I have been thinking about breasts a lot these days. No, not in a sexual way.
This all started with Hoshino Aki — a horribly annoying ex-young woman who has become a variety TV regular solely because of her enormous breasts. I wrote an entire column for OK Fred on the topic, so I don’t want to explicate my tirade here. But that essay did not placate me. Now I can’t be so surprised that a no-talent, nobody gravia idol had a boob job (the unconvinced can check the not-so-old picture here), but I am royally annoyed that her handlers make such a big deal about her “perfect” breasts and no one bats an eye.
These days, the same thing is happening with the marketing of Fukada Kyoko. In some weird twist of fate, I actually met her back in 1998 via my Kodansha internship. All I remember is that she had terrible skin as a youth, but she has grown out of this in recent years. She also, apparently, grew H-cup-sized breasts while no one was watching. Japanese gossip sites are suddenly required to describe her as “H-cup Fukada Kyoko.” In the past, she had just been an actress with a storied sex life. Now she is cup-coded.
Starting any day now, she will be seen each week in the subtly-titled Fuji TV drama Mountain Girl, Wall Girl 「山おんな壁おんあ」. Her mysteriously new H-sized breasts won themselves a starring role as the mountains in “mountain girl.” Just in case you did not catch the metaphor, the entire plot of the manga-based series revolves around breast size. Ito Misaki plays a woman with a complex about being a surfboard. From the first two paragraphs of the show’s website
Aoyanagi Emi boasts the good-looks of a Paris Collection model. But she’s got one single complex: Her bust is as flat as a “wall.” Emi is an employee of the Marukoshi Department Store. She is in charge of the bag-sales section of the first floor that is seen as the “star of the department store.”
One day on her way to work, Emi is swayed in a crowded train and feels big soft breasts against her back. She sees a girl with giant breasts through the reflection in the glass. This is the first time she meets her [Fukada Kyoko’s character].
This is Fuji TV prime-time Thursday night show, mind you — not some late-night noir with unrealistic lesbian subplots. Casting this over at Ryoichi Sasakawa’s Kenon must have been fun: Hey, Ito Misaki, you have tiny breasts! You’d be great in this role.
Now call me cynical, but photographic evidence (even some secret illegal onsen shots) points to Fukada recently “taking up a new set of skills” to fill this role. Either that or famous Japanese women have evolved some amazing ability to grow two or three cup sizes way after the last pangs of puberty. If they could figure out how to bottle this natural genetic power, they could make millions.
Breast augmentation surgery is so common in countries like Korea and the U.S. that the audacious claims of publicists would be a punchline akin to Paris Hilton’s “I never did drugs” on Larry King. But in Japan, there is this creepy radio silence about the regularity of plastic surgery. This combines with a general media hesitancy in criticizing celebrities to create an odd situation where everyone has to play along that Fukada Kyoko’s breasts are real and that she is “finally going to show us fans in the new show what she has been hiding all these years.” As if, all the swimsuit shots from 1997 to 2006 had been conspiratorial work of deceit and lies — suppressing her supple curves from proper viewing.
Although Weekly Playboy-style patriarchy may not be 100% responsible for Japanese womens’ manifold breast-complexes, I am not sure it helps to have these stars secretly gain enormous breasts and then have no real public dialogue about whether such plastic surgery exists. (This reminds me of the fact that Japanese TV also seems to be the only global media force uninterested in debunking Uri Geller.) Questions of bodily alterations are relegated to the ghettos of spam-financed internet sites.
Okay, okay, I am too easily outraged by the entire Japanese entertainment world, but if you are going to add bags of plastic to women, don’t expect me to bow down to such plastic as miraculous gifts from God. Barry Bonds may hit regrettable home runs with his chemically-induced arm girth, but at least they don’t introduce Barry Bonds as the guy with the “Huge Arms.”
Reference: Previous Neomarxisme essay on Japanese breast obsession “Magazine Rack”