Part II of Guy Jincarde’s look into the porn industry in Japan.
“It began with a perverted boyfriend and a stack of DVDs,” Labiana Moisenic, 31, replied when asked how she became interested in pornography of a lesbian nature. “He was hopelessly addicted to pleasuring himself, even when I was in bed with him. Luckily, I saw an opportunity, dumped him, and entered a world of pleasure that I had never imagined possible.” Four years later, Hungarian-born Moisenic finds herself a fixture on the lezporn scene, where she often performs in the role of either a language teacher, a visiting tourist, a hotel employee, or even a visiting researcher at university.
Moisenic explained that, while things are indeed looking rosy, more needed to be done to build awareness of Japanese lesbian pornography. “There’s a little too much of people looking and saying, ‘Aww… Japanese lesbians are so cute.’ We need to convince more people that these actresses deserve just as much respect as their North American and Latin American sisters. You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned German lesbians. Well, there’s a good reason for that.”
Reluctant to comment further on German lesbians, Moisenic preferred to touch on the frustration of being undermined during her work in the genre in Japan. “I don’t think my name appears in enough lesbian porn related articles here in Japan. It’s always the same old story for gaijin; you do the work but your efforts either go ignored or a local claims the credit, sometimes both things occur. Vietnamese strawberry pickers got a movie which shone a light on their plight. Well, where’s my documentary? Don’t I matter?
“Guy, you’ve been a tremendous supporter,” said Moisenic (addressing yours truly). “Few have done more for lesbian porn in Japan and we’re really grateful for your continual support. However, you still need to present all sides when you write your articles. There are genuine discrimination issues in the porn industry, but nobody wants to seriously pursue them. I find myself sidelined quite often when challenging roles come up. I’m given excuses as to why I’m not considered for the roles, but it’s clear that there are roles that are set aside for Japanese and gaijin needn’t apply.”
Best-selling JAV actress Kiki Sokoneta concurred with Moisenic, but only to a point. “Stuff such as B&D and chikan drama is closed to foreigners. It’s strictly Japanese only, for reasons that have never been fully explained to me. What confuses the hell out of me, however, is why someone like Moisenic would want to do that kind of work. Try being 27 years old and wearing a school uniform and being groped and squeezed. I’ve been tied up with ropes and had jelly shot up my butt, but that was when I was desperate to pay the rent. I’d never enthusiastically do that. It’s bottom-of-the-barrel pay for bottom-of-the-barrel work.”
Fortunately for Sokoneta, her success with getting down and dirty with other women on screen has enabled her to steer clear of the more deranged forms of pornography in recent years. Her next movie will finally see her getting the long yearned for face off with Moisenic who’ll be in her usual role as an English language tutor. “She’s going to be teaching me grammar,” she gushes, before cheerfully adding, “But only for a few minutes.”
Almost two years have passed since former JAV star Asoko Nureta’s outburst which left the Japanese lesbian and bisexual stars reeling. Well-covered in this journal and other fine publications, her broadly-targeted criticism forced the JAV industry to take a good, hard look at itself for the first time in years, and the results of this forced self-reflection have been amazing.
2021 has seen some incredibly popular releases which saw studios making bank for the first time in ages. And while the lesbian genre still has a way to go before it can topple the perennial leader Bondage & Discipline genre from its top perch, it’s fair to say that recent releases have got tongues wagging to the point where lips are being licked around the world in anticipation of new woman-on-woman action from Japan.
Heading the movement of dynamic AV actresses is 26 year old Kyuri Nakaha, who is enjoying a good run of hits including “Sisters-in-law-in-love”, “Scissor Me Softly”, and “Double-Headed Deathrattle”. She cut a bold figure as she sat down in her traditional gown to talk about the new boom in Made in Japan output.
“We were never bad, or underperforming in the way that was reported,” said Nakaha. “The improvement is there. That’s clear for all to see. As I see it, however, the biggest improvement has been in Nureta’s attitude toward the younger AV actresses who didn’t deserve the barrage of criticism that came their way last year. It was totally unfair, and it had more to do with Nureta’s failings in her attempt at cracking the big time in America five years ago.
