4 Things women are banned from doing in Japan 【Women in Japan Series】

Women have been prohibited from doing certain things (entering places, using facilities, etc.) for as long as civilization has existed. Restrictions are still common, albeit usually in religious contexts only. While religions themselves evolve and change with the times and bans are lifted, it doesn’t mean all of them get an update.

As women, we all know the purported reasons behind these bans: women are “impure” because we menstruate (the same impure biological process that allows us to give life to men), we are the physically weaker sex, and we distract men with our beauty. Yada, yada, yada.

Today, in our Women in Japan Series, we take a look at four things women are still not allowed to do in Japan. I’ve divided them into bans and semi-bans. Bans allow no women; semi-bans allow women–but only sometimes.

Of course, it’s high time these restrictions were lifted. While much headway has been made in the past, such as the lifting of the rule preventing women from climbing Mount Fuji, other bans are proving more stubborn despite protests by Japanese women’s groups. Will these restrictions be lifted anytime soon? Only the Japanese people can decide.

1. Ban: Climbing to the top of Mount Omine

800px-omine_1
Reason: Women are a “distraction”

If you’ve ever dreamed of climbing Mount Omine in Nara Prefecture (officially known as Mt. Sanjo)–a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the 100 most famous mountains in Japan–we hope you’re not a woman. You might be surprised to learn that UNESCO doesn’t take gender into consideration when awarding World Heritage status, but heritage sites that ban the entire female race can be found in Burma, India, and Greece as well as Japan.

Mt. Omine won World Heritage status as part of a larger category of Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. In fact, the popular Kumano Pilgrimage route goes through the sacred area but makes allowances for women hiking through this part. They are still prohibited, however, from climbing up to Ominesanji Temple at the top of the mountain.

This interdiction is carried over from the old days when, according to Shinto tradition, it was felt that women’s alluring nature would distract male pilgrims from their ascetic duties. Well, perhaps all women were drop-dead gorgeous then, or maybe during those days it was de rigueur for women to hike around naked. But that’s certainly not the case today. Besides, you’d think the real test of a pilgrim seeking religious purity via the strict denial of worldly pleasures, would be to insist that he strictly deny himself worldly pleasures!

▼This sign says: nyonin kekkai (女人結界), or “Women Banned”
nyoninkekkai

▼Here’s a sign straight from the temple, complete with translation especially for foreign enchantresses.

450px-omine_2

At any rate, despite the edict seeming inimical to tourism, who are we to decide what local people should allow and not allow within their heritage sites? And one should never disrespectfully trample upon religious traditions. But we can still hope that more softening will take place to the degree of baby softness, and that women will be able to hike up the mountain some day, even while menstruating.

There is one part of the mountain, called Mount Inamura (稲村ヶ岳) that is sometimes referred to as Nyonin Omine (女人大峯), or “Women’s Ōmine,” reserved for ladies. Let’s hope there’s a bar set up there with sake and hors d’oeuvres.

2. Ban: Entering the sumo ring, taking part in sumo competitions and rituals

3603423112_8418518eea_o

Reason: women violate the purity of the sumo ring

The Sumo Association claims that since women have traditionally not been allowed to take part in sumo activities through the centuries, that it would be a dishonor to all of their ancestors to change it. Well, that pretty much seals the case since we can’t get permission from the ancestors. Or can we? Why not get in touch with the Itako fortunetellers of Aomori Prefecture, known for their ability to talk with the dead? Surely this is just a formality and all she has to do is run the idea past the sumo ancestors. With the impressive Japanese women in martial arts these days, and the recent ignominy from a decade of scandals, you’d think women would get tacit approval from the ancestors as well. Besides, there have been suggestions that women’s sumo did play a role in some Shinto rituals in the past, so we could clear that up at the same time. Hey, it’s worth a try because as it stands now, women are not allowed to enter the sumo ring even to present prizes to the wrestlers (and yes, women are chosen to give prizes).

And, as with most things that claim women are impure, we’re not that impure since we’re expected to assist our sumo wrestler spouses in their duties, and, should we be married to a stable master, to dedicate our time to helping out those training under him. So there you go: “Behind every successful man is a supportive (impure) woman.”

