Icha Icha is a Japanese term used to describe anything from light flirting to making love. It includes things like ‘necking’ and ‘making out’, but also holding hands or even just entwining pinky fingers. Drawing close and giving long meaningful looks is also included in the realm of icha icha.
Traditionally, Japan is not a touchy country. Unless you are jammed up against somebody on a rush hour train, you tend to keep yourself to yourself. Just think of how hands off bowing, the traditional greeting between two people, is.
Although more young people these days tend to hold hands or hold on to each other in some way, kissing in public, is still quite taboo. It has always been quite shocking to see any couple kissing in the street or on the subway in Japan. (Possibly the refrain to “Get a room” or “take it elsewhere” is universal, but such public displays of affection have always been less frequent in Japan than say, the US or France.)
Being a relatively new thing, this public icha icha-ing, has no guidelines to it. More and more people find themselves in the uncomfortable situation of coming face to face with icha icha without knowing how to react to it.
Yahoo! Japan asked readers for their thoughts on where they draw the line on public displays of affection. In other words: How much public icha icha you are willing to put up with?