I’ve addressed the idea of purity stemming from Shintoism in this section; however, in the modern day, the idea of purity isn’t as innocent as it seems. Like some other bizarre ideas that don’t translate well into Western culture, purity, youth and innocence are often paired with sexual connotation. For young girls, purity is an extremely desirable trait, which got some of its start in a twisted way. Immediate post-war Japan’s Ministry of Education established “purity education” (junshin kyouiku) as a way to instill “proper” and “correct” relationships amongst children that followed the growing concern of the expanding sex industry. Although all children were required to take it, purity education was unfairly directed at girls in an attempt to “guard them” from all that is unholy and amoral about sexual expression, and other excuses they could think of. Fast forward to modern day Japan—all of these intentions unsurprisingly backlashed, where sexual repression has contributed to a low birth rate, the sex industry is second largest in the world, and a rise of toxic notions of girls’ purity and innocence (read: virginity) becoming staple. Ideas associated with youth, such as purity and childishness is at the height of beauty standards. There’s a reason why, in Japan, being a short is a desirable trait men look for in women and why women go through dental surgery to make their teeth more crooked (hint: it’s not to appear more adult-like).
While I sincerely wish I had just made all of that up, these precise sexual undertones come into play in Digimon tri., which was intended to be viewed by an older audience who grew up with the original series. In the second movie, Determination, there is a scene where Mimi volunteers herself to be in charge of the cafe for the school’s culture festival. The cafe theme? Hooters. You know, that American chain restaurant infamously known for relegating their female staff to large busts and hot pants? Okay, okay, not really Hooters per se, but “DATERS”, a restaurant Mimi refers to as popular in America where the staff dress as cheerleaders and sometimes put on a dance show. Without a doubt, it’s shamelessly inspired by Hooters, although I can’t tell which one is worse at this point.
The point of this whole scene is that Mimi doesn’t quite understand that sexual implications of having her female classmates dress in less-than conservative attire. Mimi sees DATERS as a, “fun place to work at since eating there is a blast.” Her primary concern was to make the cultural festival fun and enjoyable for everyone. She was going to make the theme suggestive, and she didn’t even know it! Of course, the level of uncomfortableness with this idea was apparent with all of her classmates, but not to her. Why? Because she is pure. She is junshin. Not a single dirty thought crossed her mind. And that’s precisely what makes her appealing, not in just fun and cute way, but in that way, too.
Of course, this theory is all just purely speculation.