3. Semi-Ban: Staying in capsule hotels
chdavidlisbona

Reason: Targeted towards businessmen

You may have heard that many of Japan’s capsule hotels are men-only. That’s not true; almost all are men-only. To most people it’s enough to say that the rule doesn’t exist anymore because there are now capsule hotels that allow women. But if a woman just randomly rocks up to a capsule hotel, she’s going to be turned away 99 times out of 100. So it’s more correct to say that women are still not permitted at most capsule hotels.

This budget accommodation, where you stay inside a capsule-like tube, used to be the exclusively for males because such it targeted business men and those who drank until late enough at night to have missed the last train home to the suburbs (the occasional drunk business woman presumably had to either sleep in the gutter or hope she had enough money left over to stay at a higher priced hotel). Some capsule hotels are recognizing that women also work long hours and tend to drink and miss the last train home, and thus have added women’s floors. But not many. Don’t expect to find any that accept females in the countryside. I know–I slept outside once while on the Shikoku Pilgrimage because all the local hotels were full and the one nearby capsule hotel didn’t accept women.

4. Semi-Ban: Becoming sushi chefs
3800992931_c0a7bdecfe_b

Reason: Women’s hands are too warm, so could ruin the flavor of the sushi.

This subject has been discussed in much detail in several English media outlets, and it was declared an urban myth by National Public Radio in the U.S.. But the fact remains that many Japanese people still believe women shouldn’t be sushi chefs. And while men are happy to have their wives make sushi at home, the denizens of the kitchen are rarely seen preparing it at restaurants, considered to be the domain of male chefs.

Jiro Ono, owner of the Michelin 3-star restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro, has a son who told Speakeasy (the Wall Street Journal blog) that women shouldn’t become sushi chefs because they menstruate. In the interview he said, “To be a professional means to have a steady taste in your food, but because of the menstrual cycle women have an imbalance in their taste, and that’s why women can’t be sushi chefs.” He didn’t elaborate on their chances of becoming sushi chefs after menopause.

Of course this is just pabulum to appease the restaurant elites. We know the truth–put a beautiful woman behind the sushi bar and you’ll sell a lot more sushi!

Well, with all the ballyhoo about menstruation and impurity, it’s a wonder women can succeed in anything at all. Yet we do, all by our little menstrual selves. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a busy schedule today distracting ascetics and pandering my feminine charm to any male passerby–it’s all in a typical day of a pre-menopausal woman!

Source : 24rocketnews

Cast roles for ‘Shingeki no Kyojin’ live-action film revealed

On November 19, the cast roles and teaser images for upcoming film “Shingeki no Kyojin (“Attack on Titan”)”, which is set for release in summer 2015, have been revealed.

As previously announced, it’s a live-action adaptation of the popular manga of the same name, and actor Miura Haruma will be starring in it as the protagonist “Eren.”

It was back in July when the main cast members were revealed, and people were wondering who would play the character as the cast lineup had never been revealed until now.

Regarding casting, producer Sato Yoshihiro said, “We did not consider if their appearances looked alike with the characters in the original manga at all. After discussing with Isayama Sensei (the author of the manga) numerous times, we selected them only focusing on if they could embody the spirits of the characters.”

Are you ready to see who plays who? Check it out below!

Miura Haruma as “Eren”
IMG_1512.JPG

Mizuhara Kiko as “Mikasa”

IMG_1513.JPG

Hongo Kanata as “Armin”

IMG_1514.JPG

Miura Takahiro as “Jean”

IMG_1515.JPG

Sakuraba Nanami as “Sasha”

IMG_1516.JPG

Satomi Ishihara as “Hans”

IMG_1517.JPG

The new characters :

IMG_1518.JPG

IMG_1520.JPG

IMG_1521.JPG

IMG_1519.JPG

Source : TokyoHive.com

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s Twitter was hacked by…?

1368568746418

Model and singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (21) announced on June 24 that her Twitter had been hacked. She found account activities that were not from her and thought, “What on earth is this.”

Just when she was getting worried that her account had been hacked, the culprit was found. She announced, “It was my dad who knows my Twitter password. Sometimes he would randomly toy with my account. Sorry for the commotion.” She then uploaded a LINE conversation with her dad, “Dad, don’t touch my Twitter account!” but seemed happy with the relationship she has with her family members.

