冤罪[enzai]

August 10, 2007 at 11:07 am (general)

If you have watched the movie, それでもボクはやってない[soredemo boku wa yattenai,” Yet, I didn’t do that“], you must have heard of this term, 冤罪[enzai]. My dictionary says it means a false accusation, but I think there must be more appropriate word in English, though…

 At any rate, this movie is about a man who falsely mischarged as a groper, and it describes how awfully terrible Japan’s court and laws are. No matter how strongly you insist your innocence, even if there’s no evidence which could prove your guilt, you would be charged only if a victim said, “You did it.” Especially in this case, 痴漢冤罪[chikan enzai “false accusation for a groper]. It is said that the possibility you can prove your innocence might be less than 20%.  If you get grabbed the wrist by a woman on the train and blamed, there would be nowhere to escape…The more you don’t admit, the longer your custody would be. But if you admit it, they might possibly let you go only if you pay a fine(around 333US$ or so).

 Since this controvertial movie came out, this term, 冤罪 is getting more common in public. Actually I knew this term, but I hadn’t heard of it that much. 濡れ衣[nureginu] should be more common. Literally, it means a wet clothes. 濡れ[nure] means wet, and [kinu] means cloth or clothes But how come this means a false accusation as well? There’s two theories to explain how this term came up with;

 1. A stepmother who was jealous of her stepdaughter, placed a wet clothes of the fisherman at her pillow while she was sleeping. So her father misunderstood that she slept with the fisherman, and killed her so badly.

 2. Wearing a wet clothes, and if the wet clothes dries so fast, you’d be innocent. If not, you’d be guilt. There was a way of judgment a long long time ago.

 Incidentally, 免罪[menzai] means acquittal. Compare these two kanji and …see? It made me laugh a bit. There’s something on the top of the kanji, 冤…this is, ワ冠[wa-kanmuri].  And there’s something like a dot around the bottom. It looks as if 冤 was surpressed by ワ冠, and got pinned by the dot so that it couldn’t move. When it comes off, it can be 免(acquittal). This is my theory, so it’s not admissible in court!

11 Comments

  1. w said,

    You know, the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the poster was Kumakichi from the Meitantei Nyanmi-chaaaan series in Gag Manga Biyori. Actually it almost starts to sound like a whole parody of this phenomenon you’re talking about…

  2. bangin said,

    Yes, and he always says, 僕もsthに踊らされた一人なんだよ[ I am the one of those who has been set up by sth] in the end…I laugh a lot when he gets cuffed…but it chills my spine simultaneously somehow…

  3. Wabi Sabi said,

    Can I make a request? I want a post on オタ魂.

  4. Avplaya said,

    I’ll check out the movie… although I’m happy seeing chikan issues gets more attention, this kind of notion could only make women less likely to confront a chikan I’m afraid…

  5. bangin said,

    I’ve heard some mean women even lie on purpose to make an excuse for late or to get a quick cash or something like that…oh dear. I do hope this movie could motivate people to understand the terrible situation more.

    Having said that, inside the circle such victims get together, there’s an often told saying like, admitting it and paying a fine is far better than being behind the bars.

    Oh hell…orz

  6. Avplaya said,

    They’re just copying the US model… Women’s been making false sexual accusation against men for years; the absolute worse, is when some women wanting divorce, teach their daughter to say their father molested them.

    These kind of things make victims out of innocent men AND makes those who really suffer under chikan less likely to report crime in fear of being called a bitch. A few rotten apple…

  7. bangin said,

    That’s so evil! I didn’t know those kind of false accusation happen in US…

    Yes, I agree. This movie could make people aware of the peril of false accusation, but simultaneously, it also might bother the real victims.

  8. k0 said,

    From reading the post and comments I know I’ll be keeping my hands right up where everyone can see them the next time I’m in a train or bus. Will definitely check out the movie sometime and somehow, but for now I’ll be more wary of women.

  9. bangin said,

    Me too. Whenever I get on the train, I always wait for a train which holds some empty seats, or else I immediately come to the corner and read a book. (;゜д゜)

  10. Marius Mink said,

    That’s terrible! I really want to see this movie. I watched a yaoi anime called Enzai, and now I know what that means.

    • bangin said,

      Yeah, the lead boy got arrested because of shoplift, but actually he gets falsely mischarged as a murderer, right? That’s enzai. In that game, you have to help him out, otherwise he would get killed in the end.

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