"I came to Japan to make porn."

Haruka Ayase


Since moving to Tokyo two months ago, the most often-repeated line I hear from male friends is:

"You should make porn in Japan."



... And its many hundred variations. ("You're doing your Masters in Film? Make what kind of film, porn?" "So, what you want to make now? PORN?" "Hey, you know what you should make, AV!!!") Which is often followed by self-amused laughter.

Some will expand upon that, saying that I can earn more money from it, or I can meet more naked women from it, or I can become the greatest porn mogul ever, or that I seriously should live my life like the protagonists in Edmond Pang's AV.

Right.

Okay.

Very original.

Har har.

The speaker thinks that it's the best thing to say and joke about with someone he knows who happens to be a filmmaker and who happens to be studying film in Japan.

But for me, it's painfully redundant. Imagine how it feels, when you have to hear 4 out of 5 guys you speak to asking you the same thing. It's more painful because you can already predict that already before they open their mouths, and have that twinkle in their eyes, and a self-satisfied smirk on their faces. It's like a mini-Groundhog Day.

I hear the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

And again.

And then again.

I heard it most recently two days ago, when a classmate from secondary school nicely called me all the way from Malaysia. And the same exchange occurred:

- So, what have you been doing? He asked.

- Oh, I'm preparing for my new film. I answered. (it was just a day after I had my pitching session for Yuki)

- What is it about?

I paused. I knew what was going to happen. I closed my eyes and sighed inwardly.

- ... Is it PORN?

If I get a penny for every single time I hear this, I'll be so rich that Bill Gates would beg to have my 'making a penny for every single time I hear someone ask whether I'm making porn in Japan' ability....

- Jeez, why am I forced to hear this question all the time? It's almost like every Tom, Dick and Harry's been asking me the same thing.

He paused for a while, perhaps slightly taken aback that he had been so unoriginal. It's always a swift blow to the manly ego.

(that's why I don't blame the people who asked me this question, of course they thought they were being original, of course they didn't know that I'm trapped in a mini-Groundhog Day)

- But you're in Japan, says he, that's the place known for AV!

I was going to expect him to make some grunting and dry humping sounds to add to the drama. Maybe he did, but reception was bad, so I didn't hear it.

Despite my easygoing demeanour and irresistable cuddliness, I'm actually quite an irritable guy. What else to sharpen my cynicism and dry sarcasm if I weren't one? Being subjected to the same question almost few times a week, and being given the reason that I'm inviting this particular question due to my geographical status is as bad as asking a guy who stays in Thailand whether he mistakes a transsexual or a transvestite for an real woman just because 'tee hee, Thailand's the place known for ladyboys!".

Despite my sheer blade-like witticism, it tires me too if I have to reply to the same question with the same witty repartee. Here is a guy who strives for originality, and is forced to hear the same unoriginal question all the time, and has ran out of original answers for that.

It's poetic justice.

The cycle will remain endless... People will continue asking whether my follow-up for CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY is SUSHI SEX SYMPHONY, ORDINARY ONIGIRI ORGY or RAMEN RAPISTS RHAPSODY.

Good grief, I'm even starting to invent titles for porn films I'm not even going to make.

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