No Shotguns, No Weddings

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Oh, young love! Famed baseball pitcher Darvish Yu — age 20 — and entertainment production company employee/actress Saeko — age 20 — have decided to get married! In an era where youth take their pretty time to stagger aimlessly towards the responsibilities of adulthood, there is something refreshing about a couple with their whole lives ahead of them deciding to throw future possibility to the wind and settle down at such an early age. And for a professional ball player, who can have scores of different women every night, to show such adult devotion to a single woman without even taking a few years to taste the crate-loads of free fruit his athletic prowess ensures! The purity of their endeavor will surely make them role models for an entire generation.

Oh, I should also mention that Saeko is pregnant with Darvish’s baby.

(I had my suspicions that he had “hit a home run” after seeing his sexy shirtless photo on cover of an•an‘s Sex issue last month, but their public announcement of a dekichatta kekkon ended all rampant non-speculation about his virginity.)

If the Darvish-Saeko shotgun wedding sounds like a familiar story, you are probably thinking of the post-conception marriage announcement of Morning Musume’s enfant infantile Tsuji Nozomi (age 20) and some guy who dresses up in Ultraman costumes as a career (age 26). While it’d be fun to call this unplanned pregnancy rodeo a “trend,” the preggers –> wedding bells narrative also explains the past marriages of stars Amuro Namie, Shiina Ringo, Tsuchiya Anna, and Ishiguro Aya (also from Morning Musume). I know Japan is a unique country — with the totally unprecedented “four distinct seasons” and all — but as in the rest of the world, unplanned pregnancy is often caused by unprotected sex. Even the most talented celebrities succumb to reproductive forces.

I certainly do not advocate drawing larger conclusions about the state of sexual attitudes in Japan from these twenty-year old stars. Without even glancing at current statistics, American teenage pregnancy rates must dwarf anything seen in Japan. (And are Britney Spears’ model marriage to what’s-his-name and Nicole Richie’s pregnancy with the guy from that terrible band really so different?) Abortions have been decreasing in Japan. And the birth rate and frequency of sex rate are amongst the lowest in the world.

Somebody made the hilariously naïve mistake of asking Tsuji and the finance at the press-conference why they didn’t think about using contraception. I guess the reporter did not know that Japan is the one of the only countries on Earth where condom use declined in the 1990s. More famously, Japan only legalized the birth control pill in 1999, despite decades of feminist protest. Although safely used in dozens of other countries since the 1960s, Japanese male lawmakers and bureaucrats knew something that others had not considered: Bitches don’t deserve control over their own reproductive systems, because they would just go out and prove themselves to be dirty ho’s. Or maybe, it was the formidable oligopoly power of the condom lobby and the neighborhood abortionists. Whatever the case, the Gov only decided to give the Lesser Gender the Pill once the Feminazis started asking too many questions about the selfless and speedy efforts to legalize Viagra — a harmless recreational drug with mild side-effects like death.

But the bonered-up Old Patriarchs still managed to win the larger war, since the Japanese public is so massively uninformed about the Pill’s safety that barely anyone uses it. According to this, 70% of Japanese women would never even consider trying oral contraceptives, and I don’t blame them: If rumors are to believed, this demon medicine makes you permanently infertile, distorts your emotions, and screws up your natural cycles. Also, taking the pill is “kinda slutty” — like a giant billboard announcing the desire for daily sex that no one else can see. These arguments are neither new or unique, but they’ve settled in for the long run.

So no Pill and not much condom use among kids is going to lead to some babies. Any sort of criticism of dekichatta kekkon (できちゃった結婚, something like “Oops, We Conceived” Marriage) will fall automatically into worthless pronouncements on sexual morality, and in Japan, the mainstream sentiment seems to be one of snickering mockery rather than outrage. Maybe some crusty old men like Wada Akiko will go out of their way to say that Nozomi was “irresponsible,” but Nozomi can just answer back, Pro-Life, y’all, in her 12-year old baby-doll demeanor. Behind the scenes, I am sure the girls’ management companies are not so happy about their female stars’ immediate drop in future earning potential, but serves them right for not forcing temporary sterilization as part of their indentured servitude to the media-entertainment complex.

