10 March 2009 ~ 33 Comments

Anti-Acts of Retaliation #1: Cock-Blocking Chikan

I could feel the awkward pressure against me, his subtle insistence that I move when moving was unnecessary;  ample space awaited him in the other direction I discerned with a glance. If this were NY I would’ve thought he was a pickpocket or nutcase…but this is Yokohama, and the mere fact that he was touching me voluntarily was a red flag in and of itself. What’s he up to?

At the next station the doors slid open and more people filed in. I am accustomed to being surrounded by what my boy EZ calls the “Gaijin Perimeter” (a perimeter Japanese tend to place around foreigners, regardless of crowding, in their effort not to come into contact with them) whenever I ride the trains. Sometimes this perimeter is huge, sometimes it’s pretty tight. The size varies from day to day but it’s always there, and I’ve learned that anyone who dares to enter my perimeter usually has an agenda. This guy did. Once the perimeter is breached, I’ve learned, then others will follow suit, as if the initial breacher had informed them using some secret Japanese masonic-like code, “come on in…the water’s warm!”

And, that’s how it went this morning. People filed in, glimpsed me, in all my conspicuousness, hesitated (or froze causing a logjam) then, noticing the breacher’s rather close proximity to me, decided I must be ok and bounded for any available space. To my left was a High School girl, traditional uniform, skirt hiked up rather high but no higher than can commonly be seen on any given day during any season. She favored one of the kids who had graduated from my Junior High School a couple of years ago, Kanako. Kanako had been a trouble maker but after a few bumps in the road we had gotten along very well. When she graduated she’d told me she will never forget me.  This girl kind of favored Kanako but it definitely wasn’t her. This girl was ferociously writing a text to someone, her thumb a tiny blur. The space to my right, previously vacant, was now filled by an office lady, one of the Women in Black, the uniform for freshmen office workers here. My rear was occupied by the breacher. As the passengers boarded, I could feel a stronger pressure upon me. A couple of boarders wanted to get by the breacher to the vacant space on his left, but his hand was holding onto the strap over my shoulder with a grip that would impress an undertaker. So, they had to squeeze around him.

The red flag became a fire alarm. With not only the option of moving but the insistence that he do so coming from his fellow nihonjin, he wanted to stay close to me?! What the hell?! I turned around for the first time to glance at this guy.  In sync with the turn of my head, he upturned his face and took a closer look at the train’s ventilation system. It fascinated him. He’d never noticed before how intricate yet practical its design is…at least his expression said as much. He was your typical salaryman, dark suit, striped tie, a little shabbily groomed but decent enough, 50-ish. He had a briefcase in his right hand and nothing in the left. Could he be a pickpocket? I couldn’t even imagine that if he were he would mark me as a target. Though my wallet is a little overstuffed and swells my back pocket, it’s mostly because of the 15 or 20 point cards I keep in there: Yodobashi camera, Bic Camera, Sakura ya, Yoshinoya, Jonathans, Gusto, Starbucks, Mister Donuts, KFC, my favorite massage parlor in Yokohama (no happy ending but really cute skilled girls), an oxygen cafe in Minato Mirai (with flavored air), etc, etc… never know when you gonna need a point card.

I turned and faced forward as the train pulled away from the station. I could feel his breath on my neck. It’s a very unusual feeling here, for me, to be breathed on. It smelled like this morning’s Nattoo, Miso and rice and fish…and I counted my blessings that I’m spared this torture most mornings (thank god for xenophobia…)

The girl beside me suddenly almost dropped her cellphone. She caught it, glanced at me kind of coyly, brushed the hair out of her eyes, and went back to thumbing her message. Which reminded me I need to send a text to my student to confirm our lesson that night. Suddenly the girl beside me jerked, almost indiscernibly, like she’d been pricked with a needle she’d been expecting, and sort of half glanced behind her, like if she were checking the shoulder of her blue jacket for lint.

Suddenly it all fell into place. His position behind me, slightly to my left, and his  resistance against being moved from the position he’d coveted. I knew what the perimeter breacher was up to.  At least I thought I did.

