“It was a mistake that the opening ceremony was booked by people who couldn’t do anything right.” (DARTHREIDER)
First of all, how do you both feel about Mr.Oyamada’s resignation?
DARTHREIDER (DARTH): I think this issue changes depending on how you look at the Olympics itself. If you perceive the Olympics as completely insignificant TV show where the location happened to be Japan, then it wouldn’t matter who and how someone participates in such an event.
However, since taxes are used for the Olympics, and considering myself as sponsor and a stakeholder, choosing him is nonsense. But then, a bogus TV show puts up a sign of ‘peace’, ‘diversity’, and ‘culture’, it’s still just a concept for a TV show and saying “it’s not appropriate for a celebration of peace!”, doesn’t make sense since it’s still just a TV show. But the use of taxes and everyone’s woeful state in creating TV show is just too much. It was only natural that it failed, and now everyone is evading responsible and saying, “I’ve never met him,” or “I didn’t know who he was”. I think it has played a sufficient educational opportunity for kids, though (LOL).
A very cynical opinion. What do you think, Mr. Miyadai?
Miyadai: To tell you the truth, I’m an accelerationist *1, so I was hoping that Mr.Oyamada would not resign and that his music would be used for the opening and closing ceremonies. Because, this Olympic is nothing like what Prime Minister Suga (Yoshihide) says, “holding it itself will make it a success”, instead it’s already becoming a situation where the pride of the Japanese people is totally hurt by holding the Olympics, and I welcome it. Even after the Olympics, the pride of Japanese people will continue to be hurt more due to the nonsensical coronavirus policies, but I welcome that as well. Because it means that people will realize the truth. So I am disappointed that Mr.Oyamada quit so easily.
But accelerationist aside and as quote-unquote public opinion, this is not a matter of legal responsibility, but a matter of moral responsibility. It is said that the statute of limitations of legal responsibility “can be ignored” because compared to the past, circumstances have changed now.” But for moral responsibility, there is no statute of limitations, since “even if the law forgives, the commandments doesn’t. Even if this happened 25 years ago, it is perfectly natural for people to think that it is “unforgivable”, considering the essence of bullying.
Miyadai: Moreover, since the news spread overseas and people are tweeting, “this is really terrible personnel selection.” So, in the ‘public interest’ to minimize the damage to the Olympics, I think it was inevitable that he resigned.
Should Mr.Oyamada not have accepted the offer in the first place?
DARTH: I think so. I think something was wrong with the person who made the offer, and Mr.Oyamada should have thought about what would happen if he accepted it.
Miyadai: “Internet illiterate”, in other words, it’s a problem of people with limited access to information. The interview article in the magazine in question is well known in those circles, so if you know Mr.Oyamada well enough to bear responsibility for selecting him, you should know about this problem. Even if he was chosen by someone in Dentsu (Japan’s largest advertising agency), if they chose without knowing this, they’re a complete idiot and should perish immediately (LOL).
DARTH: I think the Japanese government’s approach to the Olympics itself is responsible for all the problems that are happening. An hour before the start of this program, there was a breaking news report about “Olympic ticket information leak”. The Olympics is a target for hackers from all over the world, but even before that, it’s wrong for people who can’t even create websites, apps or anything else properly to try to book someone or do anything at the opening ceremony.
You mean they don’t even have the right to organize it?
DARTH: Yes. I’m talking about people at that level who pulled Mr.Oyamada in. Especially, the members of the organizing committee and the government officials did not check his background and tried to entrust him with the opening ceremony without knowing what kind of person he was. I think they are the ones who should be held accountable.
By the way, one musician, who is not directly acquainted with Mr. Oyamada, commented in a conversation that “he understands the criticism, but people shouldn’t expect too much ethics from a musician”. What do you think about this?
Miyadai: This is a stupid objection because I am not talking about the ethics one should have as a musician, but about the ethics one should have as a human being, in other words, human ethics. If I have a history of bullying that seriously violates someone’s dignity, the ethics I should be questioned about are the same as the ethics I should have as a human being, not the ethics I should have as a sociologist.
