In Japan there is a concept “The naked relationship”, this means that having a relationship that can be told all things without Tatemae (= clothing is symbol of Tatemae). Usually men say “He’s my friend because I was in a nude relationship!”, But he doesn’t mean “He’s my boyfriend!” Don’t be screwed up, please.
* We do not use this word for the relationship between different gender’s friend. That sounds another sense.
However, we have the custom that we go to the public bath with friends, so I asked an Italian friend if he wanted to go to the spa with me or not. Then he was very surprised and replied “Ah well, I respect you a lot, but I’m not like that” He seemed to think that I am a homosexual.
I did’t understand his feeling at all because men’s friendship grows in the naked relationship in Japan. But after going alone to a spa, I was very surprised. Because there were only couples with elegant swimwear.
They were all eating Leggiano Parmigiano with spumante, and the purple or red light illuminated the very large bathtub. There it seemed a place for adults.
I was only Asian and I was not with someone in this spa, I felt that many Italians were looking at me weird like a seal that was in a herd of dolphins.
Normally the Japanese spa does not have this atmosphere but more familiar, for example there are some grandparents who come every day at the same time, and the kids who argue in the bathtub. That’s why I couldn’t relax in the adult Italian spa. In my opinion it is clear that the culture of the Japanese public bath is more similar to the Roman culture than the Italian one. Call us “the eastern Romans”, please.
The Japanese are familiar.
By the way, what Europeans are very ashamed to be naked is very interesting to me. For example, my father walks with only underwear in my house, but we don’t feel anything about his dress. There are also men who take off their clothes to show if they are a good man or not in the traditional festival.
In another example there is also such a comedian.
However when I was in Italy, I could not see grandparents wearing only underwear walking down the street. In the Japanese people there are sometimes some of this type like a brother of my grandmother. My grandmother has 13 siblings and this brother is the fifth or sixth brother, when I arrived in the town where only my relatives live, he was waiting for us to wear only his underwear. It gave me a lot of surprise, but he said only “Nah! This is our town, until the entrance it is like the garden of our house”. Are people of this type in your town?
After returning to Japan, I asked the church father why the people are not almost naked, then he replied that maybe it is because of Christianity. Well, then we still don’t eat the apple.
In fact it was only 150 years since the culture about naked became the current form. Previously Japanese man and Japanese woman were not ashamed to be naked. That is why the Europeans were surprised that they saw the naked Japanese bow, perhaps the Europeans thought we are the polite perverts.
Not being able to notice the difference in the sense of value is very horrible, because we see a culture that has another sense of value not thinking that it is different. For example, bathing in the sea without underwear was not a rare act if the act of removing your clothes was not intended for sexual purposes. Therefore what was the women who bathe in the garden or the men who worked who only put a brief was also normal.
On the contrary, European elegant dresses for women are very sexual for ancient Japanese, because the shape of the dress emphasizes the female body. The Japanese thought that it was sexual when someone intended to show their body for another gender, (If you don’t think it, it’ok that you are also naked)that’s why they thought so. We can understand the definition of something sexual was completely different even though we are ourselves human.
If my great grandmother had seen this kind of dress, she would have said “Ahhhh what dress are you wearing !!”
However the Europeans could not understand our definition, and wrote some news about the Japanese custom for “Asian sexual barbarians”, and the European governments began to say that they did not want to sign an equal pact with Japan. The Japanese government was very surprised, and prepared a regulation not to be naked in public places. The whole motivation was to be like a European for what Europeans recognize this country for a modern one. So now we don’t take off clothes if we don’t drink a lot of alcohol.
There are no other animals more dangerous than the Japanese with alcohol, they remove their clothes to dance at the party and wedding. It seems that their culture still lives on.
3 years ago when I went to Ibiza, I found a beach for nudists. I thought there were beaches like this 150 ago in Japan.