Japanese culture and individual behaviour are in a class of their own.
However, some of it is thought-provoking and is certainly worth a deeper analysis as it ventures into areas which are traditionally considered by the West as enshrined in its legal system.
Not it seems in a ruling that will be welcomed by philanderers the world over, when a court in Japan has said that a husband who sleeps with another woman is not committing adultery as long as the sex is a business transaction and not by implication a love tryst.
A judge ruled that a bar hostess, who had a seven-year affair with a wealthy businessman, was not hurting his wife because she slept with him only to keep his lucrative custom. In other words, no emotional value was attached to the relationship that would put his marriage in jeopardy.
Judge Masamitsu Shiseki, of the Yokohama District Court said that the twice monthly trysts fell into the category of makuva eigyo – literally ‘pillow business’, the well-established practice by which a hostess rewards a high-spending patron with sexual favours. ‘Many club hostesses, as is well known, engage in ‘pillow business’ and these pillow business sales, which are similar to prostitution, involve no more than engaging in sex for the purpose of satisfying their customers’ sexual urges,’ the judge wrote in his ruling. ‘This, therefore, is not something that will damage the tranquillity of a marriage, nor does it constitute a violation of the law.’
The question arose because of another quirk of Japanese law which allows a spouse to claim financial compensation for adultery – not from an unfaithful wife, but from the lover. The measure is supposed to protect the institution of marriage.
The wife of the businessman in question demanded four million yen (£21,000) in compensation from the mama-san or ‘proprietress’ of a club in the exclusive Ginza district of Tokyo.
A statement by the husband admitted that once or twice a month, mainly on Saturdays, he met the woman for lunch, after which they proceeded to a hotel to engage in sex and then went their separate ways. The hostess, who like the husband and wife has not been named, denied that sexual intercourse occurred.
The ruling is particularly devastating for Japanese private detectives who do a good business proving adultery at the request of vengeful spouses hoping to win compensation. It is rather curious that the case was heard last year, but has only been made public recently.
Well, the important point in all this can be translated that sex without love is not adulterous; simply considered a financial transaction bereft of any emotional value and unlikely to threaten the sanctity of the marriage. For sex, without commitment, becomes a mechanical means for sexual urges and has no relevance to anything else.
I personally would welcome the wisdom of those who read my blog to see whether the ruling makes any sense or is sheer bunkum…