At the next station, a good number of people got off.  Some from my left headed by me for the door to my right. I watched peripherally the breacher make way for them, actually exiting the car and standing on the platform. After the last departing passenger had exited, he let a few new comers board before him. Without him there within my perimeter attesting to my civility, the first few people of the new swarm hesitated then fled to available spaces as far from the perimeter as possible. Once he boarded and headed back to his position behind / beside me, attesting to the safety of the area within the perimeter, the swarm behind him closed in. Again he grabbed the strap over my shoulder and let the swarm push its way by him, like a man holding onto a tree branch just before the cascading 100 foot drop of a water fall.

That was enough confirmation for me. He was chikan…definitely.

The high school girl was still thumbing away apparently oblivious to the efforts  this guy was making. I had actually been pushed closer to her so that now, involuntarily, I was up against her too a bit. My left hand, which held my briefcase, was against her thigh. Once the train started moving again, I tried  to switch my briefcase to my other hand so as not to be mistaken for the one enjoying this ride, but it was tightly wedged against her…as was his.  Judging from his height and hers, his hand had to be wedged in the crack of her ass. And with the shortness of her skirt he was probably wedged under it. How convenient for him.

I glanced down but all I could see was her navy blue skirt…then, when the train shifted a little I caught a glimpse of her white lacy underwear and a yellow hand on or in them. I couldn’t tell which it was so quick. So, I had to decide how much I wanted to be a good Samaritan (it has become an issue since I’ve been living here treated in a manner that makes me actually pause and question whether I should get involved or mind my business)

Suddenly the train jolted and I thought to use this opportunity to switch my briefcase to my other hand…but before I could another idea just popped into my head. Pretending to be thrown off balance I thrust my briefcase between the guy and the school girl, knocking his hand away from its position.  Then I  grabbed the strap above the school girl and held on as tightly as he had. I could feel his effort to get me to shift back to my previous position so that he could do the same and resume, but I held fast. A few moments later the train jolted again and I felt a strong, sharp, determined elbow against my ribcage telling me, “move motherfucker, this is my catch of the day!”  There was nothing passive about this guy.

The train was pulling into the station at that point so I relinquished my grip on the strap.  As it slowed, sharply (must have been a trainee driving the train) the elbow that was against my ribs thrusts into me…purposely, I suspect, but it could arguably have been an accident. It hurt. Hurt like it had been done by someone familiar with how to disable people with a blow. I turned around to face him but, suddenly, he realized he hadn’t finished studying the ventilation system yet. Perhaps he was some sort of engineer. I took a strap again, urgently, like I’d lost my balance again, only this time it was a strap on the other side of him, and in doing so I just missed elbowing him in the back of the head by inches. He’d ducked when I reached across him. Fuck!

The doors opened and I watched him get off. I turned to check the school girl, but she had queued to get off the train through another door. By the time I got to the platform the chikan was nowhere in sight.

Since this occurrence some time back this has happened a ridiculous  number of times.  I used to think anybody who touched me on the train was either crazy, or in an unavoidable predicament where they had to-either they were pushed by the passengers behind them or their simply was no place else to go, or maybe they were reading a manga or sending a text or something-not paying attention to where they were going and found themselves within my perimeter, or they had something more important on their minds…something that overcame the gaijin-fear instinct that seems to guide everyone else’s movements when in my vicinity.

But, I learned that day that i was wrong. in some cases, maybe once or twice a week, it’s to get close to some woman. And if I’m in the vicinity I cock block them…

sometimes…

Loco lite (-:

(Taste great, less filling)

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33 Responses to “Anti-Acts of Retaliation #1: Cock-Blocking Chikan”

  1. TLR 12 March 2009 at 1:13 am Permalink

    Great article! Thanks for sharing and keep up the cock-blocking!

    aloha,

    TLR

    • Locohama 12 March 2009 at 4:41 am Permalink

      thanks dude!!!

      Loco

    • Kyon 12 March 2009 at 9:20 am Permalink

      Why would she just stay there oblivious to his groping,
      Maybe, if it happens you should if you have phone on you take a video of his face and what he's doing, maybe then Inconspicuously place it infront of the girl so she knows who is doing it!

  2. Dr. Vice666 12 March 2009 at 9:55 am Permalink

    Gaijin Perimeter. Now thats classic. Keep up the cock blocking. :D

  3. jturningpin 12 March 2009 at 11:19 am Permalink

    You, sir, fucking rock. This is not sarcasm.

