This article is reproduced from the discontinued, but much loved Mainichi Waiwai column by Ryann Connell. Read more about this at the bottom of this article.
A “badger game” is a type of extortion scheme in which the victim, often a married man, is coerced into a compromising position and then subjected to some form of extortion, either for money or information. The Japanese word for this, “tsutsumotase,” is written with the characters for “bijin” (beautiful woman) and “kyoku” (affair).
According to Asahi Geino (Aug. 31), who knows how many Japanese men in China — convinced they’ve met the girl of their dreams — have been falling victim to such entrapment.
For at least two, it’s proved deadly. The most notorious case involved the suicide of a 46-year-old Japanese diplomat in May 2004. Investigation later revealed the man killed himself after being blackmailed by a Chinese intelligence agency.
The man had been known to patronize a notorious karaoke club in Shanghai catering to Japanese named “Kaguyahime.”
Then on August 10, the body of a 45-year-old noncommissioned officer assigned to the Maritime Self Defense Forces escort ship “Asayuki,” while docked in Sasebo port, was found hanging in a storeroom. Subsequent investigation discovered that since December 1999 he had made a total of 18 trips to South Korea and Shanghai, China, of which all but two had been taken without obtaining prior permission.
And once again, it was discovered that the deceased MSDF officer had become friendly with a Chinese woman employed at, yep, Kaguyahime.
According to another MSDF member — who is presently confined to quarters while under investigation on suspicion of leaking secrets, which he denies — the deceased had remitted approximately 3.5 million yen to his lady friend in Shanghai over the previous several years.
A source tells Asahi Geino that customers arriving at Kaguyahime are welcomed by an attractive, Japanese-speaking female manager and escorted to one of its 10 or so private rooms. For 250 Chinese yuan (about 3,750 Japanese yen), customers may drink to their hearts’ content. Once seated and served with their drinks, the customers are invited to take their pick from a bevy of Asian beauties.
“These girls are not coy at all, they come right out and in broken Japanese ask the customer to take them out on ‘dates,'” relates a Japanese trading firm employee posted in Shanghai on familiar terms with the shop. “All the karaoke songs they play are moody tunes, and the lights are turned down dimly in the rooms. Customers can dance cheek to cheek with the girls. They’ll exchange deep kisses and the girls will let you grope them, offering no resistance whatsoever.”
An outlay of 1,000 yuan permits you to “buy” the girl out of the club.
“The girls know the refinements Japanese men appreciate, like lining up your shoes inside the doorway with the toes pointed outwards, and folding your clothes neatly after your remove them,” grins the trading firm staffer. “And the sex is fantastic — not like making it with a pro, but more like a passionate tryst with a lover. Before you know it, you’re hooked.”
Shanghai is by no means the only Chinese metropolis featuring fancy facilities for fraternizing with fetching femmes fatales. Beijing, Dalian, Shenyang (formerly known as Mukden)… anyplace where Japanese travel for trade, diplomacy or leisure, you’ll find plenty. Dalian, Liaoning Province is said to have at least 40 and Beijing boasts over 100 bars, barber shops and massage parlors, staffed with obliging gals able to communicate in basic Japanese.
“Of course prostitution is illegal in China,” a locally-based Japanese correspondent tells Asahi Geino. “But the operators of these establishments get away with it, either through outright bribery or by making connections with the security police. That raises the possibility that anything the girls working there see or hear on the premises winds up in the hands of national intelligence organizations.”
“In early August, just before the suicide of the MSDA officer in Sasebo, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent out a communiqu?, advising embassy and consular staff to avoid associating with women in such places,” says the correspondent.
Harrumph! sneers Asahi Geino. What a completely feckless way to deal with the serious problem of the spilling sensitive secrets. And it’s not only too little, but in two cases at least, the warning has been issued much, much too late. (By Masuo Kamiyama)
(The Mainichi Waiwai column ran online from April 19, 2001 – June 21, 2008. It was a much loved form of entertainment amongst foreigner in and outside of Japan. To any reader it was obviously not serious news, but it was a set of articles that portrayed quite well how the Japanese tabloids actually write about their own country. In 2008, a small number of Japanese people bought it to the attention of rival news groups that Mainichi was running an anti-Japan column on its website. With the bad publicity, Mainichi was forced to shut the page down, and take punitive measures against the journalists that were working on it, claiming that it was receiving opinions that were critical of the column, such as “its contents are too vulgar” and “the stories could cause Japanese people to be misunderstood abroad”. A perfect example of how Japanese consider what they write in their own script to be an acceptable secret code, that the rest of the world cant understand. When that same tabloid rubbish gets inconveniently translated to English to make light of some aspects of the Japanese people, it gets canned. Stippy.com finds this unacceptable, and will reproduce as much of the Waiwai content as possible in order to bring it once again to our computer screens for a good laugh. Of course we claim no credit for this content, and attribute it to it’s writers who were former Mainichi employees. Waiwai in its true and glorious form has been discontinued, but it’s legacy will live on at stippy.com for all to enjoy.)