6 Ways to Avoid ‘Chikan’ Perverts in Tokyo

6 Ways to Avoid ‘Chikan’ Perverts in Tokyo

There is a kind of aberrant male behavior that females should be aware of in Tokyo: ‘chikan’. Loosely translated, chikan means ‘pervert’ and describes any male who molests females in public places; these repellent inadequates have been an unfortunate part of the Japanese landscape for as long as I can remember. However, I must stress that Tokyo remains one of the safest cities in the world for women; in most areas, women can still walk home at night without fear of being molested. Chikan are like ticks on the body politic, a product of a media industry that presents young women as sexual objects and panders to the whole spectrum of male sexual deviancy and fetishism (manga and porn). But we women probably aren’t so interested in the chikan phenomenon as a socio-political debate; we are their prey, so what we want to know is how to avoid them, or how to deal with them when they act out their fantasies on us. That is what this article is about.



 

6 Ways to Avoid ‘Chikan’ Perverts in Tokyo

 

1. Women Only Carriages

The typical chikan is a devious little degenerate who preys on women and girls on busy trains, where you’re so tightly packed-in, that making bodily contact with those around you is unavoidable and it is easier for these vile deviants to grope their victims unseen. The only sure way to avoid being groped by a chikan at rush hour is to ride the female only carriages that are available until around 9:30am. Check which lines offer them if it is a concern to you.

 

2. Know the Chikan’s Game

Pressure on your buttocks may just be someone’s bag, or the hand of some nauseating pervert, but you can’t be sure on a really packed train. That is how the chikan operates; being sexually inadequate cowards, they are rarely overt, preferring to act from a position of plausible deniability. When you board a crowded train, try to adopt an air of authority; look alert and confident. Chikan prefer women who appear tired or vulnerable. Awareness, both of your surroundings, and of yourself, is the key to making it difficult for a chikan to assault you!

 

3. Be Cold

If possible, position yourself around other women, and keep your eye on any ‘dodgy’ looking men. I’m not saying you need to look overtly confrontational or aggressive, as that doesn’t come naturally to most women anyway, but if you’re expressionless, a chikan may think twice about targeting you. And never smile at a man on the train, or return a smile; imagine you have ice in your veins for the duration of your journey!

 

4. Look for Hands

There’s no good reason why any man should leave an arm by his side on a busy train. If you find yourself in close proximity to such an individual, try to move away from him. Otherwise, try to position yourself facing him, looking back and forth between his face and trailing hand; make it known you’re suspicious of that hand. It doesn’t matter if he’s innocent; all men must bear the shame of the few!

 

5. Mobile Phones

Trains are not the only place a woman can be molested; it can happen anywhere, any time, and often without you even knowing. Not so long ago, a Junior High School teacher was arrested for taking mobile phone snaps up schoolgirls’ skirts in a book shop. There are many apps to make mobile phone cameras silent, so be aware of men who are carrying devices down by their sides, especially on escalators or stairs; they may be surreptitiously videoing up your skirt! Again, being wary and suspicious is enough to make them think twice. And report your suspicions to station staff.

 

6. On the Street

Street assaults are much less common in Japan, but I’m sure I don’t need to remind women not to walk alone late at night through red light districts, and to avoid men who’ve been drinking. Otherwise, being aware and alert is still the best defense; we women must take some of the responsibility for our own safety. Besides, if you are assaulted in such locations, the police may not be sympathetic; the notion that some women are ‘asking for it’ still perpetuates in narrow minds!

 

Conclusion

What You Can Do if You’re Assaulted.
If you’ve been groped on a train, or stalked by mobile phone, alert station staff immediately. The transit companies take the chikan problem seriously and will notify police of your complaint, though how far they take the matter is by no means certain. It might also be difficult to report the incident quickly at rush hour with so many people moving around, so if you want the culprit detaining, you may have to make a loud fuss. I’ve seen it done, only once, when a foreign woman dragged a chikan off the train by his ear whilst yelling “chikan” loudly! I thought that was very brave, especially as you can’t rely on other passengers coming to your aid if things go sideways. As you can imagine, successfully bringing a chikan to justice would require determination, toughness and a degree of luck, so it is better to try and avoid them in the first place. Being aware, alert and cautious is still the best policy, as women everywhere learn to be from a very young age.

 

6 Ways to Avoid ‘Chikan’ Perverts in Tokyo

1. Women Only Carriages
2. Know the Chikan’s Game
3. Be Cold
4. Look for Hands
5. Mobile Phones
6. On the Street