While Japan may be one of the safest countries in the world, but what comes along with it is many social ills that are entrapped with the society.
Japanese girls experiencing sexual groping on trains, or “chikan”, is said to be an arguably tolerated and prevalent phenomenon in the country. Schoolgirls are commonly the first as well as rampant victims to the overworked men seeking outlets to release stress.
The book deftly titled “Tchikan” is written by Kumi Sasaki. In it, she shared her experience of getting groped daily when she was at the age of 12-18, Rocket News 24 reports. That’s 6 years of horror!
The book, written in France, was released last year November and it has been growing in popularity ever since. Sasaki describes in details of how her chikan experience took place throughout her high school years. She hopes that her work can shed some lights on the issue and demands serious treatment because currently, chikan are treated trivially in Japan with many people thinking “it’s just a small thing, not a big deal”. What…why….?
For illustration. Source: gamme
In this excerpt from the book, she recalls her first chikan incident when she was on Tokyo’s Yamanote Line. At first, she felt a man’s hand was rubbing against her. She thought it was just an accident from the train sudden take-off, however, it didn’t stop.
“The fingers of his unfamiliar hand went inside the collar of my blouse. Then he touched my back, he touched my legs, my waist, even my butt. He placed his hand directly under the cheeks, quietly raising up my skirt by just moving his fingers, and he touched my left thigh under my skirt.”
Being so young, she didn’t know what to do and simply went into shock.
Translation of the illustration below:
“What people see from the outside: I’m here! ↓”
“What happened on the inside.”
Her first encounter only marked the many more to follow. Almost every day for the next six years, she constantly got groped inappropriately on the train. The perpetrators can range from men in their late teens to elderly in their 70s. There was even a time she was followed home by a married man in his 50s after groping her and the perpetrator told Sasaki that he wanted her to have his babies.
The endless torment eventually took a toll on her mental health. She thought of killing herself but thanks to her friend, she confided the harassment to her friend and through the bond, she was saved from her suicidal thought.
She wishes that her book can help the girls who are going through the same thing. She also hopes that the book can encourage girls and women to voice out the prevailing phenomenon and put a stop to such social ill. She believes that it’s her way of participating #MeToo movement.
You may get the book at Amazon France.