DARTH: I also thought Mr.Oyamada’s behavior was “disgusting” the moment I read it. And back at that time, there was a lot of discussion on inclusive education*2, and people say it’s not working too well. First of all, Japan is not even trying to create an inclusive education or society, and in many cases, we are doing it wrong, so people also say you can’t really evaluate it as a success or failure. I think we need to discuss these things, but I think it’s perfectly OK to say “I can’t forgive what Mr.Oyamada did.
*1 Accelerationism …… The idea in political and social theory that the contradictions of the current capitalist system should be amplified in order to create fundamental social change.
*2 Inclusive education …… Education that respects the diversity of children and helps children with disabilities to develop to their fullest potential mentally and physically, and to participate in society as any other child.
“What were the motives and circumstances that led him to bully and give an interview?” –80’s 〈The Era of Transborder〉 (Miyadai)
Miyadai: Of course, Mr.Oyamada should be criticized for bragging about how he bullied people with disabilities right after the 1993 Yamagata mattress death incident*3. I too, think he is a joke. However, if you don’t understand the motive and background of Mr.Oyamada’s bullying and the reason why he agreed to be interviewed, you won’t be able to understand what you are bashing him for. If you’re going to bash him, it’s better to understand exactly what you’re criticizing him for, so that you don’t repeat the same evil.
Why and how did the story come about? Mr.Miyadai, could you explain the historical background for us?
Miyadai: In a nutshell, the mid-90s, when Mr. Oyamada was interviewed, was the ‘era of kichiku-kei*4. People in their 50s today are probably familiar with this. But people in their 40s and under might not understand the atmosphere of that time. So let me explain a little.
To get to the point, the reason why the 90s was called the ‘era of kichiku-kei’ was because the 80s was the ‘era of transborder’. When the context that supported the 80’s ‘era of transborder’ disappeared, there was a movement in which the context of ‘transborder’ twisted in the direction of doing kichiku (savage) things that people wouldn’t do.
What do you mean by “transborder”?
Miyadai: Transborder, in other words, crossing boundaries. For example, the early 80’s was the “era of a new sex industry,” where a huge explosion of panty-less coffee shops, panty-less shabu-shabu (type of restaurant), peeping show rooms, date clubs, fashion massages, etc. took place in Abeno, Osaka, and soon after in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. Almost all of the workers there were college girls and vocational school girls. In other words, it was the “ear of new adult entertainment” = the “era of amateur sexual entertainment”. This itself is transborder.
You mean crossing the boundaries into the professional world?
Miyadai: Yes. Furthermore, the latter half of the 80’s was the era of telekura*5, message dialing*6, and dial Q2*7, that led to the era of the world’s first dating service. We call it the “era of telekura”. It was a time when everyone from junior high school students to housewives started to be sexually active. Throughout the 80s, the percentage of high school girls who had experienced sex nearly doubled. As a result, the rate of sexual experiences among high school girls far exceeded the rate among high school boys. That’s another transborder phenomenon.
Miyadai: Or, in 1986, the idol Yukiko Okada committed suicide because she fell in love with an actor who was more than 30 years older than her, and when she confessed her love, he turned her down. This triggered the women working in telekura to suddenly start looking for a partner with an age difference, when before they use to “cut off” calls from guys with an age gap. Here too, an unconventional transborder trend occurred. In fact, this was the start of enjo kōsai (paid-dating involving underage girls) in the 90s.
Basically the ‘80’s style transborder’ = ‘slight sexual arousal’ = ‘women’s sexual behavior’. The atmosphere of the 80’s is well expressed in the commercials of the 80’s, and I will introduce some of them below. The commercial slogan for a product called “Ramen named Youth” was, “There is no such thing as being too mature for innocence. There is no such thing as being too young for temptation. There is no age limit to the fluttering in your heart. This was based on teacher-student romance. ”Even in a commercial with Chisato Moritaka, whom I liked at the time, the slogan was “I was suspended from school when I went to a disco, but the thrill was a pleasure.” In other words, there is a message to break rules. Both commercials were sexual.
Miyadai: Jun Togawa’s ‘I want to have a Dokkun-dokkun ‘raging love affair,’ also fully expresses the basic motif that ‘eros transcends the laws.’ It’s worth noting that the girl in the commercial looks like she’s intoxicated.