“I wish one of you journalists would report on what happened to her. I was so disappointed when I read your article full of her criticism of the younger actresses. It’s up to you to do some research and present the facts to your readers. They need to know the context in which the comments are made, but in this case you failed to do your homework. It’s frustrating because we all knew the full picture behind the spray that she gave us. I mean, it’s not your fault per se, but it’s a problem that journalism as a profession is facing.
“She tried to get into the mainstream in San Fernando Valley, but she couldn’t handle the vigorous butch types who were called in to ravish her when she was making “The rewards of a long haul flight to LA”. It was like a regular for the Orix Buffaloes trying to make it in the Major League. The endeavour was there but she was clearly out of her depth. Her pride was wounded and the bitterness was there for all to see. She got thrown around a bit and it’s taken her a while to come to terms with what happened.”
The ill-fated career move has had a happy ending for Nureta. With a newly found talent for English, she now manages her own business which attends to the special needs of high-end solo travellers to Japan. This market includes people so cashed-up as to make travelling possible despite the recent upheavals to the travel industry. One keen observer remarked that she has “craftily cornered an area of a very specific market.”
Taking time out from her demanding schedule, Nureta was keen to set the record straight. “I never ever wanted anybody to get fired or businesses to collapse. I just wanted people to have pride in the industry again,” she said while reapplying her lipstick. “Context is important, Guy. You’ve got the credentials, the experience, and the reputation, so that means that people have expectations when they read you. It’s your job to live up to those expectations. You raised the bar, and now you have the responsibility not to drop it.
“When I said those things, many people’s financial situations were dire. Today we’ve got a lot of regular, emotionally stable, American and European guys paying money on sites to watch good quality Japanese product. Two years ago it was just the gross western guys with weird Asian fetishes who were paying for our stuff, so I think we can walk with our heads held high now. Some of our actresses can even tell their families what they really do without the fear of being turfed out of the house or cut out altogether.”
Happy actresses and happy families are the positive results of high quality (albeit occasionally disturbing) performances being captured for millions to see around the world, and that can only be good news for all involved in the industry in Japan.
Japan’s space agency JAXA has announced that the organization is about to receive official acknowledgement for having the best section of the International Space Station.
Although the exact nature of the award remains vague, JAXA bigwigs, television presenters, and random bigots interviewed outside Shinbashi Station all looked pretty excited about the news. “It’s always a pleasure when Japan receives due international recognition,” said one lush who added, “Although I generally don’t value anything from overseas.”
Speculation as to the reasons for the award are centering around the Kibo having some kind of unique feature within the space station. “My guess is that the food in the Kibo is healthier than the other food, which is probably oily and fattening,” suggested 29 year old hanko designer Yubi Hajikeru.
Other thinkers, entrepreneurs, and futurists were also focusing on superior cultural values. 19 year old student Yonaka Haishutsu offered, “Perhaps the award is simply down to the fact that everyone has to take their shoes off when they enter the Kibo section. I guess that it must be the cleanest part of the space station.”
Mina Kirai, a 37 year old Kagoshima hotel employee taking advantage of a lull in tourist trade by visiting Tokyo, said that the award should be a source of pride for all Japanese. “I’d say that the reason why we Japanese are receiving this award is due to the leadership shown by the Kibo residents. They have morning meetings where everyone sits around and agrees to do exactly what they do every day. It keeps everyone aware of what their roles are.”
Kirai was also keen to make a pre-emptive strike on expected malicious rumors on social media. “The award definitely isn’t due to them having a stack of dirty manga and uniform sex DVD’s stashed in a secret, but actually well-known place.”
“Everyone has their limits. Everyone has a line, and people need to tell others when it’s been crossed,” says Joey Rinaldi. Having grown up in Forest Hills NYC, the 45 year old developed a keen interest in visual media after having to dodge around crews making gritty cop dramas along his daily commute. This keen interest, along with an encyclopedic knowledge of television, occasionally sees the opinionated Rinaldi clashing with others.
“There were four non-Japanese colleagues of mine in the lunchroom at work, bagging Japanese television,” recalls the strongly-accented man (think “Taking of Pelham 123”). “It was the usual innocuous banter. They were making fun of the way B-grade celebrities exclaim that the food that they are eating is incredibly delicious. They were commenting at how their Japanese friends watch comedy programs stone-faced, while cute models wet themselves laughing at something happening in the studio.”
