Japanese Teenagers Are Posting ‘Kiss Video’ Selfies Online
And creeping out their parents.
Kissing in the kitchen whilst making omelets at home. Kissing out on dates in the park. Kissing in the bedroom.
These are scenes seen in the Kisu Douga—which can be translated as "kiss video" selfies—popular amongst users on MixChannel, a Japanese version of Vine. Almost 90 percent of its 3.6 million users are in their teens. The love section of the platform is thriving, littered with these looping selfies.
Although these clips are widely considered "kawaii"—a Japanese term for a culture-specific type of cuteness—Japanese adults who have grown up in a more conservative society consider the clips exhibitionist. Last week, one of the nation's most popular commercial network Fuji TV ran a story about a father who watched clips of his daughter and boyfriend kissing in her bedroom during their weekly late night current affairs programme Mr. Sunday.
His reaction was two-faced; whilst telling his daughter, "I think it's cute, keep it up," he lashed out on her boyfriend and threatened to "half-kill" him should these acts continue under his roof.
Twitter in Japan erupted over this episode, with the worst comments describing disgust from anonymous users hiding behind anime cartoon profile pictures. It also sparked a poll on the popular Girls Channel online forum, with most agreeing that the practice is "disgusting and awkward after break up."
But for 19-year-old avid MixChannel user Fukafuka, who first uploaded the video selfies with her 25-year-old boyfriend in November 2014, the negative comments are an "inevitable" part of uploading content on social networking sites.
"It's never crossed our mind that we would 'break up' it has been natural for us to post these videos," Fukafuka told Motherboard. "If it wasn't him, it would have been more likely to consider the consequences of uploading such videos on social networking sites. By the time I started submitting the videos it was already confirmed that I was moving in with him."
Fukafuka's latest upload currently trending on MixChannel shows how the selfies have become more elaborate. With genres ranging from kawaii-style animations to photo slideshows with music dubbed over it, many selfies nowadays do more than just show couples kissing. Popular among users are anniversary videos that provide insights into the history of the couple, which appear to be celebrated every month by many.
"Our anniversary of three years and three months, prompted us to loosely edit the video the two of us had shot together; ever since then we've continued the uploads," she explains. "Most of the comments are about how cute we are, which makes me happy."
In arecent report aired by Zero, an hour-long late night current affairs programme by Japan's first commercial broadcaster Nippon TV, one father said that he "didn't want it to escalate," implying that the line needs to be drawn between innocence and erotica. But for Japanese teenagers like Fukafuka, they're even shy of being seen kissing despite uploading these clips.
"It's actually quite embarrassing so we shoot wide," she laughs. "Our parents don't know. Showing them photos is fine, but when it comes to video it is a bit embarrassing…and also I don't think there is any point."
The selfies have also spilled onto YouTube where there are longer clips of couples involved in more passionate snogging that are just too long for the micro-blogging platform. However, the most popular videos are compilations showcasing the best clips from MixChannel, and the phenomenon continues there amongst fellow teenagers who enjoy seeing a cute peck on the lips.
"I'm not doing it because I want people to see us," says Fukafuka. "I don't have feelings like that. It's a post in memory of us as a couple."