There was also a car commercial slogan, “My sister is 20 years old”. The woman playing the role of the younger sister is semi-nude, and is not wearing a bra or swimsuit. “Younger sister,” “20-years-old,” and “naked”. This was also completely transborder. Moreover, the setting is the beach. It represents the slight feverishness of the time, or the feverish state that people would get if they went to the beach.
If you look at the caption in the promotion video for “A LONG VACATION” by Eiichi Otaki, “BREEZE passes through your mind,” it expresses the trance-like state you get when you go to the beach and are exposed to the lukewarm breeze. This shows what I call “the 80’s transborder”.
In fact, the 80’s was a time of transborder not only in Japan but in many other countries, and this transborder was also a trend of mixing reality and dreams. In the early 80’s, in the UK, there was a trend towards the New-Romantic, which was a kind of ethereal sound that you couldn’t tell if it was a dream or reality, and Duran Duran and Kajagoogoo were popular.
DARTH: Like Culture Club, right?
Miyadai: Yes. When I listen to the New-Romantic music of that time, I remember the paradise-like slight feverishness of that time, and it brings tears to my eyes. Also, in Japan, it was called resort music, a time of ‘glittering music’. Songs like “A LONG VACATION” by Eiichi Otaki and “Kokiatsu Girl” by Tatsuro Yamashita are based on the motif that when people go to the beach, they go into a kind of trance and everything seems to sparkle and shine. Now, I think you get the idea that the 80’s was the era of transborder.
*3 Yamagata mattress death incident……An incident in which a male junior high school student (13 years old at the time) died at a junior high school in Shinjo City, Yamagata Prefecture. Three senior students, 14 years old at the time, were arrested for bullying the victim and four classmates were prosecuted. This case revealed the seriousness of bullying in schools and triggered the revision of Juvenile Law.
*4 Kichiku-kei …… A subgenre of the underground vulgar subculture, coined by kichiku writer Hyakuro Murasaki during the vulgar culture boom of the 1990s. Today, it is often referred to critically as being against political correctness. The term is also used to refer to adult manga that contain antisocial behaviors or cruel depictions, as well as their authors.
*5 Telekura …… Abbreviation for “telephone club,” a type of sex business that mediated conversations with women over the phone which gained popularity after the 1985 amendment to the Entertainment Establishments Control Law. It became a hotbed of prostitution, as men waited for a woman to call them in a private room, and depending on the negotiations with the woman, they could go on a date or have sex outside the club.
*6 Message Dial …… A service launched by NTT in 1986 that allowed users to record, playback, and add messages by entering a 6 to 10-digit box number and a 4-digit PIN. A specific box number was created and it was used so that anyone could record and playback the message. The service was discontinued on February 29, 2016.
*7 Dial Q2…..A service that allowed users to access various paid programs (information) by calling numbers beginning with “0990”. Among them, Dial Q2’s two-shot dialing service was designed for dating, and became popular among young people in the 1990s. It gain popularity for its easy use from home while terekura users had to call from the club.
“In the end, it became a condescending competition.”–The 90’s, the era of Kichiku-kei (Miyadai)
Miyadai: However, from the first half of the 80s to the last, the slight feverishness that had supported ‘the 80s transborder’ began to disappear. This was symbolized by Yukiko Okada suicide as I mentioned earlier. To explain, the flow from the early to the late 80s is the flow from My Birthday to Mu. Both magazines were first published in 1979, but My Birthday was a fortune-telling magazine while Mu was about seven wonders of the world, cult magazine. Let me explain how the flowed to of Mu worked.
After Yukiko Okada’s suicide in 1986, there were many cases of suicide among girls in junior and high school by jumping off buildings imitating Okada. The number of suicides among girls in junior and high school that year skyrocketed. A reader wrote in Mu’s reader’s column using a name from their previous life to recruited people who recognized it and committed suicide by jumping together after they met. As a pick-up artist at that time, I asked a lot of young girls what they thought of Yukiko Okada, and all of them sympathized with her. Rather than the suicide, they sympathize with her sexual disappointment, which forced her to turn to a man who was much older than her.
In the early 80’s, the era of My Birthday was a time when people were troubled by not being able to embark on sexual activities. There was also new sex-industry boom which high-teens entered in droves. In the late 70’s, the era of pick-up, companionship, and connections began. The magazine POPEYE and TV shows that copied it kept featuring dating manuals and town maps tied to it, so I was reluctant to walk in Shibuya without a date. As I said, the commercials were filled with a sexual atmosphere. Mid-teens and younger were stirred up, and their ‘trouble of not being able to embark on sexual activities’ surfaced. They practiced charms such as writing the name of your crush on your arm and putting a bandage on it to make it come true.
