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Pink Box: Inside Japan's Sex Clubs
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Manufacturer: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 306.740952
EAN: 9780810992597
ISBN: 0810992590
Label: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Manufacturer: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 192
Publication Date: 2006-10-01
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Studio: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

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Editorial Reviews:

In Pink Box, photographer Joan Sinclair takes us on a journey inside the secret world of fuzoku (commercial sex) in Japan, a world where kawaii (cute) collides with consumerism and sex.

Unrivaled in their creativity and the sheer number of choices, the clubs featured in this book offer their clientele every fantasy imaginable. Subway groping, visits to the nurse�s office, and comic book character encounters are just the beginning of the immense list of possibilities that are played out in colorful playrooms for adults where no detail is overlooked. Sinclair�s photographs capture it all, while an introduction by sociologist James Farrer provides a brief history of commercial sex in Japan and places the images in the context of contemporary Japanese culture.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: This Isn't a Book for Prudes or Feminists
Comment: "All I ask is that viewers not assume that the profession is inherently degrading. It's more complicated than that. These women are not powerless, they are not on drugs. They have made conscious choices: they have their own dignity. The clubs are a reflection of modern Japan, a literate society, where the rules are written out, prices are not negotiable, and fantasies are predetermined, prescripted, and prepaid." Those are the words of Joan Sinclair, the young female photojournalist of this amazing book. In addition to startling pictures of a startling world unimagined to most of the western world the reader is provided some valuable historical information about what they are seeing. One of my favorite pictures is a close up a man's smiling face with a woman in the background laughing at his silly antics for the camera while she enjoys a cigarette. The customer quote from the 65 year-old Mr. Taniguchi is "I think men are universally perverted; it's just that in Japan, we do something about it." According to economists, in 2001, "the commercial sexual services sector in Japan accounted for nearly $20 billion." "Pink" or "pinku" translates as "Sexual: Commercial Sex." Most of these pictures were made in 2004.
It's amazing that this book was ever made. In the United States the people involved would probably never have allowed the foreign photographer in the front door, much less let her take any photographs. What is very obvious from the pictures is that the people involved in this fantasy land of sex are having a good time and even enjoying being photographed for publication. Their profession simply doesn't have the negative stigma attached to it, as is the case in the western world. Japan never experienced an extended period of time when various forms of sex was considered taboo or wrong. It was just a natural bodily function that was intended to be enjoyed by both partners. It was considered an important element of good health and long life. Guilt over sex wasn't a part of Japanese culture. Here you have both the hosts and hostesses as well as their customers cutting up for the camera lady. It was obviously a lark for them. They obviously weren't worried about being recognized by their family members and being ostracized from society because of their behavior.
This book provides an incredible look at an unknown to the western world phenomena. It shows high school girls selling their used high school uniforms and underwear to a "Used Underwear Shop." It shows a television auction for a woman's panties (they sold for 26,000 Yen) and she included a freshly plucked pubic hair as a bonus. There is a smiling portrait of a beautiful young woman holding up the 53,000 Yen she had just received for her used, soiled underwear. Sociologist James Farrer provides a very helpful introduction to this alien universe. The various clubs and lounges photographed and discussed include Hostess Clubs, Host Clubs, Nude Theaters, Touch Pubs and Pink Salons, Soaplands, Peeping Rooms, Fashion Health, Hotel Health, Cosplay (costume play), Image Clubs, (with fantasy rooms such as "Pervert Trains" full-sized scale models of subway cars for groping other passengers, Happening Bars and Couple Cafes, and a whole universe of fantasy, S&M;, Kinky stuff that I can't begin to mention in this review. Some of my favorite pictures were of women dressed in their favorite Anime Character costumes. Other interesting and almost unbelievably surreal pictures were from the Club Mammoth, Tokyo's club for those usually skinny guys who like really big, big (obese) Sumo sized women. There were also clubs where customers can paint nude bodies with traditional calligraphy brush and ink, Karaoke with some unusual twists, sushi or sashimi meals served on a nude woman. This 192-page photographic coffee table book is beautifully done and manages to tastefully skirt actual pornographic pictures (not an easy task). Some of the text in the book's picture captions is so small it's difficult to read without a magnifying glass, but most of the text is actually oversized. I suspect the weird combination of type sizes and fonts had to do with the fact the book is probably translated into several different languages? Whatever, this book will provide readers and viewers with a voyeur's eye view of the underside of Japan. Just as with Brassai's coverage of the underbelly of Paris in the 1930's, this tome is not for prudes or puritans because western ideas of sexuality standards and culture don't apply. This world is an adult amusement theme park. The mostly young people pictured in the book are obviously proud of their profession and the money it makes them. They may even feel that they are on a par with rock stars and super models? The book is full of cartoon-like settings and cartoon like characters. One has to view it with an open mind and not try to psychoanalyze it to death. The obvious question of what happens to these young hosts and hostesses when they begin to show their age isn't answered or even discussed. This is a talented photojournalist's coverage of what is there and the reader/viewer will feel like they have actually been there looking over the shoulder of the thirty-year old American lawyer/photographer. That fact is not important to the book's pictures, but it does give you additional insight into the mind of the photographer. There is a lot of both intentional and unintentional humor displayed by the various photographic subjects. This volume is a peek at a surreal world that could probably only exist in Japan. It's probably already reached the status of the traditional Japan Shunga (Floating World) Pillow Books of the Edo Era. The two types of book are obviously related.
As one views this book they may feel an urge to pinch themselves to be certain they aren't dreaming and what they are viewing is real, not fiction. It is fantasy, but it is also very real.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: A pictorial of Japan's "Happy Meal Box Packaged" Sex Industry
Comment: A picture tells a 1000 words and this book offers insite and curiousity through intelligent and fun photograghy to tell the secret side of Japan's very unique sex industry. While there is some excitement of the sexy sort, there is loads more to this photo journal in the capturing of cultural creativity and sexual social commentary.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Yes, quite a look and "some" dead on analysis
Comment: I lived in Osaka, Japan for a year back in '93/94 and (being well travelled) I can honestly say that Japanese men are the most strangely deviant gender of anywhere I have encountered. It's not just about the sexual desire, it's about the way they go about it, deny it, suppress it, fantasize about it, and more. During the day, Japanese men come across as robotic, mindless, emotionless, infantile, limp, and the younger guys even "androgenous". They are the least sexual creatures you have ever encountered. BUT, come night-time and with their desperate need for, but extreme chemical intolerance for booze, they metamorphosize into creatures unrecognizable. Most are too scared to do much, so they sing their baseball songs then puke, then collapse in said puke wearing their thin little suits and boring ties. But others, especially those with a little more money and certain connections, do carry out their deviance in spades. I mean this is a country where you can buy "used panties from a junior high school girl" OUT OF A VENDING MACHINE, I kid you not! In many ways, pedophilia in Japan is an ideal in most men's minds, and they nearly faint at the mere idea of lifting up a skirt from some school girl (which is precisely why they are mandated to wear such skirts...), and this ideology is most obviously reflected in all the advertising campaigns plastered everywhere. Pedophilia and subservience everywhere. The only other country that openly promotes pedophilia more than Japan, is Germany. In fact, during the Wars in Europe (and even today) pedophilia is / was referred to as the "German Disease". True story.

