Guy helps himself to a view under the privacy curtain.

While men and women mix freely in most parts of Japanese society, there are certain places that are off-limits to guys. Women-only train cars during rush hour, which are meant to prevent gropers from taking advantage of crowded conditions to mask their crimes, are the most noticeable, but there are also certain hotels and gyms where guys are barred from entrance.

But there’s a gray area of women-only spaces in Japan that’ll you’ll find at video game arcades. Pretty much every arcade in Japan has a sizable section of sticker picture booths, called “purikura” (short for “print club,” one of the first sticker picture brands to make it big), that males aren’t allowed to set foot in…unless they’re accompanied by at least one female. Guy who’s out with your girlfriend, and she wants to take some purikura? No problem. Father who’s with his wife and kids? Also OK. Part of a mixed-gender group of friends? Sure.

Groups of guys only, though, and especially single guys, however, are generally not welcome in the purikura sections, and many arcades even put up signs announcing it as an official policy. Some might argue that a blanket ban is overly strict, but Japanese Twitter user @sumiree__oo recently posted a since-protected video showing the sort of thing the rule is trying to prevent.

▼ A duplicate of the original video

According to @sumiree__oo’s tweets, the video was recorded at a branch of large-scale arcade Round One near Yokohama Station. As it begins, a man can be seen standing outside a purikura booth that a woman has just walked into, and once she closes the curtain, he crouches down, as though he’s about to peek under it. Before he does, though, he stands back up and looks in the direction of the camera being used to film the video, almost as if he’s aware he’s being watched. Suddenly, though, he crouches down again, and this time sticks his head underneath the curtain.

After getting an eyeful, the man retracts his head and walks out of the purikura area, though the fact that he only pulls out his phone as he walks away suggests he wasn’t attempting to take an upskirt photo. Not taking a commemorative picture doesn’t get a person off the hook for peeping, however, and some Twitter commenters speculated he may have also been looking to steal a woman’s bag, if he could find one that had been left on the floor while its owner had her hands full flashing peace signs for the camera.

@sumiree__oo says the video was recorded by a woman she was with, and that she herself informed an employee about the man.

While rules against unaccompanied men in purikura sections are extremely common, arcades generally don’t have full-time security personnel solely assigned to enforcing the ban. With modern purikura booths almost universally having long opaque curtains at the entrance (to block out ambient light and produce better-looking pictures), it’s a good idea to keep any belongings you’ve brought in with you, as well as yourself, away from the entrance flap to help protect against unwanted hands and eyes.

Source: Twitter/@sumiree__oo via Twitter/@rei_wa_chan via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he misses the days of regional purikura frames.