It’s been a while since I looked at some interesting Japanese, so “Let’s Nihongo!” it up with a frisky little word I learnt during my intercourse with Japan. Oh yes, be afraid. Here comes a terrible orgy of puns for ‘Aokan’ (青姦), the little-known word for getting busy under the stars.
Aokan can refer to one of two things, beautifully separated by some busy kanji. Let’s take a brief look at the supposed origins.
It’s said to have been stemmed from aokan (青邯), meaning to ‘sleep under the open skies’, or just ‘sleeping outdoors’ those of us less poetically inclined. The first kanji – ‘ao’, meaning ‘blue’ – refers to the blue sky above us. The second kanji – ‘kan’, meaning ‘sleep’ has its origins a little deeper.
According to the Zokugo Dictionary:
The ‘ao’ in aokan refers to the blue sky outdoors, whereas the ‘kan’ is from ‘kantan’ (邯鄲). Kantan is the name of a city in the southern region of China’s Kahokusho, but the word takes on its meaning of ‘sleep’ or ‘nap’ from the Chinese romance novel ‘Kantan no Makura’ (Kantan no Yume’) – ‘Dreams of Splendour’*.
*Not entirely sure on the English name for this novel – this was my best guess.
So that’s that. Old Chinese romance novels leaving their fingerprints all over modern Japanese slang. No wonder things are getting dirty around here.
Laying down the real aokan then, the first kanji – blue – remains the same but the second kanji is different. Kan (姦) is used to symbolise improper sexual relations. Most often used to mean adultery, but it can be found in similarly nasty words with different meanings. Take it to the dictionary if you’re wanting to peek there…
So basically, ‘illicit sex outdoors’. I guess there’s still a big taboo about getting down to business surrounded by Mother Nature then. Still, a word to remember, I reckon. What with all those wonderful outdoor locations in Japan, you never know when it might come in handy. And no, I shan’t be answering questions as to why I came to know this word. Suffice to say, you can learn a lot at nomikai ;p.
Some related terms of interest:
野宿 – nojuku – to sleep outdoors (without a roof over your head).
枕中期 – chinchuki – An old Chinese romance novel.
And an example sentence or two. No use knowing the word if you can’t use it!
青姦はとても動物的であり自然行為。Outdoor sex is a very animalistic and natural act.
今年3月にオランダの議会が、年間1000万人が訪れる観光地として有名なVondelparkという市民公園での青姦を合法化したそうだ。This March it is said that the Dutch parliament will legalise outdoor sex in Vondelpark, a public park and famous tourist spot known for receiving over 10,000,000 visitors a year.