|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.|
Shigeru Oohori (a pseudonym) is a 35-year-old "elite salaryman" at a major corporation and loving father of a 10-year-old daughter.
He's also a dedicated chikan (groper) who gets his thrills running his hands over thebodies of young women on commuter trains.
Five years ago, Oohori was posting messages on an Internet bulletin board set up for aficionados of train groping.
(Example: "Today, I got my hands on a girl with a big ass...") and proposed that his fellow correspondents get together for drinks.
"I never could have imagined it could be so enjoyable to get together and discuss our fetishes," he tells Hanashi no Channel (11/6).
Oohori was quite impressed to see that many of the participants at the gathering were of high social standing.
"We had Buddhist priests, school principals, government bureaucrats, doctors and others," he relates.
This initial encounter led to the formal establishment of the Chikan Tomo-no-Kai (The Gropers' Brotherhood), whose membership currently numbers 50 nationwide, and of which Oohori serves as chairman.
While the members range from students to septuagenarians, the largest age segment is composed of salaried wage earners in their 30s, an overwhelming number of whom are married.
According to Oohori, there are two types of chikan. One is the "orthodox" type, who become excited by seeing the expression of disgust on a girl's face at the moment they begin running their hands over her body.
The other type, the "technician," aims at subtly titillating the woman using practiced erotic techniques that succeed in getting her wet before she even realizes what's happening.
Some 80 percent of chikan are estimated to belong to the former category.
Once monthly, the groper groupies gather at a pub somewhere in Tokyo to swap stories about theirconquests.
At a recent meeting, one relayed an account of his special technique for perforating girls'pantyhose in order to get closer to the land of milk and honey.
While some members listened in with rapturous envy, others energetically transcribed his advice into their memo books.
Another speaker warned his fellow enthusiasts that plainclothes detectives would be on duty in the Ikebukuroarea in the coming month, so they should take added precautions not to be nabbed.
"Groping was once a solitary activity, but now thanks to the Internet it's become easy to link up with people who share the same kind of sexual interests," enthuses Oohori.
"We swap information. This nurtures a sense of competition and spurs us to bolder activities.
Another purpose of our group is to warn members from getting so carried away they risk arrest."
Aside from being able to attend lectures on groping techniques and proper etiquette, Hanashi no Channel adds that members of Oohori's group become eligible for hands-on training sessions, aboard actual commuter trains.
"We all pool our money and employ several girls who let us grope them while actually on the train," he explains.
"We do it in teams of six, and take turns on the girl, while the others observe from a slightly detached location.
Then when it's over, we'll go to a coffee shop and critique the others, telling one, 'If you look around suspiciously before touching her, people will take notice,' or 'You squeezed her too hard at the beginning; you can't do it that way.'"
A proper performance in front of the brotherhood's chairman can earn the accomplished groper a "black belt" ranking, with the level proficiency based on how effectively the candidate conducts such movements as groping while carrying a briefcase (basic), or how effectively he succeeds in getting fingers inside a girl's panties (advanced).
So far, Oohori has reached the exalted level of 7th dan; 12 others are ranked 1st dan and five have reached the 2nd dan level.
A 5th dan is expected to maintain the prestige of his rank by fondling the buttocks of at least 100 women a month.
Oohori was honored with his advanced 7th dan level by his ability to flee police pursuers.
To do this, he keeps himself in top physical shape, arising each morning at six for an hour or more of jogging.
October 3, 2003