Japanese mixed bathing culture is declining

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The centre Guardian he published an article pointing out that the culture of rabbit (mixed baths) in Japan in danger of disappearing in the face of stalkers and the fact that the standards of Japanese society are declining sharply with the new generations.

«The vibration of a person opening the locker room door is the clue to a discreet turn, staring intently at the rising steam towards the twisted wooden beams of the bathroom. It turns out that warning was unnecessary. The two swimmers were men who joined our correspondents in the hot springs of a 140 – year – old thermal center, or onsen, in the mountains of Japan ‘s Gunma Prefecture. Despite being open to male and female swimmers during all hours of the day (when access is restricted to women) the historic baths seemed to be co-educational only. Through four long bathrooms, all the people in the room were men.».

«The lack of women Japanese media reports seemed to confirm that konyoku (mixed swimming) is in danger of becoming a cultural curiosity.especially when it requires the participants to go nude. Many people blame the growing threat of wani (crocodiles), the nickname given to men who spend long periods drowned in the water, their eyes constantly scanning the room for female swimmers. “We get desperate every day,” Onsen’s owner told the Asahi Shimbun, that operators’ constant concern about how to deal with deficiencies from some male swimmers.».

«Its presence has made more women reluctant to bathe men (even family members) and force the industry and its government regulators to devise new ways to protect konyoku culture. About 500 establishments allow men and women to perform their ablutions in the company of others, up from more than 1,200 in 1993. ”The problem is mensays Yasuhiko Kobayashi, a lawyer who has written a guide for the best person in the country. “There are cases where men try to have conversations with women, asking them where they come from and so on. They tend to be more frequent when they have drunk alcohol“, He explains to the Guardian. Some have established separations so that while men share the same water with their partners, voyeurism is impossible. In places where segregation is impossible, swimmers need to partially cover themselves, a restriction that purists say reduces the sense of freedom that comes with a long soak in mineral – rich spring water.».

«In a survey conducted by regional authorities in northeastern Japan (where many hot springs are located), 75% of female respondents said they were bothered by mixed swimming, but 81% said they no longer felt uncomfortable if some of all swimmers were dressed. Other grounds have followed suit, and one of the owners who recently introduced a trial dress standard indicated that the change would be permanent, as it was clear that it had “bad reasons” for beach people. Another Onsen in the southwest of the country saw the number of swimmers jump from 10% to 80% after being forced to cover up. “By encouraging the use of swimwear, we hope to reduce people’s anxiety so that they can enjoy konyoku culture again, regardless of gender or gender.An onsen industry official told the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.».

«Kobayashi, which has visited about 3,000 people over the past three decades, cites the failure of bathing manners in the face of a general lack of respect for Japanese society in general. “People think that unless something is completely forbidden, they can do whatever they want“, he says. “When foreigners came to Japan in the late 19th century, the mixed bath was one of their biggest surprises. But that was a time of tolerance and respect in Japan. It meant that Japanese society was safe and peaceful. The decline of mixed swimming is proof that standards are slipping“. The introduction of separation requirements and swimwear reduces the value of what should be an innocent shared experience, he said. “It means the onsen is losing its individual charm. it is a great shame».

Source: Guardian

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