Japan’s Contemporary Phenomenon

Host and hostess clubs have become increasingly popular in Japan, whether it’s going to one or working at one. Specifically hostess stemmed from early Japanese history were geishas,  where they would either sell themselves or entertain (the more educated women wouldn’t have to sell themselves) men. In modern times, hostess now mirror geisha many centuries back with variation. The main difference is that sexual intercourses are not allowed (unless secretively), instead they sell their time and attention to men who seek them.

In Japan, and most of Asia in general, parents are very strict with their children to ensure that they obtain  a proper education in which they will use to succeed in life. The ultimate goal for the parents is that their children have a stable career along with a loving family but recently that is not the case. It had worsen with the recession. In 2009 there was a survey for the top 40 occupation after high school and out of 1,154 girls, becoming a hostess was ranked number 12. It’s ridiculous to think that young high school girls want to earn their living by talking and drinking with men at night, but on the other hand I wouldn’t blame them. There are many perks to working at a hostess club. You give your time and attention to men and in return you get paid for it along with a percentage of the commission you bring into the club, get pampered by men, receive expensive gifts, and the fact that it’s easy money, or so it seems.

Even with so many perks, there is always a darker side to it. These women that spends their night in the company of men who are willing to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars, are still bogged with physical and mental stress. They are forced to drink whenever their client orders champagne etc, but it doesn’t stop after one client. The next client she would have to do the same to show courtesy and she will have to keep drinking till the night is over then start again the next day. Some women would even have to go in the back room to vomit so that they can intake more alcohol. Sooner or later it takes a toll on their body and eventually they would have to retire. Aside from the stress they take onto their bodies, they are also mentally exhausted. They have to lie to their clients, praise them,  be attentive to their needs and keep them entertained. There may even be competition with other hostess clubs in the same area or even against their own coworkers who wants to be at the top in term of sales.

Despite the stress, many women and even girls aspire to be hostess. They can earn anywhere between anywhere between “$100,000 a year, and as much as $300,000 for the biggest stars” which makes perfect sense considering the current state Japan economy is in (Tabuchi).

I find it so interesting that with such a conservative appearance that Asia emit, as well as stereotyping Asian to be smart and successful, a phenomenon in which not just women but even men sell their time to entertain those of the opposite gender. Personally, I think that it is not a job that I would ever step foot in because of the stress that is involved, but it’s understandable that many would want to take on this job. The pay is good and if you’re good at it, there’s nothing to complain about (well besides that fact that you’re killing yourself from the inside). As a solution to the problem, if there is one, that Atsushi Miura, an author on a book of why women want to become hostesses, has stated that Japan needs to create more jobs for the younger generation. I believe that it’s true but at the same time with the recession, where are the jobs going to come from? We already have a hard time with creating jobs for our country, I wonder how they will.

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About psupopa

I like to run.
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