Japan’s Disgusting Attitude Towards Women Who Have Been Raped

Even those who believed that prominent journalist, Noriyuki Yamaguchi, had raped Shiori, they blamed her for putting herself in the position to be abused because she agreed to have dinner with him when the incident took place after a meal at a sushi restaurant in 2015.

Japan is an inherently patriarchal society, and Shiori's decision to go public with her case sent shockwaves throughout the country.

Unlike in other countries, the 28-year-old was not praised for having the courage to call out her abuser, instead, she was criticized by both men and even other women - the latter of whom have adopted the approach that it is better to try and forget assault than report it.

Mari Miura, a political science professor at Sophia University in Tokyo, had this to say about the problem:

"Japan lacks such a sisterhood. It's an exhausting and intimidating process... It's quite natural that victims feel reluctant to speak up."

Shiori went public with her rape last year after authorities failed to persecute her abuser because of Japan's abhorrent rape laws. She did so in the hope that speaking out would incite societal change that would make it harder for people to get away with abusing people in this way.

To shed light on the problem, Shiori wrote a book about her experience, Blackbox, which was released in October 2017 when the Harvey Weinstein scandal sent shockwaves around the Western world. Despite her good intentions, it only inspired a few women in Japan.

"Many people think Shiori's problem has nothing to do with them ... and that's why #MeToo isn't growing in Japan," said lawyer Yukiko Tsunoda, an expert on sex crimes, adding that Japanese women who have been assaulted are usually referred to as "the flawed".

Shiori explained that the country's attitude towards sexual assault meant that when she was first abused at the age of 10 at a swimming pool in Toyko, she was told by her own mother that it was her fault for wearing a "cute bikini" - a comment which is unthinkable to most of us.


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