It’s one of the lesser known yet particularly problematic aspects of Japan’s idol industry and it has found itself in the spotlight once again. A recent tweet by Umiuminemui has ignited something of a social media storm, with tens of thousands of retweets and likes in reaction to her indignation over a chidol or junior event in which underage girls (apparently preteens) are put on show for older men to touch and hug. One minute of shaking hands with and talking to your tweenager idol costs you ¥3,000. In the pictures, grown men are shown holding, leaning over, and playing Twister with young girls who are not just legal minors — they are children. Umiuminemui also notes her shock and distaste that the young girls’ parents would allow them to be subjected to this kind of behavior. In the face of increasing media outrage, especially overseas, the junior idol industry is suffering as retailers like DMM stop selling its content. However, it should be noted that the members of major idol groups like AKB48 and its spin-offs often first join when they are still underage, legally speaking, and the performers are presented in music videos and photo shoots in ways that sexualize them while nonetheless retaining their adolescent look. The line between “junior idol” and regular “idol” is decidedly blurry. Certain junior idols have graduated to more mainstream careers as adults in singing or gravure modeling, not least Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who used to be known as child idol Kiriko Takemura. Others move into full-on adult video.