Otherwise, what are the drawbacks of a shotgun marrying nation? Look at the cute conservatism displayed so far: “I am pregnant, so we must properly get married.” Sure, most of these celebrities get properly divorced less than a year later (Shiina, Tsuchiya; Amuro actually gave it a few years), but as they say, trying and failing is better than not trying at all. And really, can you blame someone for not liking at 23 what they loved at 20? I forget the statistic, but maybe 70% of college juniors who get that awesome tattoo of a wrist watch pointing towards 4:20 regret it later in life.

Most importantly, no one in Japan is going to come out against this kind of teenage shotgun wedding spree, because the couples are serving the goals of the state. With adults waiting too long to get married, the birth rate has reached a critical low. Whether the actual marriage works out or not, these celebrities are taking up the slack to make sure someone will be around in the blazing hot future to pay for their nenkin retirement funds. The best thing that could happen to Japan right now is if 20 year-old boys from Wakkanai to Yonaguni repeatedly impregnate their 18 year-old girlfriends. Mass weddings? No problem: Prime Minister Abe can get us a great rate with the Moonies. Condoms or ovary-destroying Pills are unpatriotic, creating barriers between the forces of national replication.

So, who’s irresponsible now, Wada Akiko?

W. David MARX (Marxy)
August 15, 2007

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

37 Responses

  1. Adamu Says:

    I’ve noticed anecdotally a lot of shotgun weddings in my social circle lately as well. I am amazed HIV isn’t a worse problem here with all the lax attitudes toward condom use…

    And why such hostility toward Wada Akiko? BTW, the YouTube clip is down (curse you JASRAC) but Downtown once did a skit to prove once and for all in a court of law that Wada Akiko IS a man.

  2. Adamu Says:

    Sorry to derail your post, but I feel I need to share this insane entreatment by Mr. Wada to “get up, do it” with random black dancers in the background. This was shown in what was otherwise an NHK showcase of prominent enka stars, so this was I guess their idea of getting funky.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdX9XdO3ars

  3. SMonk Says:

    On a not really related but the first sentence got me thinking topic: sports guys. How do their contracts look? I’m guessing pretty much exactly like the entertainment industry “employee” contracts that are such an affront to all. Am i at least somewhat correct?

  4. neogeisha Says:

    i don’t believe that these hi-profile shotgun weddings are at all “inconveniences” to the media-industrial complex. on the contrary, in a society where declining birth rates are instilling chill terror in the hearts of xenophobic reactionary ultra-nationalists, what better way to use the cheap, non-violent state apparatus that is Idol Media to propagate the idea that it’s ok, even hip and contemporary, to have unprotected sex and forgo the formerly routine abortion that the average hatachi-j-girl would choose. to have the whole story end with wedding bells is just a two-fer: rising birth rate AND return to traditional values. case in point: where are the hi-profile single moms?

  5. M-Bone Says:

    Don’t you guys know that it is improper to make comments like that about Wada Akio (sorry) because he/she is a Zainchi?

    Also, how do we explain the very, very, very low AIDS numbers in Japan (lower than many US cities) given the (irresponsible) mainstream attitudes that exist toward condom use? Is it that Japan is a much more closed sexual community than we usually believe (given stories of Roppongi, yellow cabs, and sex tours)?

    And why the indignation about entertainment industry contracts? I see a lot of talentless talent getting more than they deserve.

  6. SMonk Says:

    As for the AIDS thing (or lack thereof), my guess would be A) a tendency towards low-risk sex (more bukkake than sodomy, basically), and B) low immigration.

  7. Rory P. Wavekrest Says:

    (Adamu’s trigger finger is itchin’ to shoot “cream-pie” info all over us again!)
    ((I’m sorry too.))

  8. Rory P. Wavekrest Says:

    Do yous think that Americans (fooooor example) are more ashamed of shotun weddings though? I went to an awesome “wedding” a few weeks back called “Hello Baby Party” where my friend (and his knocked-up now-wife he’s known for like 8 months) did a proud declaration of partnership (lacking any type of ceremonial officiation) and celebration of their *unexpected* situation with both friends and family in a festive 1.5次会 style environment.
    Frequent neomarxisme commenter and suspected German scholar “clh” was also present as we both commented that the bold recognition of dekichatta-ness would be uncharacteristic back home(s).

