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?