‘Neath this stone
Lies Kenji Tanaka
Put him in the o-haka.
— Burma Shave
Perhaps we should apologize for the jocular verse above, because when push comes to shove, it’s no laughing matter: Weekly Playboy (Oct. 18) reports that a rather disturbing piece of news began circulating around the Web from mid-September.
Posted on an unnamed site was an article that read: “A high school boy was found dead in his room, bare from the waist down. According to an examination performed on his body at Miyagi Prefectural Hospital, earlier that day he had masturbated several dozen times. The cause of death was determined to be over secretion of sex hormones.”
But a spokesman for the government department that oversees hospitals in the prefecture denied the story.
“We have no record of any case of sudden death due to self-abuse. And moreover, there is no such hospital as so named in the article.”
Whew, that’s a relief, said the reporter. But. But. But…Then he shot off an inquiry to Dr. Masahiko Ueno, the former chief medical examiner of Tokyo, who says such things do happen, and a lot more often than some might expect.
“Yes,” nods Doc Ueno, “I used to see cases of death from masturbation all the time. It’s most common among men in their 30s and 40s and women in their 50s and 60s.”
Ueno says about 200 such cases pop up each year nationwide, with 20 to 30 in Tokyo’s 23 central wards alone.
But how can such an innocent and pleasurable activity lead to such a disastrous outcome, the reporter wonders.
“The moment of ejaculation is equivalent to heavy exercise, in terms of the load on the cardiopulmonary system,” says Ueno. “Blood pressure also soars rapidly, which can bring on cardiac arrest or stroke. So the fatalities are comparatively numerous among people who suffer from such conditions.”
Ueno relates what he saw at the scene of the crime.
“I was summoned by headquarters and went to the scene. A man was seated on a sofa, with his lower body exposed. There was no evidence of break in, but we observed soiled tissue paper and porn magazines scattered about on the floor. It was a cut and dried case of death by self-abuse.”
Ueno went on to say he has also seen cases when the fatality was due to autoerotic asphyxiation, caused by a rope or other object around the throat. Such cases may even be on the increase.
“The police once called me to look at a dead woman. They had become suspicious because her underwear was inside out. During the autopsy we found a sausage in her vagina. Other times we’ve found cucumbers or pickles up there.”
Ueno supposes that as more outsourced workers miss out on getting regular annual physical checkups at work, they are less likely to be aware of some worsening medical condition. And also with so many porno videos available free online, the environment has become more receptive to masturbation.
The unnamed head of an ED clinic in Tokyo urges caution. “More people seem to be masturbating without using their hands, by rubbing against their bedding, or the wall. If they seek too much stimulation, it can overload their cardiopulmonary system, and raise the risk of death.”
Source: “Maji? Gase? Netto-kai ga sozen to natta ‘onanie shi, nenkan nihyakken wa honto datta!!” Weekly Playboy (October 18, page 166)
Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.