字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント In 1682, a Japanese poet wrote a book that would take the nation by storm. To put a fine point on it, it was porn. Sort of an oriental harlequin romance. Called “the Life of an Amorous Man”, from its pages flowed the fantastical sexcapades meant purely for the titillation of the newly emerging middle ages Japanese businessmen. Sort of the original manga behind the curtain, so to speak. And as you might suspect, it did incredibly well. Imagine if up until this point the internet had no adult content, and then tomorrow they start a site called porn.com. It would probably do ok. But I'm not telling this story to talk about the arrival of overt sexuality into Japanese literature, instead I want to focus on how it ends. Because in those final stanzas, the protagonist finds himself retired to an island far off the shore of mainland. An island entirely populated by women so undersexed that even the arrival of a single sixty-year old man is like throwing meat to the hyenas. And once that entered the national psyche, it wasn't going anywhere. Much like De Soto and the fountain of youth, once horny young Japanese boys heard about this island, it was inevitable that they would try to find it. Even if it didn't, you know, technically exist. But unlike De Soto, they did. Welcome to Yonaguni, the island of women. Japan's original sexual fantasy. It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that mainland Japanese men passed around stories of an island where thin, beautiful women with light skin waited with bated breath to ravage any potential suitor who might come their way. Really, I wouldn't be surprised if any society had the same tall tale anywhere on earth. Hell, I'm pretty sure there was even a Star Trek episode with the same premise, although if recall correctly their skin was green. It also doesn't surprise me that the people who shared that story chose an island virtually as far away from the mainland as their maps could take them. After all, you're selling a book with the myth as its premise, you really don't want people going to check. Those authors knew that the best fantasies are ones you can never actually touch. But eventually, the Japanese mainlanders did touch the island of women. And for quite some time, it sort of lived up to its name. At least in one respect. Although the women weren't all that thin and their skin was much darker than promised, the most important part of the story was proven true. They were not just willing to have sex, they were active in their pursuit of it. Maybe not by modern club goer standards, but far more willing than the women of the mainland. This video is meant to discuss why. Why were women of Yonaguni that much more likely to engage in casual sex than their mainland counterparts? It isn't like it was genetic. And now, obviously there's more than one answer to this question. So I'd like to break it down into three separate ideas. The first is religion. The second is power. And the third is isolation. So to start, let's discuss religion. Or more specifically, creation myths. In Japanese culture, Izanagi and Izanami were a brother and sister pair who desired, to put it rather euphemistically, a union. But their first attempt ended in failure, and the child it bore was deformed and broken. They call him Ebisu, and according to the mythology, the reason he came out deformed wasn't that he was the child of blood relations, but because the woman had made the first move. And that simply wasn't her role. Once Izanagi took charge, however, they were far more successful, and from Izanami's womb spew forth all the islands of Japan, until at last she birthed a child that her body simply couldn't handle. The god of fire. When she died, her brother-husband followed her weeping into the land of darkness, only to spark a light and see her covered in maggots. In disgust, he fled, sealing her forever beneath an unmovable stone. And with her locked away, he'd take many more wives and set order to the universe. Whether intended or not, the moral of the story is fairly clear to me. Women are here to procreate. And men are here to rule. In Yonaguni's religion, however, that was not the case. The basics were still the same. Just as on mainland, there were two Gods who created the world. And just as on mainland, they were a brother and sister pair. But that's where the similarities end. In the Okinawan creation myth, Shinerikyu and Amamikyu, as they were known, had five children. Three boys, who would form king, lord, and commoner, and two girls, who would become the high and low priestesses. The secular, temporal world would be governed by men, but the spiritual would always be the arena of women. Men would be split between ruling and ruled, but all women contained the same theoretical essence. In effect, they were masters of their own domain. While there was clearly stratification between the priestess of the king and those of the common farmer, in theory all women were capable of achieving the same spiritual balance. Even the lowest of women was still capable of bringing the harvest. They could all produce life. While men were divided and delineated from birth, in Okinawan mythology, every woman was born containing her own internal and indivisible power. Just as with mainland, the idea was still that women were here to procreate, and men were here to rule. But unlike on mainland, how that looked in practice was entirely on its head. Which brings me to my second point. Power. In the aboriginal societies of islands and remote areas where access to new people is hard to come by, fertility has always been treated as more important than manpower. To the original people of Yonaguni, the loss of a few men was of little consequence in the grand scheme of things, but a bad harvest could destroy everything. It would kill everyone. Skirmishes between tribes might take a few dozen men here or there, but that was their role in society. It was okay. They weren't necessary, they just were. But women were vital. Protecting those who were necessary for procreation was therefore of both secular and spiritual importance. In a worst case scenario, women could still plow the fields and hold a dagger. But men would could never rebuild a crumbled population. In many ways, this belief system was common among many Polynesian societies. In fact, among many aboriginal societies around the globe. In much of the Pacific, women were containers of mana, and while men were able to put that in, they could never take it back out again. Just as with the Japanese in Yonaguni, the first accounts of many of the comparably prudish Western societies upon arrival in Hawaii and Tahiti for example, speak about an island of women. A place where sex is no taboo. In the eyes of both Japan and Europe, they were stripping these women of their power. Virginity was a lock that could only take one key. If they gave that away, what else did they have? In mainland societies, with patrilineal birthright, casual sex gave men power. It gave farms more field hands, it gave armies more soldiers. It gave economies more merchants. But it gave nothing to women. For the islanders, that was completely backwards. They held the mana. The more men they included in their coitus, the stronger they became. More men would protect them in the secular world because in turn they were able to provide more men with a connection to the spiritual. If they slept with the community, their children, in turn, would belong to the community. Simply put, women contained their own internal power, and nothing men did to them could take that away. They could only add to it, never subtract. But that isn't to say that Okinawans didn't pair off. Humans, even in societies where casual sex is, well, casual, people still tend to find that pairing. The brother and sister of creation, as both religions would define it. It's just they didn't view sex as a mutually exclusive act. Marriage was a spiritual act meant to keep the world in balance, not a sexual one meant to affirm progeny. Which brings me to my third point, isolation. Yonaguni was an island with maybe four hundred people. And while incest was a requirement for the king, it was absolutely forbidden among the commoners. Perhaps they'd had one too many Ebisus of their own. But whatever the reason, everyone understood that new blood was a requirement to keep society strong. So when a boat full of men arrived on their shores, the women would have naturally had little reason to treat them as untouchable. Foreign men arriving to mainland Japan would have been seen as a danger to a woman's power, and would have been kept as far from them as possible. But to Pacific islanders they would have contained new and powerful mana that the women could gain as their own. Plus, if those men had come to wage war, they'd find themselves far less likely to do so after meeting a crowd of women looking to please. It was a real win-win. So yes, there was an island of women. To the Japanese arriving here, the people of Yonaguni, at least before they imposed their colonial culture upon them, would have been far more willing to engage in casual sex than their mainland counterparts. And it that were written by the women of Yonaguni, I suspect that they would have spoken of a floating island of men. Foolish men came who gave their seed and asked nothing in return. No blessing for the harvest. No children to give to their jaws of war. They just came and went. And for the women of this island, that would have been ideal. An island of men. Yonaguni's original sexual fantasy. This is Rare Earth.