However, in the late 80’s, things changed and the trouble that came from being sexually active surfaced. To put it simply, they embarked on a sexual journey and were devastated to find that it was not what they had expected. The disappointment, which I call ‘the feeling that it wasn’t supposed to be this way,’ rose rapidly. That was the shift from the ‘trouble of not being able to embark on sexual activities’ to the ‘trouble that came from embarking on sexual activities.
Miyadai: From the mid-80s, it became possible to freely embark on sexual activities, but the hospitality of men was extremely low. There were many guys who could only do a date which went like this – meet you in front of the station, get takeout from McDonald’s, have sex at a love hotel, and then good-bye.” Compared to this, in the early days of dating culture from the end of the 70’s, when I was a university student, we planned our driving courses, visited fashionable spots in advance to check, made special cassette tapes while thinking about where to go at what time of day, and played music on the car audio system – all well planned. For men back then, dating was like a theatrical or cinematic performance.
In other words, the hurdles of sexual intercourse were still high in the early days of dating culture, and one had to entertain the girl until she said ‘yes’. However, seven or eight years later, in the mid-80s, everyone was ready to have sex, and dating and sex became crude. This was, of course, emotional degradation.
You mean just merely “having sex” kind of thing, right?
Miyadai: Yes. So, the girls were deeply disappointed. Their sexual dreams had fallen into something that is far from the slight feverishness they expected. Another symbol of this, along with suicide, was the amateur female college student porn boom or the Kuroki Kaoru craze that began in 1986. The seasons 1 and 2 of Zenra Kantoku (naked director) are now on Netflix, and behind its popularity was the feeling that sex was not what people expected. As a pick-up artist, I also worked with girls in adult films, so it’s very memorable for me.
Around the same time, the an-an readers’ nude boom, led by Mariko Hayashi and others, started and this was going in the same direction. It was also the same for the ‘fan dance boom’ that started at the Juliana Tokyo Disco. The boom in amateur pornography, readers’ nudes, and the boom in dancing on the stand all point to the fact that sexual culture had changed to ‘self-involved sex’ having nothing to do with men, in other words, it has changed to something self-conscious. The loss of a slight feverishness, disappointment in sex, and sexual self-involvement in the late 80s are all completely connected.
So, changed from what was open to internalized?
Miyadai: Yes. It became more and more closed. So, I remember that many of the girls who experienced sloppy dating and sloppy sex at the time said, “we can’t do this unless we get paid.” This led to the ‘paid-dating boom’ that started in the summer break of 1992 and peaked in 1996, and when I introduced this existence in the Asahi Shimbun (newspaper) in the fall of 1993, I defended them in order to defend the high school girls who had confided in me, her paid dating and she too was devastated by ‘the feeling that it wasn’t supposed to be like this’.
From an academic point of view, the ‘expected level’ and the ‘desired level’ were the same for young women in the late 70s and early 80s. The ‘expected level’ is what you can actually expect. The ‘desired level’ is what you really want to do. At first, these two levels were the same, but after the mid-80s, when it was possible to have sex with a girl in an hour by calling a telekura, the number of girls who experienced sex increased dramatically, and the ‘desired level’ and ‘expected level’ diverged. This is what I was talking about earlier, ‘the feeling of it wasn’t supposed to be like this’ between dating and sex. As the ‘expected level’ declined, the ‘desired level’ also declined. This is what happened from the late 80s to the 90s. With this, you can imagine to some extent why kichiku-kei appeared in the 1990s.
Miyadai: In the past, cute girls who were seen as Madonna’s were thought to already have a papa (a man who sponsors a girl’s paid-dating), and young boys were severely alienated from sexual activity. Thus, the ‘80s transborder’ shifted to the ‘90s transborder’. The ‘80s transborder’ equaled ‘slight sexual arousal’ which equaled ‘women’s sexual activity’. But the ‘90s transborder’ equaled ‘Kichiku-kei mounting’ which also equaled ‘men’s sexual activity’. Transborder and crossing the boundary is the same, but what started out as a slight feverishness in the city gradually closed to self-consciousness, and finally became a mounting competition.