It was at this point that things went a little too far for Rinaldi’s liking. “They then began laughing about Queer Eye: We’re in Japan, which is actually the best series of the franchise ever. So, I let them all know that a quality program needs to be acknowledged no matter what the content may be. Let me make it clear that I’m not what I’d describe as a major fan. I didn’t volunteer to defend the program. This is a role that was forced on me.”
So, what is it that makes QEFTSG better in Japan?
“Well, the people that they focused on were pretty ordinary, but they producers steered clear of cliché such as zany science geeks, zany manga artists, and perverted businessmen. So, the people they featured were all deadbeats leading mundane, depressing lives, but the were still far better to observe than some disgusting Alabama redneck. The camera went into some Japanese homes too which were pretty cool to check out. With most Japanese homes, you see one and you’ve seen them all. However, it allowed overseas audiences to see that all-too-common clutter that you rarely see in Japanese films. Hording should be acknowledged as an illness, and Japan has more than its fair share of manifest cases.
“I’d add that this season managed to steer clear of harmful racial stereotypes, promote cultural understanding, and give a voice to a minority community that is sometimes sidelined. It could have been a giant train wreck where they gaijin-smashed their way through overly sensitive, reticent locals who didn’t really know what they’d signed up to, but it was smoother than the Yamanote Line on a Sunday without strong winds or earthquakes. They mispronounced every Japanese word they said though. I mean, it doesn’t take much to learn how to pronounce ‘sake’ correctly, does it.”
Warming to his non-voluntary role of defending the Japanese version of the show, Rinaldi let loose a carefully worded broadside at his ignorant colleagues. “I find it very hard to believe that anyone with an educated appreciation of television as a visual art form could honestly cast aspersions on such a successful project. As a viewer, I was nearly overwhelmed by the never-ending shots of tatami mats, old-style windows, and assorted Buddhist knick-knacks.
“It’s not just Queer Eye: We’re in Japan,” said Rinaldi. “Look at the wonderful (Japanese) adaption of Sideways. Now, deep and well thought-through conversations in movies are fine. I hope producers all over the world can learn this from watching the original version. The original Sideways did an amazing job of delving into the awkwardness, frustration, and despair of being 40 years old and unsuccessful. I applaud the producers for putting that on the big screen. Having said that though, there’s something special about taking all those varying levels of emotion and boiling them down to a man chasing a woman, who he barely knows, down the street while repeatedly asking her why she doesn’t want to move back to Japan.”
The kebab. It’s the pride of Turkey, and it’s the pride of Greece. The origins are vague, and this has allowed both countries to claim to be its cultural custodians. And, while the countries haven’t gone to war over the kebab, the issue is far from being solved.
Now, if we substitute the word tempura for kebab, and Japan and Portugal for Turkey and Greece, we find ourselves in similarly culturally sensitive territory. But, it’s here where similarities end, because Portuguese and Japanese diplomats will be sitting down this week to create an historic Agreement on the Degree of Cultural Importance of Tempura in Portugal and Japan. Rumors that a delegation of Melbourne fish & chip shop owners were eager to participate in the talks have so far been denied by all parties.
The tone of the talks will largely depend on the opening remarks given by both sides but, while everyone seems eager to engage in a spirit of cooperation, friction doesn’t seem far away. “They should know that we are above corruption,” said one Portuguese delegate. “Seriously. Don’t smirk. We can’t be bought off with a couple of evenings of booze and rub ‘n’ tugs, which is apparently how they got custodianship of Genghis Khan BBQ from the Mongolians.
“One of our Japanese counterparts said that Japanese people take extra care when they eat tempura. When I pressed for a concrete example of that, he told me that it was because they ate with chopsticks. That was what it came down to; eating with chopsticks. Come on! Would that hold up in a court of law?”
“These people in the far east are cheeky as hell,” said another delegate wearing garish epaulettes. “The Philippines tries to claim adobo as their own dish. All they’ve done is add soy sauce. Wow! Big change! And this is when every former Spanish colony has tweaked it one way or other. You can’t claim a dish as your own just by adding a different sauce. In this case with tempura, it should be acknowledged that Portugal is the birthplace.
“You can’t change that! Japanese people are trying to support their claim by saying that it’s been 500 years (since the dish was introduced). What does that mean!? In 2300 will the USA be able to claim spaghetti as their own? Will the Australians be able call their sparkling wine Champagne again? The answer to these questions, my friend, is no. As you can see, this is an issue that’s going to have repercussions for everyone in the future.”
