|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Just plain disturbing: Japan's newest batch of idols on the wrong side of 10 2006,05,08
Shukan Post 5/19 By Ryann Connell
Japan is sick.
Not satisfied with a booming market in the borderline pedophile Under-15 pin-up princess business, now there's 9-year-old cheesecake going mainstream, according to Shukan Post (5/19).
Japan's market for pubescent pin-up queens has already proved to be lucrative, with thousands of perverted consumers forking out their hardearned yen for a DVD filled with images of a scantily-clad 11-year-old called Saaya, who is billed as a "kyonyu," or "buxom" idol.
Saaya has also joined forces with California-born 12-year-old Jessica and another 12-year-old called Shizuka Umemoto to form a group called Sweet Kiss, which has Japan's nerdish otaku drooling lecherously at the various signings and "handshake events" they attend, the men's weekly says.
Now, however, Japan is stooping even lower with the emergence of 9-year-old Mizuki Yoshii, who has become the face of Japan's vile but burgeoning Under-10 idol business.
Born on May 15, 1996, Mizuki still hasn't reached double figures.
But her sales figures are already impressive.
Her photo collection went on sale in March, with the initial print run set at 6,000 copies.
It has already gone into a second printing and topped 10,000 copies, the standard for a best seller in Japan.
What's more, hits on her talent agency's website have skyrocketed since the 9-year-old appeared on the scene.
Mizuki's photo collection is little more than pedophilia.
She appears clad in all sorts of garments, the vast majority of them scanty, and the shots cater to the traditional sick tastes of perverts, with the little girl decked out in her school uniform, PE bloomers and swimsuit -- all staples for child cheesecake fans in Japan.
"We did the shoot over 3 1/2 days in Okinawa in November last year.
She doesn't need any make-up, so the shoot went really smoothly," an insider involved in the production of the photo collection tells Shukan Post.
"We weren't trying to make her look sexy.
We just wanted to display her in all the cuteness that's associated with somebody her age."
Nonetheless, Mizuki is made to strike pseudo-erotic poses, such as seductively licking an ice cream, that the men's weekly says are titillating.
And unfortunately, it seems the Under-10 market is viewed as something of potentially stable one.
"At the moment, Japan's pin-up market is polarized, with Aki Hoshino, at 28, representing the oldest segment of the market and the Under-15s at the other end," Masahiro Kitagawa, a self-professed "idol spotter," tells Shukan Post.
"The weakening of Japanese men means guys now place a lot of importance on imagining they have control over the opposite sex, which has sparked the emergence of the Under-15 market.
The way they've got the girls changing costumes all the time is supposed to be a way to satisfy guys' various fantasies.
The polarization of the market is likely to continue, but I don't think it will go any lower than the Under-10s." (By Ryann Connell)