While celebrity dalliances have long been fodder for consumers of American tabloids, it’s the complete opposite in Japan where public pureness is expected from its pop singers. That means a complete dating ban. Even a whiff of a romantic interest can torpedo a pop career.
Performers in Japan are fantasy products and keeping them pure and innocent allows fans to imagine them as potential partners, according to Laura Miller, a prominent Japanese scholar who is the Eiichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.
Miller was quoted in a story in The Atlantic about the dating prohibition enforced by Japan’s entertainment industry. And she doubts the dating ban will end anytime soon.
“It’s in their interest and those who are trying to make money off them to keep their actual lives, personalities, and humanity separate,” she said.