As for why her father would have access to her Twitter password, it turns out that it was left behind when she once logged in to Twitter on her Dad’s cellphone. Kyary said, “It happened before when my account also replied to reblogs on its own! I scolded him!” speaking of the previous time her father had “hacked” her Twitter account.

This time it seems like he was also told off harshly by his daughter to log out of her Twitter account.

 

Source : TokyoHive

[PICS] Biggest nameko

Readers outside of Japan may not be familiar with Nameko – the now famous cuddly character based on the slightly slimy nameko (or “pholiota nameko” to be exact) variety of mushroom that’s often used in dishes like miso soup. This little round-headed chap first came on the scene in the middle of 2012 and, like many weird and cuddly characters, was made available as a soft toy, key chain and sticker set, but before we knew it, Nameko goods of every shape and size popped up, delighting schoolkids and young female office workers with a penchant for kimokawaii (gross but cute) while leaving the rest of us creeped out and asking “But… why?”

The good news for fans of this buck-toothed mushroom is that online resource for all things Nameko, Namechoku, has recently launched “the biggest Nameko in history”.

nameko-title

nameko-swing

nameko-theyre-all-here

ummm

nameko-leaf

nameko-scary

nameko-collection

Source : 24RocketNews

nameko

[PICS] New Japanese pro-wrestling members are too pretty!

They’re skinny, have floppy hair and are kind of pale. They’re also coming soon to a wrestling tournament near you. Well, if you live in Tokyo, that is. And there you were thinking Japanese wrestling was all about those big sumo guys!

These are bishōnen – beautiful young men. The first kanji character of bishōnen (美少年) is 美 meaning “beauty”, and the last part 少年 is “young man”. Bishōnen puroresu is the latest addition to Japan’s burgeoning puroresu (pro wrestling) scene.

Here are the chosen ten (the eagle-eyed among you will notice that it’s actually a team of twelve – there are two stand-ins, presumably in case someone needs to have a little sit down after all that posing).

top10

pckabe_053

pckabe_023

 

 

mikami

menjo

mikami

kobayashi

wakahama01

 

screen-shot-2014-05-14-at-21-47-30

screen-shot-2014-05-14-at-21-47-21

screen-shot-2014-05-14-at-21-47-30-1

pckabe_033

 

Source : 24RocketNews

[PICS] Internet falls in love with Chinese cosplaying beauty that apparently she’s a MALE

Love-struck netizens across China, Taiwan and Japan have been voicing their disappointment after finding out that the exceptionally cute girl pictured above is actually an exceptionally cute boy. This isn’t the first time this kind of switcheroo has happened (it’s quite common actually) but netizens seem to be especially upset this time around. Maybe it’s this young man’s choice of outfit (characters from the light novel The “Hentai” Prince and the Stony Cat.) or maybe it’s just how different his before and after photos are, but one things for sure: this cosplayer is a total hottie.

Update: In its original form, this story alluded to online rumors and supposed “proof” that cosplayer AHO is in fact male. As many of our readers have pointed out, that information is false, and the cosplayer has been plagued by this rumor for some time. AHO is indeed every bit as female as she looks, and we apologize for unintentionally perpetuating this untruth. The fact of the matter is, as we acknowledged in our original article, whether man or woman the cosplaying skills displayed in AHO’s photographs are stunning, and we invite you to view more on her Facebook fan page here.

I would also like to personally apologize for the sloppy journalism displayed on my part. There were several factual errors in the article and I regret perpetuating rumors and false information found online, regardless of the number of times we have met with cases of stunning female cosplayers who turned out to be male all along.

Going by the name “AHO,” the beauty above resides in China and keeps up an active Facebook account filled with enough costumed poses to give you inspiration for your own photo shoot. Here she is in action:

cosplayer9

cosplayer13

cosplayer15

cosplayer5

cosplayer10

cosplayer16

cosplayer8

 

cosplayer3

cosplayer12

cosplayer7

cosplayer14

cosplayer

cosplayer6

cosplayer11

cosplayer4

cosplayer2

Source : 24RocketNews