J a p a n e s e    C u l t u r e

Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Profesional Co-Sleepists

Profesional Co-Sleepists by timtak
Profesional Co-Sleepists, a photo by timtak on Flickr.
The above is a screen-shot of a recently opened "Co-Sleeping Speciality Store" (Soneya) or a place where customers can pay to sleep with Japanese women, called "Sonesuto" or Co-Sleepists according the store's twitter. The prices are steep at about 70 dollars an hour for the first hour, and one has to pay for extras such as staring into your bed-partner's eyes, patting or being patted, or sleeping (for three minutes!) in their arms. But custom is booming, and media attention considerable.

There are a lot of reasons why this services is available in Japan as opposed to anywhere else.

The central theory espoused by this blog (burogu.com) is that the Japanese live in the visio-imaginary. That is to say that the visual and imagined is the most important media/channel and felt to be the most real part of the world. This is because instead of having simulated/internalised a thou, super-addressee, Other, or generalised other of self-speech, the Japanese have internalised a generalised point of view. The Japanese can see themselves from the eye of the Other.

This means that things that look the same, are, for most practical purposes, the same. Thus shrines and temples, foreign villages (gaiku-mura), food (plastic food), art works, offerings (horse sculptures and drawings called ema), and people (robots, and co-sleepists) can be copied and will be felt to be the same as, or almost the same as the original.

This encourages the Japanese to purchase far more copyist services, such as women that sit next to your and laugh at your jokes (the main job of a snack hostess), people who clean our your ears (the typical behaviour of a mother or doting female) or someone to sleep next to you, the behaviour again of a girlfriend. The Japanese do not limit themselves to prostitution (which in its coital form is illegal) but purchase all sorts of soft services that people from Britain would only require from someone who had the correct "internal" states.

The tag line of the website says, "it is just enough to have you sleep next to me". Their major clientèle are tired men in their 30s to 40s.

This brings me to another reason that Japanese are more inclined to purchase co-sleeping services. The Japanese sleep with their children. Children sleep between their parents. They are brought up feeling very secure and loved. This means that the parents on the other hand far more rarely get to sleep with someone of their own size at least. Hence the need for this service.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.