Japan is full of katakana English that has no real meaning in English. Like “service,” which refers to a small business giving the customer a freebie, often spontaneously as a reward for being a loyal customer. Sitting in Shinjuku Gyoen, enjoying hanami with several friends, I learned a new slang, “skinship.” That refers to building friendship through touching. Since touching is somewhat rare in public, borrowing from English is considered somehow appropriate. I explained to my friend the difference between “touching” and “groping.”
Skinship is awesome 😀
Although there is much less hetro-couple PDAs in Japan, do you think there is a lot more same sex/non-sexual touching?
Kathryn, the answer is yes. Both boys and girls.
For a country with “no gays,” there’s a lot of same sex socializing and touching. Nice!
I think there is more non-sex touching in Japan as well! I often see girls holding hands – good friends, mom/daughter, sisters…guys too! Arms linked to easily share the umbrella!
Yes! Something for everyone in Japan ^^
Actually, skinship isn’t slang, it was created when trying to explain the term amae to describe the bonding between a mother and child.
Cool term anyway!
Interesting. Still, it is also used among friends, too?
Skinship (skinshippu) came mostly from sento/onsen, where everybody is naked and there is no social/work relation no boss/worker … everybody is at the same level.
You can be supprised by the relation between two people naked in a sento/onsen, …it’s strange.
Personnaly I like it, perhaps because I am french, I am less ‘prude’ than in US.
Not all US peeps are prudes ^^. Do you see a lot of heavy petting– or skinship– in the sento? The only touching I have seen there is the furtive, inappropriate kind.
Ok perhaps not too much touching :).
I remember in Matsumoto, plaza onsen, it was very familly oriented, fathers with 2 or 3 kids, it’s a different dynamic, kids playing around, trying to go into the cold water pool … being the only ‘non japanese’ I was able to chat a little, english, japanese, sign language …
It was a good experience, getting an inside view of japanese society.
Or at Tokyo Rox SuperSento in Asakusa, seeing group of highschool/university friends relaxing together … or the experience of getting a akasuri cleaning …. Grrr I miss that soo much now.
Sentos are fun! I like small neighborhood ones, super sentos, city and country onsens. There’s a somewhat infamous sento in Nishi Shinjuku that attracts yakuza and gays with its unusual “tattoos are OK” policy.