing time (in banks, government offices, department stores, etc.).



about sm: the point is not suffering but using pain as a way to get into ecstasy, and reaching that was/is a common goal in many societies


Err... What are you talking about ? Maybe that's true for people like "Jackass" (the movie), but most people would do anything to avoid suffering.

maji
Aug 21, 2003, 14:04
Actually Japanese still have one of the highest suicide rate in the world
i was told by several profs who have master degrees in japanology (so i kind of trust them in that matters) that the suicide rate of japan is only that slightly higher then the average suicide rate in europe that it doesnt make sense to discuss it. it just seems higher because it is thought of and discussed differently in japan then in other countries. but, i guess we just have different opinions in this matter.


Err... What are you talking about ? Maybe that's true for people like "Jackass" (the movie), but most people would do anything to avoid suffering.
you just repeated what i was saying, stressing that we are the same opinion, so the "what are you talking about" is slightly confusing since, as said, we have the same opinion in this matter. people dont suffer voluntarily.

Elizabeth
Aug 21, 2003, 23:06
Originally posted by maji
i was told by several profs who have master degrees in japanology (so i kind of trust them in that matters) that the suicide rate of japan is only that slightly higher then the average suicide rate in europe that it doesnt make sense to discuss it. it just seems higher because it is thought of and discussed differently in japan then in other countries. but, i guess we just have different opinions in this matter.
I'm not sure about Europe, but the last stats I saw on this showed the suicide rate in Japan approximately twice to that of the US. Around 30,000 in each country annually, with half the population.

maji
Aug 22, 2003, 00:28
ive here an extract of a table of a research of the university of wuerzburg about suicide:

Country: Japan
Year: 1996
Males: 25,0
Females: 12,0

Country: Western Europe, average
Males: 28,6
Females: 8,3

Country: Northern America, average
Males: 20.7
Females: 4.9

so what does this table tell us? average suicide rate in europe is higher then in japan. average suicide rate in japan is higher then in usa but by far not double (that would be over 40 and not 25).

guess that the table Elizabeth then saw was either the target of some patriotistic slight changes in favor of usa, or wasnt done correctly, or the people who made it were affected by prejudices.

of course you can say the table i refer to is wrong, but i personally dont think that an important german university would post wrong information in the internet (they wouldnt even gain anything from doing so) and for sure checked their results several times. additionally they listed on the 2nd link below a number of institutions where they got information for their research from and they seem to be reliable.

the full table can be seen here:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/IASR/suicide-table1.htm
additional information and interpretation of the results of the above mentioned table can be read here:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/IASR/suicide-rates.htm

Elizabeth
Aug 22, 2003, 01:08
Originally posted by maji
guess that the table Elizabeth then saw was either the target of some patriotistic slight changes in favor of usa, or wasnt done correctly, or the people who made it were affected by prejudices.
I actually hadn't broken it down like this (per 100,000)--but it does look like the 1996 rate for Japan was 35.8 compared to 23.7 for the US. And the two highest countries, Russia and Lithuania, may have been influenced by political events taking place in the mid-90's. It is dangerous to extrapolate from a single year, even if that is all the data available.

http://fathersforlife.org/health/who_suicide_rates.htm

maji
Aug 22, 2003, 01:15
but it does look like the 1996 rate for Japan was 35.8 compared to 23.7 for the US.
well thats nearly the same thing. while the difference between suicides of men aint that different between us and japan (25 to 19.8) the suicide rate of women is much higher (12.0 to 4.4).

but what i wanted to say is still the same: suicide rate of japan aint much higher then that of german countries (as said even lower then the average).

Maciamo
Aug 22, 2003, 10:57
JFYI, I was talking about the way of comitting suicide. In te original discussion, it doesn't matter at all which country has a higher rate of suicide. Usually, people who can't stand (usually psychological) suffering commit suicide. I was talking about physical pain. My point was: even when taking their own life, Japanese had found a way to add physical pain to it. In lots of countries, people who can choose their way of dying would rather find a quick (hanging, bullet in the head, jump from a building...) or at least painless way (medicine...). This has changed in modern Japan where people now often commit suicide by jumping from the top of a building or under a train.