Mix the pedophilia theme with sadomasochism, bizarre fantasies, sex hotels, pathetic attempts at sociality, and lots of booze, and one will never think of Japanese men the same ever again. My take: they are a VERY strange breed, with a little too much money, but not enough self-control or individualism. They are as close to "perverted sheep" as you will find on this planet.

My main issue with this account, is how the author managed her contact and access to this strange, but very protected World. That seems highly suspicious to me, especially for a female foreigner to crack. Because there is one HUGE theme that is left out of this account entirely, and that is high tech MIND CONTROL. And that is precisely why these girls don't complain and are even proud to be involved. And don't think for a second that the girls take home "six figures" a year. They generate much more than that, but their controllers (often Yakuza associated) keep them on a very short leash. The book is an interesting read / look nonetheless, but doesn't tell us much of the whole story.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Great book for starting conversation
Comment: Great coffee table book! Once you pick it up you can't put it down.

Filled with hundreds of very interesting stories and photographs, this book is great choice for any fan of Japan or erotic photography.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Fun Book
Comment: A very interesting and fun look into Japan's sex culture. Basically a picture book with small tidbits of info here and there. Lot's of nudity, nothing too graphic though. A quick read and quite an eye opener about what types of clubs there are and what goes on in these clubs. A real shame that as a westener I will never be able to enjoy the wonderful pleasures that this sexually advanced society partakes in. Dont expect too much from the book. It is what it is and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I am very interested in all things Japan though.

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