The usually in-depth and well-written website Neojaponisme had a very interesting article about the Cabaret Club girl boom in Japan that is a nice companion/supplementary piece to Hiroko Tabuchi-san’s excellent article. The adult entertainment industry in Japan is a fascinating thing—and this piece, Kyabajo Japan, does a very good analysis of the social and cultural phenomenon behind the Cabaret Club Girl As Celebrity and examines some of the better Japanese writings on the subject. The hostess clubs and cabaret clubs of Japan seem to be permanently embedded in the landscape of the Japanese night, although the use of the these places to “conduct business” or “entertain clients” seems to be declining and several DPJ politicians recently came under fire for trying to claim their expensive hostess club forays as political activities and expensing them with political funds. Well, we’ll save that digression for another time. An excerpt from the Neojaponisme feature is below and the full article is on their website.
The publication of the magazine Koakuma Ageha in 2005 sent a shock-wave through Japanese society: when did cabaret-club hostesses become socially accepted to the degree that they have their own widely-available fashion magazine? And when did “kyabakura girl” become a glamorous and enviable occupation for young women? The answers to these questions were not apparent. And since the Japanese media is not allowed to talk about trends in terms of socioeconomic class or subculture, Koakuma Ageha’s popularity gave the impression that all young women, no matter the family background, have suddenly clamored to work nights in Kabukicho. (–JRSC note–but it’s not that simple, as the author explains. For more read the rest of the article by clicking the link here)