A Japanese trans-identified male YouTuber has prompted backlash after boasting of using the women’s sauna at a hotel in Yokohama last month.
Nao Wasada, who also uses the name Suzanne Misaki, uploaded a video to his YouTube channel on December 5 titled “What Happened After a Former Man Took Off His Clothes and Entered the Women’s Bath.” In the vlog, Wasada describes his experience entering the women’s section of the bath house in highly sexualized terms.
As of January 4, the upload has over 2,300 ‘dislikes’ compared to only 290 ‘likes.’
“I snuck into a women’s bath where women in their natural appearance gathered together,” Wasada says in the video. “For a former man, a women’s bath is a dangerous place because it reveals the male body and if it is discovered that you are a former man, you are in all sorts of trouble.”
He went on to call the experience “paradise” and said he was in “boob heaven,” and compared women’s bodies to marshmallows and peaches, using Japanese onomatopoeia to imitate the sound of jiggling. “It was really a 360-degree world full of tits and tight, peach-like buttocks,” Wasada said.
“I actually went to peachy boob heaven and worshipped marshmallow tits,” he added. “Everyone hides them with a towel, but they’re protruding, aren’t they? Heaven. There are big peaches and small ones. There are peaches, and there are women whose buttocks stick out like pears.”
Wasada further detailed his experience in the women’s public bath on his Instagram account, where he describes himself as someone who “love[s] spending money on plastic surgery, body modification, and beauty,” and promises tips on “bust enhancement.”
In a December 4 post, Wasada stated that this was not his first time entering a women’s public bath, and again made sexual comments about the naked bodies of women he saw in the bath house. Wasada excitedly compared women’s breasts to a buffet, depicting the scene as “all-you-can-fill boobs while your heart is pounding.”
Wasada has made repeated references to breasts in his videos and social media posts. In June 2021, Wasada tweeted: “I love girls, I love boobs. If you have a sex change, have breast augmentation, and work hard on your clothes, hairstyle, voice, and make-up to look like a woman, you will be recognized as a woman, and that’s okay.”
Many commenters responded negatively to Wasada’s sauna video, with some asserting that Wasada posed a threat to the women in the facility. The replies which received the most “likes” in response were ones which strongly condemned Wasada’s behavior.
“If you’re a woman at heart, don’t you understand that if you say things like this to a woman, it’s scary and disgusting? I’m not discriminatory and I’ve participated in the Pride parade in the past, but when I saw this video, I honestly thought it was really disgusting. LGBT+ just lost its supporters,” read one of the top comments.
“[This is] a person you don’t want your wife or daughter to encounter in a hot spring or toilet,” said another commenter.
Other responses from women expressed the view that they would not want to enter a public bath if they knew men would be present and watching them. Some replied that Wasada’s behavior was more like a man than that of a woman, with one respondent labeling him “a man who is fascinated by women’s bodies and has changed his body beyond his hobby of cross-dressing.”
Japanese news outlets reported on Wasada’s video, and a lawyer spoke with Yahoo News about the incident. When questioned about the legality of the situation, attorney Ayao Masaki, a member of the Tokyo Bar Association, stated that it could present a “legal issue,” and cited laws related to trespassing with a voyeuristic intent and public exposure.
Following the public outcry, Wasada uploaded a video on December 20 responding to critics. Rather than apologizing for his behavior, Wasada instead claimed that the video was intended for male viewers, referred to himself as a “pervert”, and stated that he could not promise he would refrain from making similar comments about women in the future.
A Japanese feminist who campaigns against gender self-identification policies explained to Reduxx that because bath houses are segregated according to sex, women would not expect men to be permitted to enter the women’s area.
Haruka, speaking under the condition of anonymity, said that despite the laws surrounding sex-segregation, there have been documented cases of men gaining access to the women’s baths under false pretenses. Most of those cases resulted in an arrest.
Haruka added that she believed some women would refuse to use public bath facilities if they knew that men who identify as transgender were being granted entrance, and especially if they were aware that such men were sexually attracted to women. Haruka explained that in Japan, public bath houses are not considered recreational, but are “a part of daily life.”
Gender ideology appears to now be colliding with Japan’s centuries-long tradition of public bathing and creating legal confusion. While the areas are presumed to be segregated based on sex, the introduction of legal document revision means that males like Wasada who change their gender marker to “female” are technically able to access the facilities.
The Japanese government currently requires “sex-reassignment surgery” in order for individuals to alter sex markers on official documents, though activists are pushing for reforms which would allow for self-identification on the basis of a subjective gender identity with no medical transition.
Last fall, Reduxx reported that several Japanese women’s universities had begun accepting men who self-declare a transgender status as students.
Japan Women’s University (JWU) was the latest institution to announce it would be adopting a self-identification policy. The measure will be implemented at the start of 2024 despite half of the female students currently enrolled expressing opposition or hesitation.
In response to the female student’s concerns, JWU released a “Diversity Declaration” last June outlining how administrators intended to work towards convincing female students to change their views on gender ideology. According to the statement, female students at Japan Women’s University (JWU) who express skepticism on the topic of gender identity may be asked to speak with “gender-specialist counselors” in order to convince them that men who identify as transgender are “female.”
Policies allowing for men to self-identify into women-only academic institutions come in the wake of internationally-publicized scandals that saw top universities intentionally lowering women’s entrance exam scores for years to deny them admission on the basis of their sex.
International rankings, including those from the World Economic Forum, consistently place Japan as one of the most unequal countries in the developed world in terms of political representation and economic opportunities for women.
Sexual harassment, upskirting, and public groping are so prevalent in the nation that advertisements on public transportation can be seen warning passengers to be on alert for sexually-motivated crimes, and most major railways offer some form of specially designated women-only spaces or train cars. In addition, voyeurism pornography has been increasing in popularity in recent years, motivating men to install cameras in women’s spaces of undress in order to film them unaware.
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