If you’ve never been to an onsen — a Japanese hot spring — before, then it can be a little intimidating to get naked with a bunch of people you’ve never met. Still, in Japan, this is not an issue — as long as those people are the same sex as you.
A well-known onsen village in Kansai is now being sued by a woman and her mother thanks to a faulty bamboo curtain that meant that for a period of 30 minutes, the women were visible to those in the corridor, in all their naked glory.
But should they be able to sue for damages? Netizens think the women are being unreasonable.
From Sankei Shimbun:
“Inner Parlour Of Kansai” Women’s Bath In Full View For 30 Mins…Single Woman To Sue Well-Established Ryokan
On January 20 it was revealed that a a single woman in her thirties, and her mother, who is in her fifties from Osaka presented a case to the Amagasaki division of the Kobe district court demanding damages totaling approximately 2,000,000 yen [approx. $19,202], including compensation, from the Takedao Onsen, a well established onsen [hot spring] and ryokan [inn] known as “the inner parlour of Kansai”, for mental anguish they suffered when the women’s bath came into full view from the ryokan’s corridor. The women claim that “We were even frightened that we would secretly have photographs taken of us, and that they would be uploaded on the internet. It’s a striking breach of duty towards guests”.
According to the details of the case, in August last year, the women visited the ryokan for an overnight stay with their family. The women and her daughter went into the inside women’s bath for about half an hour, from around 3pm. When they crossed the corridor opposite the women’s bath after they had bathed, they realised that the bamboo blind that should have been hanging outside the window into the women’s bath had fallen down, and the inside of the women’s bath was visible from the corridor.
The ryokan offered the women a 10,000 [approx. $96] discount on the price of the overnight stay by way of apology after the women had told them, the women cancelled their stay. Following the incident, the women claim they had stomach pains and insomnia, and were diagnosed with anxiety disorder at the hospital. The women’s legal representatives stated that “It equates to considerable mental anguish for a single woman to have her naked body exposed while she bathes”.
On the other hand, the ryokan stated that they intend to fight the claim, saying that “We did everything we could to respond to the incident, including apologising. If the women’s bath had become visible from the outside, they should have immediately come out from the bath. It’s unthinkable that they would stay they could bathe there for thirty minutes without even noticing”.
Takedao Onsen is an onsen village in the valley of the Mukogawa River, which straddles Nishinomiya and neighbouring Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. It is said that in the early Edo Period, Takedao Naozo, a defeated warrior from the Toyotomi faction was discovered there gathering firewood, and this is the origin of the name. It is well known for it’s beautiful blossoms in spring and red leaves in autumn, and was the setting for Mizukami Tsutomu’s novel, “Sakura Mori”.
Comments from Yahoo! Japan:
It’s certain that some of the blame lies with the ryokan, but don’t these women have a slightly inflated sense of self?
“The ryokan offered the women a 10,000 yen discount on the price of the overnight stay by way of apology after the women had told them, the women cancelled their stay. Following the incident, the women claim they had stomach pains and insomnia, and were diagnosed with anxiety disorder at the hospital. The women’s legal representatives stated that ‘It equates to considerable mental anguish for a single woman to have her naked body exposed while she bathes’.”
I can’t really comment on this because I don’t know the attitude of the ryokan when they offered the apology, but just by looking at this, seems like we’re entering into claimer territory.
The ryokan acknowledged that it was their fault, they even apologised and gave them compensation.
To refuse this and sue, well, they must just be after money.
Can they even claim that much just for the possibility of harm?
This is in the realm of “extortion” and “racketeering”.
They’re way too persistent for too old women.
In their 30s and 50s…
My condolences to the people that ended up seeing them naked.
The ryokan are also pretty stingy for only giving them 10,000 ye off, but there’s a strong possibility that these customers are just claimers.
A flaw is a flaw…but…
isn’t this law suit calculating?
Reading the first half of this article, I thought that the onsen had bungled it, but I get a sense of assurance from the strong comments from the ryokan.
“It equates to considerable mental anguish for a single woman to have her naked body exposed while she bathes”.
And so if it was a married woman it’d be OK!? Isn’t that actually a discriminatory remark????
OMG how much do they think their naked bodies are worth? (笑)
They’re such claimers that it makes me want to put it that way.
They seem a bit like racketeers, but there was also an issue with how the ryokan handled it in the early stages, probably.
First off, giving a 10,000 yen discount is a bit half-arsed.
Why didn’t they give them the stay for free?
If the women were out to make money, it’s most likely that they would have given up if they’d been given the stay for free alone with something like travel expenses.
Both are asking too much, so I hope they stand their ground.
It’s irrelevant whether or not she’s single.
Plus she’s in her thirties, well, you’re still technically in your thirties when you’re 39…
Ain’t no one gonna upload that, or look at it.
When it comes to this, people are only going to see those women as claimers.
Who took down the bamboo blind? It’s even possible that the women took it down after bathing.
I want to sue that old women who walked into the convenience store toilet when I didn’t lock the door.
2,000,000 yen in damages is a bit much.
Assuming she was upset, why didn’t she go for an apology and a discount?
If they’d given them the stay for free by way of apology, I wonder what would have happened?