    I like that.

  9. Laotree Says:

    Rory, I believe ’twas I, in fact, who shot cream-pie on yall a couple of months back in the “no efficient way to translate ‘nakadashi rape” discussion. Helluva thing to go out of my way to take credit for…but no apologies for bringing the “bawd-rate” up.
    “where are the hi-profile single moms?”
    I know Takeuchi Yuko’s dekichatta kekkon to what’s his name was over pretty quickly, but come to think of it I haven’t seen her on TV much lately.
    About Americans and shotgun weddings:
    Just one American’s opinion, but I tend to associate it with dismal education, double-wide trailers, dates that involve huffing in lieu of a movie, and just maybe real firearms being involved. Don’t think for a second that I’m rippin’ on the South, either, these horribly insensitive stereotypes could be found wherever there’s a Stuckey’s, in all cardinal directions. Hell, “crusty old men like Wada Akiko” was a kinda cheap shot but if I had been drinking milk it would have come out of my nose upon reading it. So is this post in the serious or frivolous section? I’ll find out tomorrow, g’night all!

  10. Aceface Says:

    You guys are forgetting one important celevrity shotgun marriage,one of the two (and perhaps soon to be the only) Mongolian sumo yokozuna,Hakuho….

  11. Kim Jong-il Hater Says:

    And you wonder why Japanese sports are in decline.

    There was a footballer on Jubilo Iwata who had sex with a 15-year old girl! The club didn’t do much to punish him except relegate him to the reserves or something like that.

    Or maybe it’s because all of the players in J-League and NPBL going overseas to the US or Europe.

    Professional athletes in the US who beat their wives, shoot people, or conduct dogfights usually go to something called prison or get kicked out of the league. What the fucki is up with Japan?

  12. Mulboyne Says:

    Kim Jong-il Hater: “There was a footballer on Jubilo Iwata who had sex with a 15-year old girl! The club didn’t do much to punish him except relegate him to the reserves or something like that”

    All very true except for the fact that his team fined him, sacked him and he was arrested by the police.

  13. Aceface Says:

    Yep.KJIH.Your education period is over.If you want some pointless ranting on Japan,you do it on your own blog.I’ve had it with you.

  14. Aceface Says:

    BTW,Mulboyne.You are quick.I’ve almost type the exact post.
    And an off-topic.What do you know about the Israeli arms dealer and Japanese passport holder,Saul Eisenberg.You seem to know well about Kogan and all.

  15. Mulboyne Says:

    Eisenberg was a very well-connected man who liked to have politicians in his pocket. I thought he was more active in Korea because he knew Rhee’s wife.

    Feeble attempt to get back on-topic: I think Kimutaku/Kudo Shizuka and Sanma/Ohtake Shinobu were also dekichatta kekkon.

  16. Aceface Says:

    I’ve read that too in Monthly Chosen’s 趙甲済’s book on KCIA.His trading house had exported a plastic boat to Israel in the late 70’s and turned it as Torpedo boat for Israeli navy.Made a diplomatic fuss with GoJ…
    Do you know any good reading on the man?

    Get back on-topic,not exactly a shotgun marriage(yet),but the whole nation found out the day before yesterday that SMAP leader Nakai Masahiro is dating with Koda Kumi.

  17. alin Says:

    >where are the hi-profile single moms?

    here’s one.

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%86%85%E7%94%B0%E6%98%A5%E8%8F%8A

  18. M-Bone Says:

    Uchida Shungiku is awesome. One of the best novelists / manga-ka active at present.

  19. Mulboyne Says:

    Yuko Ikeda, the cosmetic surgeon whose daughter was kidnapped recently, is another well-known single mother.

    [Ace – the only time I’ve seen Eisenberg in print was in a biography of Armand Hammer]

  20. alexander Says:

    damnit, is there ever a post that doesn’t mention Abe, the moonies, kodama or sasakawa?

  21. Aceface Says:

    Forever kinder-looking Adachi Yumi.Got pregnant and married with one of the two man comic duo, Speedwagon.My mother was saying “A child is giving a birth to another child”.
    And while all that Yumi’s mother was getting fully naked in shukanshi….

