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Monday, February 06, 2017

Erotic Novel About Impotence a Huge Hit in Japan


The news today features the best-selling book on Japan Amazon for the last week of January, called Otto no Chimpo ga Hairanai, or "My Husband's D**k Won't Go In". It has outsold Haruki Murakami's just-released and much-awaited new novel, "The Killing of the Leader of the Band of Knights" (our translation), with over 110,000 copies of "My Husband's D**k Won't Go In" having been snapped up to date.

Cover of Otto no Chimpo ga Hairanai (My Husband's D**k Won't Go In) erotic Japanese novel.
Cover of "Otto no Chimpo ga Hairanai" ("My Husband's D**k Won't Go In")

Otto no Chimpo ga Hairanai is what is called a doujinshi (doh-jin-shee), literally, a "comrades' book," which is a genre of publication that started with aficionados of grossly erotic parodies of mainstream titles publishing them for each other - obviously in very small runs. However, with Otto no Chimpo ga Hairanai, the doujinshi genre seems to have made the leap to mainstream, much like the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey that caused a cultural storm in the West back in 2011.

The press release for this book by the publishing company, Fushosha, says:

"My Husband's D**k Won't Go In" is a shocking true tale that tells the story of a woman's life. 18-year-old Kodama hooks up with a freewheeling young fellow student at university. But something happens on the first night that they sleep together. He simply cannot get it up at all. But, following this, they put the impotence issue to one side, deepen their relationship, and eventually marry. Yet, Kodama's desire for her husband to consummate the marriage remains unfulfilled, and she goes on to experience even greater tragedy."

Otto no Chimpo ga Hairanai  has earned three and a half stars on Amazon Japan, but the two reviews voted the most helpful give it only one and two stars, and describe it as a depressing tale of low self-esteem on the part of the character, that hobbles their s*x life, that the couple in the novel do not try and address, and that sees them sleeping around with others. One or two reviewers express wonderment that it has outsold the new Murakami novel (in spite of having contributed to the feat themselves!)

Japan is in general far less prudish than the West, and a title like My Husband's D**k Won't Go In is much more likely to arouse curiosity than disgust. However, the depressing nature of the story itself seems to have disillusioned the majority of readers.

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