Sometimes a risque book title results in unintended victims.

The novel Otto No Chinpo go Hairanai (My Husband’s Dick Doesn’t Go In) tells the autobiographical story of an anonymous housewife who goes by the pen name Kodama. The titular body part is meant to be both real and figurative as the book describes the connection between the lack of both mental and physical intimacy of the married couple.

Kodama admits the choice of words in the title was a difficult one, but with “chinpo” (dick) being the core theme of the book, it needed to be included. Also, she didn’t want to sound evasive by toning it down with childish or scientific language. It was a risky move when it was released in 2017, but it seems to have paid off as it became a best-seller and is in the works to be adapted into a television series in 2019.

▼ To conceal her identity Kodama appears in public wearing a variety of masks.

The success in itself is a nice story of a writer sticking to their vision and not kowtowing to nervous publishers and online language filters. However, there has been one unexpected snag in the book’s existence.

According to a column in magazine Shukan Bunshun by fellow novelist Mariko Hayashi, there have been instances of men calling up bookstores with young female clerks repeatedly and asking them about the book in an effort to get them to say the title out loud.

There aren’t enough details to know whether this is just a childish type of prank or guys trying to get some sort of thrill out of the experience, but it raises the interesting legal question of whether or not it’s a crime to call a book store and make the clerk say, “My Husband’s Dick Doesn’t Go In.”

▼ Some bookstores seem to have really embraced the concept with creative displays

Legal advice website Bengoshi Dot Com consulted attorney Chie Terabayashi on the matter. She explains that it could fall under “obstruction of business” a wide reaching definition of crime that basically means impeding a store or office’s ability to conduct regular business.

This law gets used a lot in Japan in unusual cases such as guys stabbing themselves to get out of work, riding on the outside of a train, and paying for lunch with bloodstained cash.

In this instance too, if someone were to repeatedly call a store to ask for My Husband’s Dick Doesn’t Go In they would be inhibiting the store’s ability to function normally, and the caller could face up to three years in prison or a 500,000 yen (US$4,400) fine.

However, simply asking for the title of the book once would hardly be obstructing business. In fact, it appears to be quite the opposite, so even if the staff suspects someone is jerking them around, it would be hard to prove they intended to obstruct business in a court of law.

▼ Staff also have the option of using the book’s alternate title Otochin, used in public ads like billboards and newspapers.

On the other hand, depending on the way the “customer” asked for the book it could fall under Article 1-31 of the Minor Offense Act: Interfering with another person’s work by means such as a prank, etc. This could result in an arrest and small fine, or something heavier depending on the perpetrator’s history.

But perhaps a simpler solution is just to send the caller a copy of the book. It certainly appears that these kind of guys are the ones most in need of the insights My Husband’s Dick Doesn’t Go In has to offer.

Source: Bengoshi Dot Com, Shio De Momu
Top image: Pakutaso