Photo series peeping toms in Japan, circa 1970

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28 Responses to “Photo series peeping toms in Japan, circa 1970”

  1. BoskoDePompo says:

    Way to go, New York Times, for letting the leaden audio commentary take all the fun of your little slide show.

  2. JackCastile says:

    I know there are many persuasions out there. Guys who like to share their girlfriends with other guys are bisexual, whether they know it or not or just won’t admit it. Straight guys who share a female partner with another guy usually aren’t in any kind of relationship with the girl beyond a physical one. They’ll share the chick just because she’s there and willing to have sex. The kink is probably primarily on her side since the dudes are separated(so to speak) by an albeit thin layer of tissue. Straight guys who share are primarily looking for sex and nothing more. It would have to be with a female friend(i.e. nongirlfriend/nonwife), stranger or toss away relationship. Most straight guys won’t share their actual girlfriends or wives, though. A traditional (i.e. natural (we’re talking about sex here)) straight guy is usually way too territorial, possessive and\or jealous to share their committed women with other guys. It just isn’t natural and doesn’t come naturally to most heterosexual guys. I’m not knocking guys who do share. I’m just saying it isn’t really in the design of a straight guy to share. If you don’t like that fact, blame who or whatever created man for that. That’s why “sharing” partners is considered kink. I mean if it was “normal” behavior and frequent, it wouldn’t be considered kink and we wouldn’t even be having this dialogue. It isn’t anything new that straight guys are possessive and territorial especially with something as intimate and important as a sexual partner. Come on, wars were waged over crap like this.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In the UK, this activity is called ‘dogging’

  4. JackCastile says:

    The photos are very odd. Forgive my western pursuasion, but what real couple would continue about their business with a group of male spectators emerging from the surrounding forest? In one of the pics a peeper is actually touching the girl. I’ve done it in “public” with my girl plenty of times before we finally got a place together, but if I saw some dude watching us, I’d take my girl and head for zee hills. And if some peeper managed to get close enough to touch her, he’d end up pulling back his own severed stump if he dared to try to touch her. If a chick or group of chicks wanted to watch us, I wouldn’t care. Hell, I’d like that, but when would that ever happen? Only in my dreams, no doubt. It seems to me that these were probably pics of acts of prostitution. The dudes watching were probably just waiting their turn or window shopping.

  5. Teresa Nielsen Hayden/Moderator says:

    Some people have significantly better night sight than the average population. If you have that kind of vision, wandering around in the dark can be a real trip.

    It’s not just that other people can’t see as much as you do; it’s that they don’t expect to be able to see anything, so they don’t look. You really can get close to them without having them see you.

    Use this power only for good.

  6. Bob W. says:

    JackCastile:

    I think that the spelling you’re looking for is “strait,” but if you are correct then I’m glad I’m not straight. I’d have to waste a lot of time and energy worrying about something I couldn’t control: the behaviour of my partner. Unless my partner were a strait male and limited to a narrow behavioural range.

  7. Gloria says:

    JackCastile: Some guys like sharing with other guys. It’s a big world out there.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Most commenters have missed the most important detail: he used an infrared flash and infrared film. The peepees didn’t know the peepers were there, and the peepers didn’t know the photographer was there.

  9. Crunchbird says:

    That “Jacob Roder” comment above (currently #5) is (fairly obviously) spam, and it’s showing up with identical wording on blogs and message boards all over the ‘Net. Just thought you might want to know . . .

  10. nick says:

    Ick. (Not the sex, the peeping.)

  11. halfsquatch says:

    would Yoshiyuki also be lumped in as a peeping tom?

  12. bikok888 says:

    A Japanse friend in Tokyo tells me: “The Times is wrong to call him ”Mr Yoshiyuki” in print. How illiterate the Times is. So TOKYO ROSE would me ”Ms Rose” in NYTimes style book? And MATA HARI would be ”Ms Hari”?

    “Mr. Kohei Yoshiyuki” is the correct way to refer to him in every reference. “Yoshiyuki” is his family name.
    “吉行(Yoshiyuki) 耕平(Kohei)” in kanji. The same with a Japanese novelist
    Yoshiyuki Jun’nosuke(吉行 淳之介).

    I had to laugh. Certainly, he was a famous photographer in 1970s and
    80s but I don’t think his photos are worth something. Is the American
    art scene all right ? (?_?)”

    I also believe these photos are faked, i mean, this part of a grand Japanese tradition called YARASE, it means a staged photo or event, and Kohei was notorious in the 70s for doing this. I believe the Times critic got taken in by the hype and the press release, as maybe you did too. These are not real documentary photos, Kohei and his pals staged this. Ask any Japanese who lives in Tokyo and they will tell you.