    Sorry,KJIH,Just as you’ve said Japan is Fxxxed up.

  22. Adamu Says:

    I will of course cream pie when and if appropriate, thank you.

  23. marxy Says:

    “As for the AIDS thing (or lack thereof), my guess would be A) a tendency towards low-risk sex (more bukkake than sodomy, basically), and B) low immigration.”

    What about C) Low rates of intravenous drug use. Thank god you can smoke the pharmaceutical grade shabu that the yakuza corporation produces and imports.

    “Frequent neomarxisme commenter and suspected German scholar “clh” was also present as we both commented that the bold recognition of dekichatta-ness would be uncharacteristic back home(s).”

    Blame, Christian morality.

    “I know Takeuchi Yuko’s dekichatta kekkon to what’s his name was over pretty quickly, but come to think of it I haven’t seen her on TV much lately.

    No, she’s on a comeback.

    “Yuko Ikeda, the cosmetic surgeon whose daughter was kidnapped recently, is another well-known single mother.”

    The mom is half-plastic, but I guess that comes with the occupation. Like a firefighter always being on fire.

  24. Laotree Says:

    “No, she’s on a comeback.”
    Marxy, you watch a lot more TV than you would care to admit!

    “B) low immigration”
    Because we all know that if the immigration laws were relaxed the thousands of Japanese queuing up at Narita to “hit it raw dog” with fresh-off-the-plane foreigners would be easy prey for opportunistic viruses…
    Isn’t this the kind of scare tactic they use to keep the gates closed like Lou Dobbs exaggerating the dangers of Mexican leprosy cases?
    How about a general (modern) cultural negativity toward homosexuality? (although SMonk touched on this with the “tendency toward low-risk sex” thing, I think this might be a valid separate factor, obviously without endorsing said suppression as damage control).
    Then again if there were more open discussion across the board, people would have better access to prevention info, no?
    Dare I say that the existence of, albeit loosely regulated soaplands and such might also play a part in the low infection phenomenon, compared with countries where prostitution is strictly black market and closely associated with IV drug use i.e. Afghanistan’s finest, rather than pharmie-grade speed?
    Oh and of course that 風俗 often restrict those plague-bearing foreigners…

  25. Chris_B Says:

    Some people born from those little oopses end up just fine and so do the couples. I really dont see anything to get excited about here.

    Unfortunately the video clip which shows how well hung Akiko Wada is seems to be off line.

  26. SMonk Says:

    “Because we all know that if the immigration laws were relaxed the thousands of Japanese queuing up at Narita to “hit it raw dog” with fresh-off-the-plane foreigners would be easy prey for opportunistic viruses…”

    I didn’t actually mean it that way. Here (Sweden, the land of free sex and whatnot, where i think the HIV rate is even lower than in Japan) the vast majority of all new reported cases (excluding “men having sex with men” and intravenous drug users) are either newly arrived immigrants, or already established immigrants who have been infected by others in their ethnic community.
    I assume the situation is somewhat similar in the rest of western Europe, and to some extent, Japan (or would be, had Japan had a less strict immigration policy).
    Pointing out the fact that, say, southern Africa, seems rather more aids-afflicted than scandinavia doesn’t HAVE to be racist fear-mongering. It can, also, be simple fact.

  27. Kim Jong-il Hater Says:

    Thank god, I read on ESPN Soccernet he got fined and got sent down to the reserves. Guess after further investigation they let him go.

    J-League is full of floppers. I’m more of a Scottish Premier League fan. Rough anti-flopper football.

  28. M-Bone Says:

    Japan really does have an amazingly low rate of HIV infection.

    2003 – 12,000 cases

    For Sweden – 7,100 cases in 2005

    The USA has over 1,200,000 cases. The most shocking statistic that I have seen in a long time is that one in fifty African Americans is HIV positive (2%).

    Japan has about 15 times the population of Sweden. Lots of those Japanese cases (about 2000)are also due to tainted blood products.