The reason why slight sexual arousal was feminine and kichiku-kei mounting was masculine was because of the gender asymmetry of the people who participated in the activity. For example, as I wrote repeatedly, in the mid-90s, the dating scene deteriorated rapidly and women demanding money and men doing whatever they wanted for the money they paid. This led to the degradation of the dating scene and the boom in paid-dating. This is the degradation from ‘openness to the senses’ to ‘closedness to the senses’. That’s why I was so disappointed when I was the first one to disclose paid dating and defend high school girls, because people thought I was part of the kichiku-kei (people who indulge in savage culture) (LOL).
(LOL). In other words, the kichiku-kei emerged as an aftermath of the slight feverishness of the early to mid-80s. In the end, do you mean that Mr.Oyamada happily made those kinds of remarks in the midst of that after-effect era?
Miyadai: I think Mr. DARTH will be able to supplement that.
“It’s like you’re constantly being tested on how far you can go.” (DARTH)
DARTH: From what Mr.Miyadai shared so far, in the 80s, there was a “transborder feeling” that was fluffy, bright, cheerful feminine and on the other hand, in the 90s, there was a feeling of denial of what was the 80s. I think that this denial was “jealousy”. It’s a masculine reaction of “stop bullshitting me”. They didn’t even know how to do what the girls were enjoying in the 80’s, and tried to do something similar.
That went into a direction of “I can do something better than that” or “I can do something crazier than that. That’s why I think the kichiku-kei boom has an aspect of a masculine world view of a mounting battle. How far can it be done has become a means to win respect. It was easy to create values where guys who could do such things would be popular, guys who could do such things gets praise from his peers.
DARTH: In reality, most people are too scared to do such things. However, people who somehow appear in public were under pressure and always tested to see how far they could go, like Mr.Oyamada in the Flipper’s Guitar band which started from a fashionable and bright culture like Shibuya-kei*8, and in the environment surrounded by girls, were under a kind of conformity pressure from kichiku-kei, saying “Ridiculous, it’s not like that!” may have worked. The first part of the article in “Rocking On Japan” was also very much the antithesis of what was fashionable. Under such pressure, while fighting a fruitless savage war, Mr Oyamada fit right in, although unclear how intentional it was. I think this is Mr. Miyaday’s flow of the story.
In fact, when it comes to kichiku-kei, especially when I was just reading a magazine, I thought, do I have to do that kind of thing. Fortunately, I was a little younger so I went to a hip-hop club, and I met a lot of people who weren’t kichiku-kei, and by seeing the diversity of underground culture such as hip-hop, house, techno, which provided additional line and I realized I didn’t have to pursue the kichiku-kei culture and was narrowly able to avoid it.
DARTH: That’s why a lot of people now think that we need to talk about the Oyamada issue and self-reflect on the 90’s subculture boom. I think in people’s mind they’re thinking, “we have to think about what happened then.
*8Shibuya-kei…… A genre and movement of Japanese popular music (J-POP) that originated in Shibuya, Tokyo (the Udagawa-cho area of Shibuya Ward) and became popular in the 1990s.
Born in Sendai City in 1959. Professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University. He specializes in sociology and is also a film critic. In the 1990s, he attracted attention with his essays on paid-dating and the Aum Shinrikyo (Japanese cult group) incident, and has since continued to critique politics and society through a variety of media. He is the author of numerous books, including “Sociology from Age 14” (published by Chikuma Bunko) and “Japan’s Difficulties” (published by Gentosha Shinsho). His most recent book is “Accelerating Collapse: “Society” Sinks and “the World” Emerges” (blueprint)
Born in Paris, France in 1977. Raised in London. Dropped out of the University of Tokyo. Musician, rapper, MC, and vocalist of the three-piece band The Bassons. In 2010, he suffered a stroke and lost his left eye sight due to complications. His books include “DARTHREIDER Autobiography: NO Restraint” (Rice Press).
Text by the editorial staff of “KIMINITOU”
*This article is edited of excerption from a transcript of “Fukabori TV ver2” ‘Digging Deeper into the Oyamada Keigo Issue!’ archived at https://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/so39065971 (can be viewed after adding channel).