    A good friend of mine, Hidetoshi, who lives in Tokyo, told me today:

    ”those are yarase photos, nobody in Japan would take that artist seriously. What’s wrong with the USA art world, are they so gullible?”

  13. Mechphisto says:

    Who watches the watchers? ;)

  14. bikok888 says:

    I believe these photos are faked, i mean, this part of a grand Japanese tradition called YARASE, it means a staged photo or event, and Kohei was notorious in the 70s for doing this. I believe the Times critic got taken in by the hype and the press release, as maybe you did too. These are not real documentary photos, Kohei and his pals staged this. Ask any Japanese who lives in Tokyo and they will tell you. A good friend of mine, Hidetoshi, who lives in Tokyo, told me today:

    ”those are yarase photos, nobody in Japan would take that artist seriously. What’s wrong with the USA art world, are they so gullible?”

  15. bikok888 says:

    A better way to have introduced this story:

    From OKfuture.net: “Here is a fascinating story about a series of photos PURPORTEDLY — allegedly — taken of Peeping Toms in Japan in the 1970s. These allegedly furtive voyeurs were claimed by the photographer to have been sneaking around parks late at night in search of romantic encounters. The photos were taken by photographer Kohei Yoshiyuki — not his real name but a a nom de plume meaning UNDERCLASSMAN YOSHIYUKI — while he said he was taking a walk with a friend through a park late at night. He said he noticed a couple on the ground, with a small but growing ring of men — most probably placed there by Kohei himself as part of this staged event –crawling towards them.”

    “I had my camera, but it was dark,” he told the photographer — his friend who was in on the yarase (staged nature) of the event — Nobuyoshi Araki in a 1979 interview for a Japanese publication. Researching the technology in the era before infra-red flash units, he found that Kodak made infrared flashbulbs. Mr. [Kohei Yoshiyuki] said he later returned to the park, and to two others in Tokyo, through the ’70s. He claimed that he photographed heterosexual and homosexual couples engaged in sexual activity and the peeping toms who he claims stalked them, although most likely KY staged all these photos for impact, since “yarase” is a grand tradition of faking staged events in Japan. Does anyone really believe these photos are documentary style photos? No way. It’s all faked.”

  16. markbellis says:

    Pretty sure they are staged – The shots are in focus and composed, hard to do when you’re supposed to be working in the dark! And not all of them look infrared. I’d say he probably was selling them to a weekly tabloid as a mildly titillating feature.

  17. june says:

    That must have been some brain-meltingly awesome sex, if they didn’t even notice that guy crouched two feet away. He’s not even behind a bush or anything.

  18. Anonymous says:

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  19. Tensegrity says:

    Japanese ninja peepers have REAL Ultimate Power!!!!!!!!

  20. JackCastile says:

    Bob W. No, I did mean straight (i.e. heterosexual). You’re right about at least one thing. You can’t control the behaviour of your partner(with exceptions), but you can determine who your partner is and if his behaviour doesn’t agree with you, you can dismiss him and select another who exhibits behaviour that you prefer. As stated I’m not knocking the behaviour exhibited in the pics, I’m merely stating that most heterosexual males wouldn’t engage in it with committed girlfriends and/or wives. Hence my gut feeling that most if not all of the pics are of acts of prostitution.

  21. Chris says:

    How odd that Japanese men would be perverted somehow, sexually. That’s so unlike them…

  22. Bob W. says:

    JackCastile: there was a woman in the Boston area who advertised in personal ads for guys willing to go to a particular beach with her and engage in sexual acts in a car while the local voyeurs looked on. As I recall, she implied that she might want to roll down the windows sometimes, for particular voyeurs she liked.

    One interpretation of a voyeur touching the woman in a couple engaging in sexual activities is that the woman knows about it and wants it, whether or not the guy she arrived with knows about it. Kinky, but maybe safer than just turning up in the park and getting intimate with a stranger. Or maybe a way to be with a guy she loves whose kink is voyeurism.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am pretty sure I have seen this photo posted on BoingBoing before.

  24. ridl says:

    okfuture link is broked

  25. Anonymous says:

    A metavoyeur?

  26. mikesum32 says:

    Why is it only the weird news that makes it out of Japan ?

  27. mikesum32 says:

    No one that has sex in public should expect privacy. It’s called public for a reason :-)

  28. Anonymous says:

    A new edition of the out of print book of these images is available for download on amazon.com for only $37

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