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People who live in glass houses…

Jitsuwa Taiho December
Jitsuwa Taiho December

The sad story of the demise of “WaiWai,” which made the news last summer, is by almost anyone’s judgment already a bit stale. But the December issue of Jitsuwa Taiho has just hit the stands, and there on page 186 is an unattributed article titled “Japanese are infuriated at sex in Japan as seen by foreigners!”

The story goes on to list and condemn some of the outrageous and “fabricated” stories on sex in Japan that were translated into English and sent “all over the world” via the Internet.

Midway down on the list of 18 articles deemed particularly offensive by the writer was this item: “Nihon no shufu wa minna, kogai no koin shawaa de baishun shite iru” (All Japanese housewives engage in prostitution in suburban coin-operated showers).

And the source of Jitsuwa Taiho’s self-righteous indignation? Why, none other than Jitsuwa Taiho itself. More specifically, its April 2008 issue, pages 84-85. And what did that piece have to say about the commercial activities of ALL the housewives in suburban Japan? Well, would you believe ONE housewife? The policy of conscientious fact-checking — even regarding articles appearing in one’s own publication — seems to have flown south for the duration.

Article in April '08 Jitsuwa Taiho about a housewife who engages in prostitution
This is by no means an isolated instance of the pot calling the kettle black, as several other magazines — Shukan Post is one that immediately comes to mind — also lambasted “WaiWai” for running summary translations of the same kind of risque stories that they feature week after week. But this time someone ought to take the trouble to give Mr. Hiroshi Shimizu, the editor of Jitsuwa Taiho, a tap on the shoulder, and remind him about the Japanese saying that goes “Waga kuso kusaku nai” (My own excrement doesn’t stink).

Source: “Japanese are infuriated at sex in Japan as seen by foreigners!” Jitsuwa Taiho (Dec. 2008, page 186)