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File:Chikan Sign.jpg

A sign outside of a bicycle parking lot in Chiba, Japan, warns "Beware of Chikan"

Groping, when used in a sexual context, is touching or fondling another person in a sexual way. Areas of the body most frequently groped include the buttocks, breasts and thighs. Touching a consenting person's body during sexual activity, massage or medical examination is not considered groping. However, fondling a person while in the view of others is generally considered groping, such as a dance partner fondling a partner's buttocks while dancing or for a person to feel a partner's thigh while sitting close.

However, in some parts of the world it is common for an unaccompanied female to be groped in a busy street or other crowded place, such as a market or train. In some countries it is common for a woman's buttocks to be pinched or slapped in a crowded area. In many countries, unwelcome groping or touching of any part of a worker's body in the work place can constitute sexual harassment.


File:Ladies Only Train.jpg

A sign on a station platform in Osaka, Japan, showing the boarding point for a ladies-only car.

In Japan, street groping is called chikan (痴漢, チカン, or ちかん); and the man who commits such acts is also called chikan, while a woman is called chijo (痴女). Crowded trains are a favourite location for groping, and a 2001 survey conducted in two Tokyo high-schools revealed that more than 70% of students had been groped while travelling on them.[1] As part of the effort to combat the problem, some railway companies designate women-only passenger cars during rush hours.[2][3][4] While the term is not defined in the Japanese legal system, vernacular usage of the word describes acts that violate several laws. Although crowded trains are the most frequent targets, another common setting are bicycle parking areas, where people bent over unlocking locks are targets. Chikan is often featured in Japanese pornography.

The issue of groping in Japan does not just affect females but males as well[citation needed]. Such is the concern of groping that a film has been made about it.[5] The film I Just Didn't Do It by Japanese film director Masayuki Suo, based on a true story, focuses on a male office worker acquitted of groping after a five-year legal battle.[6] The criminal courts have traditionally been lenient in cases of groping and have only recently made efforts to combat the social problem with tougher sentences.[7][8]

See also


de:Chikan ja:痴漢 zh:色狼

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