We could continue the debate arguing whether, traditionally, Japanese stressed the importance of physical suffering (a kind of "stoicism") even more than now. I think so, but it's just a first-hand impression from historical films or books I have read.

doudesuka
Aug 22, 2003, 16:43
of course you can say the table i refer to is wrong, but i personally dont think that an important german university would post wrong information in the internet (they wouldnt even gain anything from doing so) and for sure checked their results several times. additionally they listed on the 2nd link below a number of institutions where they got information for their research from and they seem to be reliable.


Maji, not to offend you but you seem a little to sure of yourself.
Maybe you should take it down a notch or two. How can you be sure your table is right? To say that Elizabeth's table is wrong and making assumptions thyat it has to do with political reasons, is wrong. This is pure sociology here. peace

maji
Aug 22, 2003, 18:47
Maybe you should take it down a notch or two. How can you be sure your table is right? To say that Elizabeth's table is wrong and making assumptions thyat it has to do with political reasons, is wrong. This is pure sociology here.
situation is following, when i posted the above mentioned stuff, the only thing i knew from the other table was "suicide rate in japan is nearly double that of usa". that was it. so, i didnt say that hers is incorrect and mine is correct, but if you ask me whichs source i thought of to be more reliable i would pick the one whose resources i know (like a bunch of japanese and german instituations, then WHO and others).
now that ive seen the other table they look quite similiar and the one i referred to is even taking information from WHO who created the other table. so maybe i chose the wrong words what to express but i think that the discussion if japanese suicide rate is 37 or 35.8 in a discussion about suffering is placed wrong and we should get back to the subject.

so to get back to the subject, i think that hurting yourself is something that appeared in many cultures. think of people in the european middle ages who whipped themself to free themself of sins. but all those ways of suffering are completly different, have different origins and have/had different meanings to people.

Elizabeth
Aug 22, 2003, 21:37
Originally posted by maji
situation is following, when i posted the above mentioned stuff, the only thing i knew from the other table was "suicide rate in japan is nearly double that of usa". that was it. so, i didnt say that hers is incorrect and mine is correct, but if you ask me whichs source i thought of to be more reliable i would pick the one whose resources i know (like a bunch of japanese and german instituations, then WHO and others).
Actually, the 30,000 number was just one I'd seen thrown around a lot in the media and from suicide prevention groups for both the US and Japan and I'm still wondering about the discrepancy. The WHO most likely relies quite heavily on sampling and inferential statistics in accounting un/under reported data, though, nothing to do with their lack of patriotism in this case. :D

Elizabeth
Aug 24, 2003, 01:29
Originally posted by Maciamo
[B]Long before coming to Japan, I had heard that lots of Japanese were sadomasochist. Now that I am in Japan, I sometimes see "SM" pictures in (otherwise normal) magazines, but if one is looking for SM clubs, they are actually hard to find... because they aren't advertised in the street. There are lots of them but if you don't know someone who knows it, they are almost impossible to find.

Well.....somewhat factually incorrect, but still a short (and very sweet) article on the subject:

http://www.mynippon.com/romance/shibari.htm

maji
Aug 24, 2003, 03:44
i talked some time ago in a pub with some guy who talked and interviewed such a shibari master. it was really interesting what he learned.


it is said and believed that bondage, submission and humiliation frees a woman
thats just true.

