More Moms Going Down To
Ensure Grades Go Up!
By Michael Hoffman
Contributing Writer
Mainichi Daily News - Japan

Dad comes home from an "adult toy store" and hands his wife a chastity belt. She nods and turns to the couple's 15-year-old son. "Let's go," she says. They disappear into the boy's bedroom.
The story begins with Japan's obsessive exam culture. A boy's whole future can depend on the senior high school he gets into. Some mothers will do anything to make sure their junior high school sons pass the all-determining entrance exams.
Anything? Pretty nearly.
Asahi Geino hears the story of (not their real names) Meiko, 38, and her son Haruki from Kanagawa cram school director Yukio Shibagaki, who wrote a book on experiences like theirs.
Every evening at 8:00, Haruki would vanish into his room, ostensibly to study. Meiko was pleased -- until one night she caught a glimpse of him through the slightly open door and realized he was not studying but masturbating. Intrigued, she peeked into his room the following night, and the night after that. The conclusion was inescapable. At the rate he was going, he would not be ready for his tests.
"I'd better have a talk with him," she thought -- and did.
"Mom," he said, shyly but firmly, "I wanna do it with you."
"With me!" What to do? Be shocked and angry, or calm and understanding? "Let's see what your father says."
Father was surprised but kept his head. "No genital sex," he stipulated. "However, if it's just a question of making the boy feel good, I won't say no."
And so every evening Haruki's studying was prefaced by a 15-minute maternal blow job. His concentration improved; his marks soared. Everyone was happy -- except dad, whose doubts grew as time passed. Weren't things going a little too far? The chastity belt, at least, would close the last frontier.
Our first reaction is disbelief, but Shibagaki swears the story is not only true but also fairly typical, and special high school instructor Tadashi Sato, to whom Asahi Geino goes for confirmation, agrees.
"I often hear stories like that," he says. The mother-son relationship has always had rich dramatic potential; the steadily contracting nuclear family can enrich the drama to the point of deviance. "Mothers do want their children to pass those exams," says Sato. "We're not talking about just a few cases."
Nor are we talking only about 15-year-olds. Akiko (as we'll call her) is 28, her son Atsushi 12. He too faces entrance exams -- junior high school ones. The boy seemed to be studying. Why was he floundering? "Why?" Akiko asked him one day. The answer was a seeming non sequitur, but Akiko saw the point. "I want to see a woman naked."
Akiko undressed. "I'll do it again for you if you do well on your next test, OK?" He did very well.
There are endless ramifications to the sex-for-grades business, Asahi Geino discovers. Teachers too get in on the act. Some third-year junior high school teachers are not above capitalizing on the leverage they wield. Some ask for money in return for influential written recommendations. Others ask for sex. Thus Mari, 37-year-old mother of a daughter about to graduate junior high, took to visiting the girl's divorced teacher at his home. One afternoon the teacher's 14-year-old son showed up unexpectedly. "Me too!" he insisted.
And Mari obliged, says Shibagaki.
From Yuki Susuki
San Francisco
Hi Jeff,
Your Japanese story today was hilarious.
However, there is one detail which I thought I should add: In your story, the boys are entering Senior High School. When I was living in Japan 20 years ago, we heard and read the same stories in the press but the boys then, were entering universities. Things must have changed in Japan since I left.
From Jon Kelly
Hi Jeff,
I found the story "More Moms Going Down" disturbing. The author seemed ambiguous in their treatment of what is commonly considered "child abuse."
The definition of "Incest" according to the On-line Medical Dictionary is:
"Sexual activity between individuals so closely related that marriage is prohibited. Incest involving a child is a form of child abuse."
A better article on this phenomenon would include commentary from family therapists in Japan as well as the UK. These are people who could discuss how cycles of abuse evolve, how victims can become offenders themselves, and what kinds of interventions and treatments are available.
Is child abuse something that only happens in Japan? Due to his lack of balanced reporting I can only infer that the author is less concerned with the broad and long-term significance of this issue than with its sensationalist and perhaps jingoist potential.
Online resources for incest victims include
Best Wishes,
Jon Kelly

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