Catholics have some great paintings, but Shinto can not be beat for its corporeal beauty and costumes. I love the moment in the sumo tournament where all the wrestlers raise their arms. Are my feelings spiritual, carnal, or simply gleeful?
Fashion, fetish, sport, or what? I love how world hot dog eating champ Kobayashi Takeru so gamely shows off his oral talents, his middrif, and his perversely cheerful spirit with the thumb up. As Matt says, this is a guy who makes very public his lack of gag reflex.
Is Japan sufficiently proud of this gamine ambassador of carnality?!
The Japan Times, the largest English language newspaper, ran a story last week about the declining economy in Tokyo’s gay district, Shinjuku Ni-chome. Oddly much of the story focuses not on distressed businesses but on carnal activity at an infamous bath house called 24 Kaikan.
Happy Coming of Age Day (成人の日, Seijin no hi)! There are many strange official holidays in Japan: kids day (formerly boys day), sports and health day, for example. But Coming of Age Day is special– not only is all official business closed, but there’s the opportunity to see 20 year old’s dressed in their gaudy finest.
For girls just turning 20 years old, it’s an opportunity to look like a slightly late Christmas tree: teased hair piled high, with plastic flower ornaments, pink and neon kimonos, faux white fur stoles with glitter, fancy nails. For boys, there’s the classy kimono look and the more popular host look: shiny suit, and big permed hair.
Some of the activity should take place in a temple or shrine. However, I saw dozens strolling in Nakano Broadway, take sticker photos, and showing off hair do’s. The best guy hair-dos I saw include blue-grey hair and one red-and-yellow mix.
I wasn’t sure what to say. Congratulations?! Now you can legally drink? You’re old enough to have carnal relations with adults? Could that hair be any bigger? The husband suggested I say nothing, and I obeyed.
I did have a fantasy of spotting in the crowds Mickey Rourke, with his bloated plastic surgery face, dressed up as a coming-of-age 20 year old. Are there other ojisan and obasan who take advantage of the holiday to pretend they are coming of age? I guess I have a few more years to plan my holiday outfit.