dadio
Aug 25, 2003, 07:34
Interesting topic!...
though I must say that the quote above this post makes me feel sad for some reason...
I love my Japanese girlfriend more than anything... & I'm a bit of a *cuddly* kinda guy more than anything else...
I dunno... just my upbringing I guess...
*but* my girlfriend is quite the opposite...
sure, she really likes cuddling & gentleness...
but, well... when we get...
errr... x^_^x... well, she likes biting & being bitten! - o.0!...
& I don't mean friendly little nibbling!... I mean really painfully!
Which is something which *really* surprsied me when I was getting to know her.... she also likes *painful* massages & sometimes likes to use those *evil* "Chinese Medical Suction Cup" things for her back ( ya know those things I'm talking about?... they can leave bruises for *ages!* ... *blech!*.. it makes me sick seeing her doing that!!!...
& seeing her back all bruised afterwards! ;_;!
I hate seeing & especially hate causing anyone pain!...
but it seems like she likes it alot!...
there doesn't seem to be a clear division in her mind between what feels *painful* & what feels *sensual*...
I wonder if most Japanese women are like that?

maji
Aug 25, 2003, 21:10
it is said and believed that bondage, submission and humiliation frees a woman

though I must say that the quote above this post makes me feel sad for some reason...
I love my Japanese girlfriend more than anything... & I'm a bit of a *cuddly* kinda guy more than anything else...
when i was absolutely new to bdsm, that was.. when i was about 17 or 18 years old (5 to 6 years ago) the first thought i was that this thing has nothing to do with me, since im a sensitive cuddly person. but when i learned more about the subject i realised that my prejudices where wrong and just came from me not knowing the subject.


errr... x^_^x... well, she likes biting & being bitten! - o.0!...
& I don't mean friendly little nibbling!... I mean really painfully!
human bites are more dangerous then those of dogs and about every third really deep human bite leads to amputation. :)


I hate seeing & especially hate causing anyone pain!...
bdsm is not necessarily about pain, that is just the sm thingy. but since we talk about pain... uhm, so i dont want to get too deep into that subject.
simple thing is, if your not sadistic you dont like it so you have to find a way between doing something you dont like but she enjoys. *shrugs*


I wonder if most Japanese women are like that?
guess people are in such matters that different that in no country most women or men are that way.




:)

dadio
Aug 25, 2003, 21:27
Ummm....
well... I think ya got the wrong idea about the biting!...
hehehe... I have *never* bitten her at all deeply or anything... I'd never leave marks on her or anything!...
she bit me once pretty painfully...
and she left a mark on me that time & it really hurt.. & I asked her why?.. why did she do it?... & she asked me to bite her back... which made me very sad...
*but* we haven't bitten or hurt each other since!... & we're both quite happy & she loves being all cuddly & caressing anyway!
The suction cup things are meant to be for relieving tension or something by the way... they're not some kinda bondage/sm toy or anything!...
that kinda stuff makes me feel sick really!...
pain = bad...
that's just my opinion.. you're entitled to yours & I see where you're coming from!...
I guess what I was asking was...
is it more normal for Japanese women to accept & *want* to be hurt a bit more than other women?... perhaps for various reasons that go back generations?... maybe not.. I was just curious... I know that *now* my g/f *loves* being close & cuddly & delicate!... & finds that no Asian men are like that.

maji
Aug 26, 2003, 02:13
well... I think ya got the wrong idea about the biting!...
hehehe... I have *never* bitten her at all deeply or anything...
dont worry, i got you right. i just wanted to mention that injuries of people biting each other during sex are not as rare as one might think. ;)


The suction cup things are meant to be for relieving tension or something by the way... they're not some kinda bondage/sm toy or anything!...
i know the things you mean. of course one could ask when something is an sm toy and when its not but thats food for another topic. :)


pain = bad...
pain is just information to your brain that something is happening with your body. thats all. if you would never feel pain you would soon be dead because you wouldnt know if something is changing with your body.
so if you think that way of it, pain is a good thing. but in general its just information and thus neither good nor bad. the way we think of it in our subjective way is just determined by our experiences / knowledge of it / how we got raised / sexual preferences etc etc etc