The shots across the bow aren’t coming from one direction either, with a Japanese participant asserting that the dish is now Japanese. “The Portuguese have suggested that we should change the name to something else, but I think our pronunciation has allowed the word to take on a sophisticated air,” said an middle-aged man with obviously dyed black hair.
Another old guy with a permanent creepy smirk explained that, “When we talk about tempura, we say the word with the feel of a farmer’s beautiful daughter slowly walking through a field of wheat as her dress brushes softly against the stalks. Oh, and did I mention that we are very proud of our tempura? That fact alone should count for everything.”
Kocho Umin stands on a bridge across the Seine River and shakes his head, a wry smile forming as he prepares to let it all out. “I like living here. Paris is where it’s at for me,” he begins. “But, these people act as though they’re the center of the universe, but then express surprise if you know anything about their country.”
For the 32 year old systems analyst, life in France is much more than people discussing avant garde art and lesbian film. “These people behave as though it’s only them who use knives and forks, even though all the countries surrounding France have the same culture. The French didn’t even invent this style of eating.
“I’ve been living in Paris for over a year. Of course I can use a knife and fork,” said Umin, before adding that he tends to swat away many such innocuous, yet slightly irritating, questions at least once a week. “They ask me if I like French girls, and if I like French food. It’s as though they think I only moved here because I have some kind of French fetish, where I get all turned on by young women who know how to coordinate stylishly.
“They’re super proud of their wine here, too. One person asked me if I knew what beaujolais was. Of course I do. Japan, more than any other country, gets excited about it every autumn thanks to clever marketing conducted by our electronics companies who were kind of forced by the French government to import the stuff. When I tell people this they give a really vague response, as though they either don’t believe me or don’t understand what I’m saying.”
Full of momentum, Umin was still keen to wrap up our interview so that he could go to a nearby Japanese bar where he could be amongst regular people and breathe. “When I mention something like The Louvre, escargot, or the guillotine during a conversation, the reaction is usually condescending. People seem amazed that I know these things, as though I’m Marco Polo or some guy blessed with the key to universal cultural understanding. When I tell them that it’s basically all simple general knowledge, there’s often an awkward silence. What’s that all about?”
Umin was also keen to describe the ignorance of the locals. “I’m from Japan, but people often think I’m Chinese. What an insult! That would be like people in Japan assuming that every white person they see is from America. It’s that ridiculous. What’s more, when they find out that I’m Japanese, they want to tell me that Sony, Panasonic, and Nintendo owe their very existence to the silk loom. These Frenchies are so proud of their DNA.”
Jean Kulasek, Paris Municipal Councilor for Special Events, expressed dismay at Umin’s attitude. “It is a shame that a relatively new resident of our world class city could harbor such views. Perhaps living in France is difficult for foreigners, as we have many things that you’d have to be French to understand.” When pressed for an example, the councilor sucked in air through his teeth before quickly saying, “Lots of cheese.” He then stared down at his desk for a while, eventually glancing up with apparent hope that I wasn’t sitting in front of him anymore.
Disgusting. Unattractive. Gross. Weird. Unfashionable. Ugly. Unfortunate. Stale. Jerry Grinter has heard all of these words and more uttered in close proximity to him quite often during his time in Tokyo. More painful for him is that the words are sometimes coming out of the mouths of beautiful women.
“In places like Thailand and Vietnam the local women go wild for me,” explained the 34 year old Albertan, his scalp shining despite the darkened woke café interior. “They see baldness not just as a sign of virility, but also nobility. Prince William, in particular, helps a lot in maintaining this image. In Japan, however, a bald man is bottom of the pile. That’s why you see so many rugs from hell when you’re on the subway here.
“Basically, Japanese women don’t get wet over the sight of a bald man. They think bald men are old and creepy, and probably unable to perform adequately. On the other hand, it’s not all doom and gloom for the follicly challenged in Japan. The advantages are, of course, that saucy old British comedian Benny Hill is barely known so the chances of being slapped about the scalp are minimal.”
Reduced to wearing pork pie hats and flat caps when he ventures into Tokyo’s more fashionable areas, Grinter has learnt to try picking up young ladies in city parks rather than chasing them in exclusive nightclubs.
