Thursday, January 20, 2005

Breakthrough: 2005 the Year of Asian Naturism

It's been some time since I last updated this blog, but that's because there has been little naturist news of importance in Asia. But all that has changed now, with what could be potentially the biggest story in naturism for Asia this year, and for a much longer period beyond: the first naturist resort in Asia is in the works! Media reports in Hong Kong say naturists in the former British colony are asking for permission to take over a deserted outlying island and set up a naturist area there. The resort would include a holiday villa, and areas for swimming, hiking, boating, barbecues and yoga. The Body Arts Association - a wellknown local group which links art with naturism - says all visitors to the resort will have to go naturist. If the plan goes ahead and Hong Kong does get its first naturist resort, that will have a highly symbolic value for all of Asia. People outside of Asia may not realize it, but Hong Kong could be called the capital of East Asia, because of its role as the regional headquarters for a high amount of international companies in general business and in the media, and because of its highly-educated, wealthy and travel-happy residents. In addition, Hong Kong is also a major travel hub, where flights between Japan, China, Taiwan, East Asia, Europe and North America interconnect. Naturists in Taiwan, just something more than an hour away, and in China, where admittedly naturism is not so developed yet, might well see Hong Kong as the place to go. Taiwanese already come to Hong Kong for shopping and food, so why not for naturism. If Hong Kong's naturists can overcome expected objections from stuffy bureaucrats, and from the spirit of prudish British, Confucian and Chinese Communist officials, then Hong Kong could well become the hub of Asian naturism as well. This is excellent news to start off the year, and could turn 2005 into the Year of Asian Naturism!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Taiwan's Peeping Tom Law: Lifting a Barrier to Naturism

Taiwan’s legislature is working on a law that will finally tackle the problem of “peeping toms” on the island. Over the past years, media have reported numerous incidents of men using tiny cameras to take pictures of women in changing rooms and toilets, couples making love in hotel rooms, or even the underwear of women traveling on the subway. The pictures would then wind up on the Internet or be sold as tapes and DVDs at night markets.
Those practices are without a doubt also one of the strong impediments in the way of the development of naturism in Taiwan, apart from the laws that ban public nudity. If “peeping tom” behavior can be curtailed, then would-be naturists will have one more incentive to take the final step and try it out, even if they still have to hide from the police.
The law will mete out sentences of up to three years in prison or 30,000 New Taiwan dollars – just under 1,000 US dollars – to people found taping or photographing private parts of people without their consent. The amendment to the Criminal Code passed its second reading on Tuesday, January 4, which means a third reading and signing by the president is only a matter of time. Only people who know their privacy has been violated have recourse under the law.
We applaud any law that removes obstacles to naturism, though the final step still has to be taken: removing or amending the law that completely outlaws public nudity, even if it is in the privacy of one’s home or garden, or in “public” spaces that would be specially reserved for naturist recreation.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Nude New Year's Eve Rugby in Taiwan

Temperatures in Taiwan fell to 5 degrees Celsius over the New Year, and light snow fell on the mountain tops around the capital Taipei. But that didn’t stop people from practicing what must be the closest thing to a naturist tradition on the conservative island: the annual nude rugby match by alumni of National Taiwan University.
For the first time, the press – in this case, the mass circulation evening newspaper, the China Times Express – also published a picture of the participants: more than 20 men of various ages. This time, the players also invited their wives and girlfriends along, but only to watch, not to participate.
Because of the unnaturally low temperatures, the rugby team first went to drink some alcohol before moving into the NTU campus after 11 pm. The game used to take place on a campus sports field, but because of “concern” by university management, the players had to move to a mere grass field.
The China Times Express article says the tradition began the last day of 1999, and the teams include university professors, businessmen, judges and prosecutors, lawyers, accountants and doctors.
The picture from the newspaper was on its website Saturday, but I don’t know how long it will stay there. The accompanying article is in Chinese, of course. The rather long address is:,3687,940101022+0+0+180211,00.html