    So does this mean that the key to avoiding AIDS is to have pseudo-legal gang run brothels, great speed instead of other drugs, and keeping out foreigners? Japan certainly is not doing anything special on the AIDS education or condom awareness front, certainly nothing as good as this

    http://www.transbuddha.com/mediaHolder.php?id=274

    This is a controversial, virtually untouchable topic, but I guess that is what blogs discussion posts are for.

    On another note, I’m not convinced that anti-gay attitudes in Japan (get married and you will be cured) have a lot to do with the low AIDS rate. Married gay men having sex on the sly and infecting their partners has caused AIDS rates to skyrocket elsewhere. With the proliferation of phone clubs and hook-up sites, I’m not convinced that Japanese gays are having trouble starting relationships.

  29. Laotree Says:

    Smonk, I knew what you meant, but I wanted to emphasize the point that such information is loaded with potential for misuse by xenophobes…

  30. Aceface Says:

    KJIH:
    Jubilo’s Kikuchi reached an agreement with the victim(although it seemed to be that she had agreed to slept with him in a car,and later changed her mind for the price he paid) and turned down all the charges.His contract with Jubilo was until June 30 and got fired on 29th..

    Professional athletes in the Japan who beat their wives, shoot people(never happened), or conduct dogfights usually go to something called prison or get kicked out of the league,just in case you’re still wondering.

    “I’m more of a Scottish Premier League fan. Rough anti-flopper football. ”

    Good.Funny you’are an anti-flopper though.

    M-Bone:
    I’ve met this dude who used to work for MoH(now retired)and he was in charge of legalization of birth control pills.But he had been in the anti-camp for most of his bureaucratic career.He told me that HIV factor was the main reason of anti-pill idea in the MoH(but didn’t give me the reasons why they were against it in the 60’s and 70’s).This is the same dude who was awarded an IgNobel award for the hypothesis of why the Japanese didn’t catch any SARS while Chinese did and the reason was Japanese language has less voiced obstruents thus do not spit around like Chinese!So you can’t take everything from him at face value,but what he said is the main theory of why the Japanese have lowest HIV positives among the industrial nations.and the reason why in the future we may have rapid increase even though among the developed nations HIV growth had halted due to the public enlightment on HIV in the recent years and not so in Japan.

  31. marxy Says:

    “hypothesis of why the Japanese didn’t catch any SARS while Chinese did and the reason was Japanese language has less voiced obstruents thus do not spit around like Chinese!”

    So that’s why! I would have guessed the “four seasons” thing.

    “but didn’t give me the reasons why they were against it in the 60’s and 70’s”

    I cleared this up – bitches aren’t nothing but hoes and tricks.

  32. Aceface Says:

    Or MoH was just encouraging shotgun marriages on the side of the girl’s father.

  33. marxy Says:

    Seems like in the 1960s or 1970s though, you have no need for the state to encourage MORE births and marriages. They had a pretty good demographic curve at that point (lots of young people) with no way of knowing that it would turn out like it is today.

  34. porandojin Says:

    “but didn’t give me the reasons why they were against it in the 60’s and 70’s”

    In Poland during communism it wasn’t being introduced because of too many side effects …

  35. P P Says:

    Regarding birth control pills, these are in fact drugs that induce hormonal changes. Why would anyone think taking these drugs would be healthy? Heck might as well put it in the milk and meat while you’re at it. (Oh, they already do.) There is a reason why some people have very wide and disproportionately sized butts.

  36. Jrim Says:

    Am I right in thinking that Japan is the only developed country where the rate of HIV infections is actually on the rise? Last year, the number of new HIV infections reported was the highest to date (http://idsc.nih.go.jp/iasr/28/328/tpc328.html). Record highs for the number of cases linked to “homosexual contact”, too. Now, these numbers are still pretty piddly compared to other countries, but I don’t think it takes an expert in epidemiology to tell you that there might be trouble on the horizon…

  37. marxy Says:

    Great link:

    “Infections due to intravenous drug abuse or mother-to-child infection accounted for less than 1% of all HIV cases and AIDS patients; figures are lower than those in other countries. In 2006, 7 cases of infection due to intravenous drug abuse (4 HIV cases and 3 AIDS patients) and 1 case due to mother-to-child infection (1 HIV case and 0 AIDS patient) were reported.”

    So, yes, IV drug abuse is not contributing to HIV in Japan.