Discovery: Japanese Culture on Men in Lingerie Stores
I came across this really fun video on Youtube about Japanese social norms regarding lingerie shopping. Take a look!
This video is from a channel geared towards Japanese language and culture learners, and my favorite videos are when Tomoko and Victor work together to analyze and teach Japanese culture and news. The topic for the video above, if you haven’t watched it, is an incident that Tomoko saw while she was shopping with her daughter for lingerie.
What basically happened was, there was a guy/girl couple shopping together, and a woman shopping alone. The single woman was really uncomfortable shopping with the guy around, so she complained to the clerk. She was complaining really loudly, so the guy overheard and got angry too, and the two of them started to argue. The clerk had to call security on them. The guard came in and Tazed everyone.
A few takeaways and comparisons:
How men avoid lingerie stores completely: It makes complete sense for men to be uncomfortable around women’s undergarments in public, and all the men I see hanging around Victoria’s Secrets and lingerie departments of larger stores do look extremely uncomfortable and even slightly panicky, but hell, so was I until a few years ago. The fact that they’re there is not uncommon, though, and I can’t really find a sense that it’s culturally taboo for them to be around.
The sense that the woman’s looking like an “upstanding citizen” and the fact that she brought up a complaint and started arguing are contrasting: This is more a social/cultural issue, I think. “A women looks like a nice person, but she’s speaking up about being uncomfortable.” Would this sentence still be using a “but” conjunction in other places? (Also, HAHA at the “women don’t usually get that angry”.)
Cute but really inconvenient that the Japanese rendition of lingerie (ranjerii, /rɑndʒɜri:/) is so similar to laundry (in English, approximately /rɑndʒri:/).
What do you think of the video?