Groping Women on Trains

No, it’s not a soundseeing tour. It’s me talking about the time it happened to my wife.

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Rich Pav

Richard has been living in Japan since 1990 with his wife and two teenage sons, Tony and Andy.

47 thoughts to “Groping Women on Trains”

  1. I can’t believe how calm you are about it. I guess being able to b*tch slap the guy a few times might work out some frustration, but man this problem makes me so mad. And on the other hand, I feel so bad for the family. And the fact that his boss calls… It sounds like japanese society is much more connected than the U.S. And that people are much more accountable for their actions (if they are called to heel).

    Thanks for sharing the story.


    1. Rich , my heart was beating with anxiety when you were telling the story , I hope people can learn from your actions , I would have spit in his face , it leaves less a mark.


  2. That happened to my girlfriend, too; she grabbed the guy and dragged him to the conducter, and like you, took the money from the family. It was only 500 bucks, though, because they claimed they were too poor to pay any more. It`s ridiculous that this should be an issue at all. It`s even more ridiculous that people let themselves be victimized. Some women will just stand there and take it because they`re too embarrassed to `make a scene.` Of course it`s not the women`s fault that they`re being groped up, but it`s not going to stop until each person takes responsibility to end it.

  3. Rich,
    What an emotional story!
    When you went to the back of the train to tell I thought you were a dumb ass and you would end up getting in trouble for hitting the man.
    Then when you told the police that you hit the man–I thought you were a total moron–I thought again that you would also be busted.
    But it worked out as well as could be for you and hopefuly for the man and his family. My wife said that you should have went directly to the train person, while I thought you should have dumped the mans body in the river. Seems your choices worked out better. Once again very emotional.
    Once I was standing in a crowed train and there was a junior or high schoolgirl pressed up against the front of me. All of a sudden she screamed ‘chikan…’ while looking at me. Everyone looked at me like I was the pervert (the gaijin) I thought oh fuck I am in trouble–I did not do anything! But then she turned around and in the the car crash moment everyone around parted and left showing and embarrassed high school boy who did the groping . I held the boy by the hair on the back of his head and he did not resist. Some older woman yelled at him. I asked the girl if she wanted me to take him to the station master, but she said no. So I told the boy he had to get off the train at the next stop. The boy hurried to the stairs when he got off the train.
    When the train started moving again the girl turned to me and bowed and said to me the most heartfelt thank you I have ever received while in Japan. I went from looking like a pervert to a helper in the passengers eyes–fucking people– also do they need a chikan akan sign posted all over–is a don’t molest grade schoolers or a don’t rape women sign also needed? I always feel regret that I did not take the boy to the station master and insist the girl did not come too-because it was not my family maybe..I am lame. Thanks for the podcasts.

    1. whats chikan? I am bummed because I am deaf and can’t hear these damned things but am interested in the story

        1. yup I’m deaf or hearing impaired enough to not understand radios, telephones etc. I figured that chikan meant pervert. groping men are a pain on trains (hey it rhymes) but also men who push women out of the way in order to get out first is a drag too. I love visiting or living in Japan for short periods but would not live there forever. I’d have to kiss my career goodbye.

  4. what a crazy story. I was riveted for the duration and was surprised when the 40mins was up so quick.

    I also want to say the videocasts are awesome because my mind can only paint so much detail in when listening to these podcasts.

    Also, if you don’t mind me asking…why are you know living with roommates…I just watched your house videocast and was surprised to hear you have moved out? Maybe you have covered this, but I am a little confused.

    great show anyways, and don’t stop making podcasts…whenever you have time…

    1. I stay in Tokyo on the weekdays and go home to Koga on the weekends. For 10 years I did a four hour round-trip commute every day and got tired of it.

  5. Fantastic podcast. I’m so glad you got the guy. What a rivetting story – I was sure you were going to get busted for hitting the guywhen you told the cops.
    I totally empaphize with the shyness/podcasting link. In my case I think it may be working… slowly…!

  6. Hey Rich. What a story. Full credit to you for getting the perv. I also thought you’d be busted for hitting the guy and get chucked out of the country.

    Thanks also for the uplifting drinking story – I was listening to it at work and when you got to the “you know, my job isn’t so bad” bit, so did I. I was thinking about it later and it occured to me that your (ex)cleaning lady may have also been bent over your toilet, brush in hand, with a shit stain 3 inches from her nose and had the same epiphany 🙂

    Thanks for the sanity reset and keep up the ‘casts. Trev

    1. >I also thought you’d be busted for hitting the guy and get chucked out of the country.

      So did I, but I was willing to risk it. I’m still amazed that it was the one thing that prevented the guy from getting away with it.

  7. Rich, definitely enjoyed this podcast. Your delivery and calmness about the whole situation all while cooking dinner really lead to an intimate and honest story. I’d much rather listen to experiences like these than the Wall Street Journal podcast or pure language podcasts. There’s a human insight here that I really enjoy and admire, just thought I’d let you know that. Keep up the great work and thanks again.

  8. Hey Rich,

    even though you just talk, you seem to be able to have a knack of connecting to people with the podcasts.

