Keio

Sho shows (almost) all on an・an

Arashi’s Sakurai Sho bares (almost) all in anan magazine’s special “male body” issue. Sho is one of the most popular members of the Johnny’s boy band Arashi, a Keio graduate from a wealthy family, and now a night-time newscaster on Zero presenting serious news, including the current state and history of Japan-US relations. The husband thinks Sho aspires to become Prime Minister one day, which would be a great triumph for the boy band creator Johnny.

anan is a young Japanese woman’s version of Cosmo. The magazine focuses on sexuality, appearance, polls, and men, men, men. This must be one of their sluttiest issues ever. There are taxonomies of the 8 male body types portrayed by comics and tarentos (all variations of skinny and boyish, except the normal sized “Big Boy” and the one fatty), photos of athletes and professional wrestlers, and a pictorial about how you might imagine young men at work without their clothes.

Dear readers, do you think Sho showing his skin will help or hinder his political aspirations? And, before I get any complaints, despite the fact that Sho is made up, waxed, and air-brushed to look barely legal (or younger), he is in fact 27 years old. I think he looks a bit like a Ken doll, plastic and a bit sexless.

What do you say? Should I post more images from this pictorial?

Buddhist Training: Tourism, Sadism or Both?

Buddhist Training: Tourism, Sadism or Both?

This poster advertising a Buddhist Training camp and the Keio rail line is another only in Japan image. On the surface, it advertises the pleasure of attending Aescetic Training (sadhana) Experience Camp (修行体験合宿, shugyou taiken gasshuku). Above where I cropped the image, a speech bubble beckons with the words, “It’s so cold. My mind and body feel so refreshed.”

A lot of foreigners imagine Buddhism to be a benign philosophy about the world and human’s place within it. What is often overlooked abroad is the intense physical discipline that makes a daddy monk and two young acolytes freezing in the river a worthy image for a rail line seeking to boost ridership to a distant temple. The line between spirituality and perversion is thin indeed.