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Interview 5
Feb 2000, Akiyoshi, Japan
(transcribed)

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Symbolism/Shrines
Do you know the story of Izanagi and Izanami, from the Kojiki? If so, what is it?
I don't know

Have you visited the Mara Kannon Shrine at Tawarayama?
Yes

Do you know what the purpose of this shrine is?
Yes, I know. (BH - Can you tell me the purpose?) The person had got trouble to have the babies, they go to the place to pray for it, that's what he heard

Do you know of any other Shrine's to the phallus or male?
He doesn't remember any names of the places, but while he was travelling around he remembers a couple of places, similar shrines.

Have you visited the Chichi Kannon Shrine in Hofu City?
I don't know

Do you know what the purpose of this shrine is?
I don't know anything about it.

Do you know of any other shrine's to the breast or woman?
He doesn't know anything

Would you visit either of these places to pray?
He has been to Tawarayama himself, so he's married himself so he may visit such a places.

Are such shrines very traditional?
So cannot say definitely its traditional but the shrine has got the histories (BH - A history in the area) Yes. (BH - Do you know what this history is?) I don't know

Do you know of any fertility rituals in Japan apart from visiting the shrines mentioned above? (traditional or contemporary)
So he cannot remember any places or any things

Are there anycommon symbols or objects representing man and woman in Japan?
He remembers some, the traditional festival in Japan, and they make... there are special like rocks at the beach, the shore. They say man rock and woman rock and then surrounding by the rope and make it together (BH - So they tie them together?) Yes (So this is at a certain time of the year) He doesn't rememberwhen it is. (BH - Is it a local event where a lot of people would join in?) Yes

I understandred rice was traditionally placed outside the home when a daughter firstmenstruated. What rituals do you know of (traditional or contemporary)which mark such transitions to adulthood for boys and girls?
He doesn't knowany other rituals

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Sex
Is there any age of consent in Japan?
There is not such an age for it

If not, when are men and women classed as sexually adult?
He think that physically their bodies get ready and also the spiritually and mentally is ready aswell, so at that time (BH - So its not an age its a time of maturity, and personal?)

Do Japanese children receive sex eduation at school?
He think probably there is, he doesn't know enough information they give or not, he doesn'tknow

Does this cover just reproduction or other aspects of sexual activity?
At the school only the scientific ways, only

Where and how do they typically receive most of their sex education?
He thinks that can be from the magazines or close friends, but not from school, not enough information and also not from their parents

Are there any myths told to Japanese children about 'where babies come from'?
He doesn't know any

Is it common for men and women to have a number of sexual partners throughout their life time?
He thinks nowadays a lot of people having with number of partners but not before, not old long time ago but...nowadays changing but before such a thing not happened, having different partners, lots of them, the partners, he thinks

Is sex discussed in Japan?
Recently people started to discuss about the sex. That can be in television or in a magazine,you can see talking about the sex, but he personally in the lifetime, everyday lifetime they don't talk about the sex.

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Erotic/Pornography
What is the attitude to Shunga in Japan?
He thinks that Shunga can be looked as a cartoon or can be looked as art. (BH - And is it accepted in Japan, nowadays?) So he cannot think it's accepted or not because shunga as it is, not public, people can't see all the time, it's hidden part

Is pornography common in Japan?
Yes it's common

What is your attitude to pornography?
It gives the stimulation as a sexual way.

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Love Hotels
What are lovehotels?
He thinks that the man and the woman go there to have sex (BH - And that can be any relationship?) Difficult to say, yes, can be any

Is it common for people to use these?
Yes, he thinks yes, it's common.

Do people of all ages use Love Hotels?
He thinks it's becoming common for the teenagers, like the junior high school and highschool students to use the love hotel because inside their house it's not accepted, and education that's quite strict by the parents. In the countryside because the love hotel is normally somehwere in the mountain or not close to the town so for the teenager its difficult to go in but in the big city it's easy for them to use the hotels.

Do you know the history of love hotels?
He doesn't know any

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Beauty
What characteristics make a Japanese woman beautiful?
He thinks if the woman is wearing a kimono, he thinks they are beautiful

What characteristics make a Japanese man handsome?
He thinks because he been working in a business society, and he thinks in a business if aman is very dependable and reliable the person can be handsome, good man.(BH - What qualities would a Japanese woman look for as a handsome man?)The future one...the first impression, then the figure or behaviour. (BH- Is there a good figure and good behaviour? Both men and women) In talking about woman the modest that's quite important and how tidy the clothes.The way she speaks the way she talks. You can say as a man aswell, how tidy you look and the way a person speaks. (BH - What's the best way for a person to speak?) Either way if the person can understand the person's position and how the person can understanding the person. The capability to read people

Do you know what these characteristics were at any previous times in Japanese history, particularly the Edo period?
In Edo period especially because Japan is closed, talking about the men, if the men has got the strong and the authority, but the person can use the authority in a good way, people can say the person is handsome. In the Edo period,because the men as he told, and the woman should be modest and then to have the strong authority for woman was impossible in that time, and if the woman assist, help the men behind of the curtain or scenery, that woman can be beautiful at that time.

How old are you?
43

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BH = Beverley Hood (Interviewer), AL = Akemi Lucas (Translator)