    You rock, your anti-hentai efforts rock, and your writing about it rocks.
    Thanks as always for sharing, Loco.

  4. Chantelle 12 March 2009 at 12:57 pm Permalink

    i find it crazy 2 think that u wouldnt say sth wen some man is puttin his hand in your knickers…..unless u dont mind….i find it ODD!!!!! i mean i heard the whole negative emotion thing but surely she coulda dealt out da same elbow move u experienced if she didnt like the touchin…hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…BIZARRE maybe is simply a Japanese THING :|

  5. Mike 12 March 2009 at 2:21 pm Permalink

    I've always wondered what I would do if I came across this sort of thing happening. Well handled!

    • Locohama 12 March 2009 at 4:46 pm Permalink

      Mike: thanks (-:
      Chantelle: Yep there's a whole lot of what we westerners might think is bizarre…I think that goes both ways though. But times change, maybe Japanese will too. maybe at some point they thought actually sitting to take a dump was bizarre but now they have some of the best toilet seats in the world. And vehicles with wheels used to be banned in Japan but now some of the highest quality cars come from here…so who knows ne. Thanks for the shout! (-;
      JT: I rock? Honto ni? Thanks Dude! (-: You rock for saying I rock! Glad you enjoy my hard work.
      Dr Vice666 (quite a tag) Thanks for the shout. Cock blocking is dangerous stuff. That shot to the ribs made me think…If I'm gonna be going around doing good deeds (for people who wouldn't piss on me if I was on fire) I had better get some protection, like a hockey player or something…damn I supposed to be lightening up, right? sorry about that. i'm a work in progress (-;
      Kyon-san: Who knows? Maybe she was enjoying it. Maybe I Omanko blocked (-; when I thought I was cock blocking. Maybe she was terrified but hiding it behind a mask of indifference. Maybe she is indifferent now because it happens so often it's almost a daily routine, like brushing your teeth. Who knows? thanks for the shout!!!

      Loco

  6. justin 12 March 2009 at 7:14 pm Permalink

    I've been waiting a long time for this one!! I think this is something you hinted at in one sentence in an entry a long time ago (or else a very similar incident) and I always wanted to hear the full thing… So let me get this straight, there is actual FLESH as in hand to butt flesh contact and a girl will keep standing there instead of immediately walking over to another part of the train?? It blows my mind just cause I can't think what would stop the girl from moving away…

    • Locohama 12 March 2009 at 7:26 pm Permalink

      Politeness i guess. Or maybe it's just one of the privaleges of being a Japanese male. Hell, even in America, certain groups had (and in some cases 'have') privaleges that others didn't or don't so I'm trying not to judge too harshly. I mean in America we send kids to prison for life with adults, and even give them the death sentence in some states. And many Americans turn a blind eye to this travesty, or even call it justice. I think that's MUCH MUCH worse than chikan-ing will ever be.
      I have mentioned it in previous post…but never delve in. Thought it was time to remedy that. Might do some more on the topic since it seems to be a very interesting one generating a lot of attention. Maybe start a new series hehehe instead of Trainspotting – ChikanSpotting (-;

      thanks again for the shout Just Ice! (-;
      Didn't you say something about coming here? I seem to remember…

      low fat, low calorie, loco

  7. supreme notihng 12 March 2009 at 8:44 pm Permalink

    That's a great story about trying to do the right thing, right on!

    I can't help but picture you just happening to slip when the train lurched and accidently delivering a headbutt to the perv and knocking his ass out…. you know, by accident. :)

    • Locohama 12 March 2009 at 8:50 pm Permalink

      that's a thought!
      thanks supreme for reading and commenting!

      Loco

  8. jinroh88 12 March 2009 at 11:05 pm Permalink

    Awesome post! Keep up the cock blocking. And for Chikanspotting…BANANAS!!

    • ItAintEazy 13 March 2009 at 5:53 am Permalink

      Crazy-ass story, Loco. I think you hit on one of the reasons why women just stand there while getting groped: you're expected to put on a fucking smiley face and not break the "wa" (harmony) when among strangers. If you cry out "Kono hito chikan DEEESU!" It will be your fault for disturbing the peace, at least partially.