“Yoyogi Park is probably where I have most success. The girls there tend to be racier and more agreeable to capping off an afternoon’s drinking in a disabled toilet at sunset. When chasing skirt during the day, few women question why I’m wearing a hat. Without any head-covering though, I couldn’t even get laid at a Bruce Willis Appreciation Event in a club filled with ugly chicks. That’s the reality that I face in this unforgiving city every weekend.”
According to local historic sex expert Sarashi Matashita, baldness was considered macho 300 years ago, and could see a comeback in our lifetime. “According to poetry of ancient Nara, women of the court would hunger for the love of a bald man following a legendary afternoon when three chonmage samurai ravished a dozen maidens in a carefully maintained garden. Baldness also indicated an absence of headlice, which could be devastating for a long haired lady back in those days.”
Matashita expressed sympathy for crome-domes by pointing out the lack of sexy bald Japanese stars, but he also offered a glimmer of hope for the follicly challenged. “We’ve always seen dead fashions come back after prolonged periods of being ridiculed. The same goes for hairstyles. By my reckoning, baldnesss is due to come full-circle during the next decade. Until then, however, all those cue balls just have to accept that they are grossly undesirable in the eyes of an astonishingly large number of Japanese women.”
It’s in the supermarkets. It’s in the izakaya. It’s in the restaurants. It’s delicious. And now even the powerful Four Unique Seasons Groupthink Association (FUSGA) has announced that, due to recent developments, it has slightly altered its position on lamb.
For years the agreed-upon national attitude had been that lamb had a strange smell which every single son and daughter of Yamato found abhorrent. Following the increase in Pacific trade agreements and the dismantling of tariffs, however, it seems that palate selectiveness is entirely coincidentally becoming a thing of the past.
“We’ve never eaten lamb because somewhere at some time someone said the smell was disagreeable,” explained FUSGA spokesperson Kintama Asedarake. “Although, at the same time, in Hokkaido they have been eating a barbeque lamb dish for years.” Hana Susuri, a random 70 year old woman, who sticks her nose in whenever a westerner is around, added, “We call it Genghis Khan. Do you know?”
The news has been welcomed by Aussie and Kiwi farmers, who may or may not have slipped the President of the FUSGA a thick brown paper envelope recently. “You little beauty,” exclaimed the head of the Queensland Farmers Federation, Terry Sterling. “It’s great for us (Australian farmers) and it’s great for the Kiwi’s too. We all want a robust New Zealand economy as it gives all those Kiwis more reason to stay in New Zealand, rather than going out into the world and living amongst the rest of us.”
Not everyone is happy with the news, however. For 75 year old Kazuo Shitauchi, it leaves a few questions unanswered. “I’ve always accepted that I didn’t like lamb, but now I am supposed to like lamb. I may need time to adjust to this situation. Should I buy some now? Is the smell still bad? How will my highly sensitive scent glands and my unique digestive system handle it?”
We’ve all seen it before; a Japanese person responding in disbelief upon seeing a clearly non-Japanese person, even when the foreigner lives in the area and walks down the same road 300 times a year. The encounter can be frightening for a Japanese person, and annoying for a blow-in. That’s why the government has got around to introducing a map that can serve as a guide for areas where it’s quite entirely possible that a foreigner may be present at some time.
A spokeswoman for the government, Mirei Tokimeki, was only too happy to explain the initiative. “We like rules in Japan, so it’s only natural that we have rules for dealing with non-Japanese.
“We can see from this map that in some areas it’s completely reasonable to expect to see a foreigner. Here we’re talking about central train stations, tourist areas, and neighborhoods with down-market drinking establishments. In these areas we would like to encourage everyone to just go about their daily business as if foreigners are normal, regular people.
“In other areas, just the thought of seeing a foreigner may be incredibly weird and barely comprehensible. This is where an over-the-top reaction would be appropriate, be it an overt coughing fit, indirect questions as to why they are there, an observation that there have been a lot of foreigners around lately, or simply an assertion that you are most definitely surprised.
“As with the introduction of any rules, however, there may be some confusion. So, we’d like everyone to remember that they also have the choice of relying on the traditional default setting of stopping whatever it is that they are doing and staring blankly. This can always be considered an appropriate reaction.”