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About Closeness of Japanese Boys 2007/4/8 20:08
I recently went on exchange for a month to saty with a host family on Kyushu Island. When attending school I observed that many of the boys were very 'close' with eachother.(this was in Australian Year 10, 1st year of Japanese Senior High School)

Not in a bad way, but many of the guys would for example sit on the lap of their best friend's when hanging out at lunchtime in the classroom. Or touching hands and tapping eachother on the backside seemed to be customary amoungst friends.

My host brother actually taught me another thing called Sennen Goroshi, where you would make a point with your two hands and get someone up the backside with it! I thought it was quite humorous and very interesting.

I come from a culture in Australia where such physical contact between guys (or 'blokes') is definitely seen as very feminine and perhaps homeosexual. SO it was very strange to me.

Luckily as i am not in the least bit homophobic I had no problem with accepting this strange custom, but I am wondering if this sort of thing is common in Japan, and whether it's just amoung boys, or a certain age etc.

by Cody  

Yep :") 2007/4/10 02:41
Yep. I don't know about the name you used, but we call it "Kancho" where you stick something up someone's butts (usually your finger(s)).

I really like the closeness of Japan. It's opened my mind.
by Phil rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/10 08:46
Kancho is hilarious xD. I explained to my Japanese friend that he shouldn't do that to any boys here in New Zealand beacuse they would freak out and think he's gay.
by . rate this post as useful

... 2007/4/10 10:08
I think there is a phase in an early or pre-puberty age, both among boys and girls, when they seek physical contact with others (not sexually) and tend to stick together with those of the same sex. It's like girls in... maybe age 8, 9, 10, 11 or so (so mid - to late elementary school maybe), when girls hold hands to go everywhere together and things like that. With boys it would be a bit later than that.

Still, I would think it's a bit unusual for boys as grown up as 15 or so to be in that state, though. Was it a boys-only school? If girls or boys are isolated from those of the other sex, and boy-to-boy or girl-to-girl contact is not discouraged, then it could be possible. It's just something that goes away once they become more aware of their physical development and what physical contact can mean.

About that gesture, in Japan it's just a hilarious slap-stick type of thing (to make somone jump up saying ahhhhhhhh!), rather than anything that has any sexual meaning to it...
by AK (JP woman) rate this post as useful

. 2007/4/13 16:34
Lol. Your description is very cute. XDD I would love to see that~
by akari rate this post as useful

... 2007/4/13 17:38
It's hard to say.

When you see "sitting on laps/touching hands&back" in writing, you'd think "!", but in reality, I think people do it unconsciously.

15 year old high school kids, in particular boys, can be quite bubbly than you'd think. My son would play catch (tag), and I thought that this was a game you don't play after you reach your teens.

So when you get hyper during recess, you might sit on your pal's lap. Probably girls would see this as "stupid boys" :)

Touching hands is actually commonly done by a lot of people including adults when they want to express "Oh, cut it out!" or "Ah, silly me, I'm embarrassed!" or "Huh, I know what you mean!" and that sort of exclamation.

Tapping the backside is a gesture of "light spanking". So when your buddy does something annoying, but you're generous enough to joke about it, then you might tapp his behind. If you do these gestures to an opposite gender it can turn out to be sexual harrassment though.

But on the other hand, I don't think that the Japanese are generally "physically affectionate" compared to people from other countries. For example, we don't hug or even shake hands when greeting others. When someone sits next to you on the subway, you'd move over to give each other room, while in a lot of Asian countries people would squeeze your body against strangers.

I think the Japanese prefer to keep his/her own "territory" against strangers, but once you become buddies you become quite "unreserved", especially when you're a boy.
by Uco, mom of a senior high freshman rate this post as useful

Well... 2007/6/4 17:41
I always think of it like girls can do it in other countries (including touching eachothers breasts in Japan ^^;), and the guys in Japan just don't have this huge thing against it. It's kinda normal there. The funny thing is I go to a uni in NZ with almost half the students being Japanese - all the kiwi guys come here first year going ewwww... and by halfway through the year they're sitting on eachother or slapping eachothers asses - or (possibly just a my-uni thing^^) pretending to dry-hump eachother from behind. Very, very interesting :P Especialy for a yaoi fan ;)
by Lie rate this post as useful

BOYS 2007/6/6 12:17
I am European and was lucky enough to spend some time in several Euro countries on student exchange programs. Everywhere teenage boys and even guys around 20 (until recently young men had to go to the army for a while) were physical with one another: hugging, holding hands, kissing one another on the cheeks after a vacation etc. Actually many European adults are also very physical(my dad,a former cop, hug & kiss lots of males, and doesn't mind crying in public). When
I moved to Canada I was amazed to see fathers and sons shaking hands but never kissing, hugging etc. It was frowned upon even in French speaking Quebec. Once I went back to Europe for the funeral of a close relative. A HUNGRED people, some older ones who knew me well, but also young men I had never seen before, all shook my hand + hugged me + kissed me 3 times on the cheeks!. What I am trying to say is that the closeness of Japanese boys is not unusual. What is unusual, and very sad, is the fear of North American and Australian males to show their feelings by being physical with male friends and relatives.
by Plantagenesta rate this post as useful

Just wanted to add 2008/3/26 20:06
I know this thread is becoming old, but I just wanted to add and emphasise how unforunate it is that males (and many woman) can't express affection between close friends and relatives.
I'm Australian and I can't help notice the lack of physical contact between friends and relatives. It drives me CRAZY! If you like/love someone , you SHOULD hug, kiss and touch them (not sexually, just in a friendly manor)!
I'm straight and I find that it's really fun and reasuring to hug,snuggle and playfight close friends. It's makes me feel special and it's a heap of fun :)
Watching Australian guys hang out with eachother is awkward. They just look like a few people who have been thrown into a room with eachother and been told to make small talk.
I guess what I'm ultimately trying to say (and quite awkwardly) is that it makes me happy to hear that Japanese guys (and maybe girls) are close like that.

(Sorry for any typos. It's late and 'm tired :s)
by sugarmoe rate this post as useful

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