One night in early March, as the midnight hour approached, a group composed of one female and several males arrived at an all-night discount store and appeared to be browsing along the aisles. Then suddenly the woman hiked up her miniskirt to reveal the cheeks of her backside, and, her modesty concealed only by a red thong, wiggled her backside provocatively.
“Look, you can see her butt!” one lucky patron snickered.
Surrounded by her male entourage, she then vanished into the night.
It seems that enthusiasts of roshutsu, as public flashing is called, have set up shop in the cluttered aisles of outlets belonging to the nation’s largest discount store chain, Don Quijote. As reported in Shukan Asahi Geino (March 19), the flashers even post announcements of their successful forays on Internet bulletin boards.
“From some years ago, Donki outlets became notorious as hangouts for flashers,” says Sho Hara, a writer who is knowledgeable about Japan’s subculture goings-on. “It’s because the merchandise displays are so cluttered and parts of the sales floor have pockets with practically no visibility (by the store staff or security cameras).
“But after several arson incidents at stores in 2004, the flashing tapered off for a while…”
But now it’s back with a vengeance. Posts on a bulletin board during the week of Feb. 26 alone boasted of 11 appearances at “Donki” outlets in the Kanto area.
In some cases, female flashers headed for the part of the store furthest from the entrance, where they laid on their back in the aisle, making a “V sign” with their legs apart. In other performances their male companions shamelessly fondled them.
“Some exhibitionist couples like to go to isolated places at night and strip, prancing about naked under the beam of a flashlight,” a source, who goes by the tag “Exhibitionist,” tells the magazine. “Some guys will masturbate while they watch, and some girls let their boyfriends finger them. But in principle they could be arrested if they do this on a store’s premises, so the girls keep their panties on.”
According to professor emeritus Hiroshi Itakura of Nihon University, the law tends to be enforced haphazardly, and is applied most stringently to exposure of genitalia. The penalty for indecent exposure in public, called ‘kozen waisetsu‘ in Japanese, may be up to six months imprisonment and a fine of up to 300,000 yen, so flashing definitely entails risks.
For instance, pinup girl Asuka Sawamoto got busted in Tokyo on exposure charges merely for flashing her panties, although she was not indicted.
“Acts that go against public order and decency will not be tolerated,” a spokesperson for Don Quijote asserted. “In the event of such acts in our stores we shall apply severe measures that would include immediately reporting it to the police.”
Source: “Don Kihote ni ‘roshutsu kappuru’ ga gerira shutsubotsu shiteiru!” Shukan Asahi Geino (Mar. 19, Page 188)