|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Japan's girls abuzz with good vibrations
Japan's adult businesses are abuzz with the news that growing numbers of women are buying their own vibrators, according to Weekly Playboy.
An annual survey conducted among women from 41 countries by Durex, the world's largest condom manufacturer, discovered that about 30 percent of all Japanese women own their own vibe, ranking them about 14th overall.
"I thought there was a strangely large number of women who owned vibrators, but there's no doubt the possession rate has skyrocketed these past few years,"
Mariko Kawana, a former porn starlet and now reporter on the Japanese netherworld, tells Weekly Playboy.
"Every month I interview several adult video actresses and they've all got their own.
Years ago, you used to have to depend on the director to bring one in to work."
Kawana has few doubts about why so many women have suddenly turned their attention to giving themselves a buzz.
"The biggest reason has got to be because they are so easy to buy these days," Kawana says.
"You can get one any time off the Net or at (major discount retail chain) Don Quixote."
Indeed, where once taboo and confined to sleazy back street stores, vibrators are now sold openly in even family oriented discount chains like Don Quixote.
"Women are far more open now than they used to be, which has definitely increased the extent of vibrator usage," Yoshimi Tanaka, president of the Adult Convenience Store chain, tells Weekly Playboy.
"Take the example of our Akihabara store. About 30 percent of our customers are guys, 40 percent are couples and the remaining 30 percent are women who come in to buy on their own.
Women have no problem coming into our stores by themselves."
Incidentally, topping the poll carried out among 350,000 women, was Iceland, where the vibrator possession rate is 52 percent, followed closely behind by Norway at 50 percent.
"We're also doing online and catalog sales of vibrators and the vast majority of our clients live in the colder regions like Hokkaido and Tohoku.
I suppose all the snow up there makes it hard to go outside," Tanaka tells Weekly Playboy.
"Whatever the reason is, though, vibrators are now easier to buy than ever before, they've got more added features than ever before and I don't think it will be too long in the future when the possession rate among Japanese women also tops the 50 percent mark."
By Ryann Connell
February 5, 2005