    I was talking to my girlfriend in Japan about what you were talking about. She seemed surprised about what you did….but I wholeheartedly agree with you. Anyone that does something like deserves a beating. Your advice was very fitting.

  9. This has to be one of the best Japan Podcasts I have ever heard. I was in Japan for 12 years and had way too many experiences with drunk idiots on trains. I was actually considering coming back to Japan soon, but thanks to your Podcast I am back in my right mind. I’m just amazed that the JR people were willing to help you and it’s absolutely incredible that you got apologies over the phone. Keep up the good work, hell of a job for a Podcast created while making dinner. . . . . .

    1. If the drunken morons bother you that much, take a taxi at night instead of the trains. Or move to another train car. Staying home simply because of them isn’t a wise decision. There’s a lot more to Japan.

      1. Rich – I did mention that I lived there for 12 years. I suspect I know bit more than you do :-).

  10. Great story, man. I’ve always wondered what I would do in that situation. Can beating the hell out of chikan get me deported? Anyway, it’s good to know the good people at JR took it seriously and helped out. Now I don’t hate JR as much as I used to.

  11. this is one of the best podcasts you’ve done, sounded very professional and entertained me while I tried to finish up a work related project at 3 in the morning.

  12. Im about halfway through the pod cast and I just wanted to say that your cooking chopsticks that are joined by a string at the top, well I think you will find them a lot easier to use if you cut the string off 🙂

  13. The funny thing about Japan is that when you’re drunk, it’s pretty much an excuse for everything. I was getting into a taxi in Kurihama station when a drunk old guy started mumbling something to me. I was just annoyed as I entered the cab, but the guy grabbed my arm. So I brushed his hand off and gave him a small shove. He went flying into a storefront and landed on his back. He just stayed there moaning. What a freak.

  14. What a majorly boring podcast. How self-absorbed does a person have to be to think that anyone needs to hear about his kitchen chores. This 42 minute recording should have been 20 minutes tops.

    Sadly, the “meat” of the matter was dull as well.

  15. Man, what a loser! You plummeted into a spiral of depression because someone touched your wife’s butt? HAHA!

    I wish the guy had nuzzled his head between her tits. It would have made the podcast more interesting.

    As is, he’s lucky he didn’t break his hand from your wife’s fat ass cheek.

  16. Doesn’t taking a sum of money (in this case $5,000) in exchange for a sexual favor (groping) constitute a criminal violation of a different kind (your wife is a prostitute)?

    How much does she charge for oral sex?

    1. Thank you for caring enough to share your views. And it’s interesting how all three of you come from the same IP address mere minutes apart.

  17. It’s aalso interesting what a pathetic loser you are. I’m curious, did you check the IP addy’s before or after running for your anti-depressants. I’m sure you are that fragile.

    1. You seem to be under the impression I give a rat’s ass what you think about me. If you don’t like me or my podcast, you’re free to go elsewhere. No one’s holding a gun to your head forcing you to listen or vist here.

      1. The funny thing is, I’m also free to voice my oinion if I don’t like you or your podcast, pansy boy, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.

  18. The funny thing is, I’m also free to voice my opinion if I don’t like you or your podcast, pansy boy, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.

  19. My advise would be to relativate. Here in western-Europe we’re obliged to get used to things like entire gangs of north-Africans terrorising an entire train, including sexually assualting women. Only 2 weeks ago a pregnant 16-year old girl was harrassed by a group of 20 (!) north-Africans, being called names and, kicked in the belly. THOSE are things that make me sick hearing about, not a grope.
    I only WISH the worst thing that could happen on a train here was a grope.

  20. Thanks for the podcast, interesting stuff.. just a comment; its not just creepy old MEN here in Japan.. as a man, I’ve been groped by creepy WOMEN a few times too. Thats not common of course, but its happened to me.

  21. There’s a big difference between a woman getting groped and a man getting groped: men in general don’t mind, women do.

    I have no qualms whatsoever when a woman presses up against me on a train. If some random stranger needs some human contact, that’s fine with me, but I would never, EVER do the same thing in reverse. It just makes me feel a whole lot better giving someone a zone of person safety. Copping a feel on the other hand would make me a disgusting scumbag who deserves a severe, thorough and bloody ass-kicking.

  22. Dude, you podcast makes you sound like a whiny little fag boy. I’d love it if someone would tie you up and make you watch while your wife willfully gave herself to a real man. Crying about someone feeling up your wife! Geez, dude, there are bigger problems in the world, and they don’t all revolve around your petty jealousy.

    PS. I promise you your wife secretly liked being touched by a bold, assertive man. It sounds like it was the first time in her life that ever happened.

  23. Pav, If I was you, I think you should start baning IP’s. I totally agree with what you are saying. I think the people who think it is ok should think about how they would like it if their wife, sisters and mothers were treated like this… but then again perhaps they treat them like shit too.

  24. C.M.: I care so little about what that guy had to say that I don’t even feel like going through the trouble of deleting his comment or banning is IP address. Anonymity on the net brings out the obnoxious asshole in some people. Or maybe he’s an asshole in real life too. Either way, not my problem.

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