      Oh yeah, wish I could take credit for "gaijin perimeter" but I'm afraid I got it from video evidence on the internets:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jECuL_zw-XA&NR

  9. Locohama 13 March 2009 at 4:41 pm Permalink

    Hey jinroh, thanks for the shout (-;
    Is "Bananas" a thumbs up or thumbs down?

    EZ-san, yeah that "Wa" thing is deep!
    Well, I'm giving you credit for turning me on bruh (-:

    Thanks for the shout as always and the link to the tube.will peep it ASAP.

    Loco

  10. jinroh88 13 March 2009 at 10:44 pm Permalink

    "Bananas!" is hilarious/crazy. Thumbs up man (^_^)b

  11. Andy 17 March 2009 at 1:42 am Permalink

    Loco,
    Got a cameraphone? These guys will jump off the train while moving rather than have their picture taken with hand in young girls backside. Open the phone, ask if you can take his picture, see what happens…

  12. Aka Gaijin 19 March 2009 at 6:50 am Permalink

    I've got another hypothesis for the passive attitude towards chikan. I've personally known a few ladies who use alcohol as an excuse for random sex. They're too worried about their reputation to be honest and open sexually, but they're more than happy to get hammered and let random guys "help them home".

    So, yeah… it's possible that you're manko blocking some repressed girls/ladies (^_^)

    P.S. Next time you're bored, look for a short cartoon series called Oruchuban Ebichu. Not many people know about it, including Nihonjin.

    • Aka Gaijin 19 March 2009 at 6:56 am Permalink

      P.P.S. That last post didn't read quite right. Remind me to not drink and post.

      Ladies might use trains to get their jollies without wrecking their reputation. Also gives perverts an outlet. Hell, it's possible that you're ruining Japan's #1 matchmaking system!

  13. Carlie 27 March 2009 at 3:48 pm Permalink

    There once was a time in western society that it was a woman's fault if she was raped. In some cases today she still has to go through a lot of people blaming her if she was. I imagine being groped by some guy could be a shameful thing and one might not want to draw attention to it. Just another though.

    Anyway, thanks for the really interesting story! :)

    • Jamie 28 March 2009 at 12:50 am Permalink

      What an absolutely fantastic story~ can't say I ride horrendously packed trains enough to see any this kind of stuff going on.

      @Carlie: under Sharia law, it's still the girls fault if she gets raped, and chances are she will be sentenced to death for it. But hey, I dont want to be "culturally insensitive" or anything…

  14. Arrie 30 March 2009 at 11:09 pm Permalink

    Loco, you're awesome. Thanks.

  15. crew 10 September 2009 at 7:47 pm Permalink

    nice job Chikan cock blocker! I'm surprised that the lady didn't complain that someone was groping her behind.

    • Raul 13 June 2012 at 1:18 pm Permalink

      Sometimes people make a lemonade with the lemons they get from life.

  16. Dana 17 September 2009 at 1:12 am Permalink

    I think this is the best 3rd-party chikan story I've ever heard! Did you hear about the police campaign to stop chikans this week? I wonder if it'll work…

  17. reesan 23 December 2009 at 3:28 am Permalink

    great story loco and great cock block, but, no happy ending at your massage parlour?!?!?!

  18. Raul 13 June 2012 at 1:16 pm Permalink

    Spoilsport!

  19. Blaaa 22 November 2012 at 2:24 am Permalink

    Maybe instead of facing away from him, turn around and face him instead. When he stops looking down from the ventilation system, give him you best glare of ‘I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING, CHIKAN. >:U’ if he keeps going, you could always make a scene by calling him a Chikan. The other Japanese on the train will probably silently give him the glare of disapproval and he’ll get off at the next stop shamefully.

  20. Julia 10 May 2013 at 9:48 pm Permalink

    Interesting post thanks Loco. It sounds to me as though the reason the girl doesn’t react is because of a cultural trait ingrained from an early age – “gaman” – which roughly means “being able to endure the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity”, so as not to cause a disturbance to the group. As a western woman with a nearly teenage daughter living in Tokyo this scenario makes me cringe. I hope I have taught my daughter well enough to speak up or bash anyone who tries this out on her! Keep up the good work Loco!

  21. Jim McDonald 12 March 2009 at 7:05 am Permalink

    Good on you, Loco. That crap happens way too often.

  22. Locohama 12 March 2009 at 7:41 am Permalink

    Thanks for the shout, Jim
    Loco


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