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Japan Subculture Research Center

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Fuzoku Friday: The Alibi


Dec 11, 2009

On an Internet message board, a concerned mother writes:


My child has been attending kindergarten from March, and since then I’ve been working as a delivery health girl. I tell my husband, “I’m still looking for a job.. today I went to the employment office but still haven’t been able to find anything,” but in reality I’m doing good business every weekday from 10am-3pm.

I want to tell the hubby that I’ve found a job, but am not sure how to go about it. Before I got pregnant I worked an office job, so I want to tell him I’ve found the same sort of work.

The delivery health place I work at has an alibi service, so I can tell him I’m a temp worker.. but I’m worried he won’t really believe me. I’m afraid I’ll give them a company name that doesn’t exist, and either he or my parents will be like, “I’ve never seen ads for that company…” or “What are you doing every day?”

What can I say that will be most believable? The shop I work at specializes in married women, so when I go I’m dressed in chic clothes like pencil skirts and look like an office worker. Since it starts at 10am, chances are I’ll never bump into my husband, but he takes weekdays off two or three times a month so he’ll see what I’m dressed like then.

I don’t want it to get out what I’m doing and it makes me think I should quit but don’t… I want to keep on working there for the time being. My husband would definitely never forgive me for something like this, and we’ve got a pretty good relationship right now.

I’m sorry for being so soft about the whole thing, but appreciate any replies.

Could you imagine if you had a wife or girlfriend that was sneaking off every day to work in the sex business while you’re in the office? Probably the majority of people couldn’t, and thus covering up a “high-income part-time job” is a real worry for a lot of fuzoku girls.

An alibi service website: good for home loans, credit card applications, getting your child into a good school, and prostitutes!

That’s when the alibi service comes into play. Much like similar services in the West, the alibi service will drum up evidence of fake jobs, including business cards, employee ID card and statements of income. But while most western alibi companies advertise their services for married people in “discreet relationships,” for those who want to take a day off of work or impress their friends with some ultra-cool job or sports experience, Japan’s alibi services don’t beat around the bush when they advertise their services for those working in “the nightlife business and sex industry.”

For a mere ¥5,000 a month, a girl can have a fake pay stub mailed to her home with the name of a temp agency, ad agency, real estate agent or retail business. Shop owners can get discounts when registering a group of women, which is how many fuzoku businesses advertised in magazines can provide alibi services to employees. The services specialize in other business as well, such as creating false documents such as statement of income for those looking to take out a home loan, finding a guarantor for those looking to rent an apartment, or proof of employment for those who want to put their children in daycare but don’t have a job.

But what about the query above? Are these things really believable? The top-rated reply:

I’m a woman in my 20s who also works in the fuzoku business.

I think it’s best to stick with the “office work” you’ve always been doing. If someone tries to ask about it, it’ll be that much easier to reply if you know the work. But if something happens and you get a call while you’re servicing a customer, you can’t answer, right? I am (of course) working int he industry without my parents knowing, so I tell them I’m a telephone operator. That way it makes sense when I don’t answer the phone.

What kind of services does the alibi company your shop uses have? Most of them provide verification of employment and fake pay stubs…

The place I work has two phone lines, one of which they answer under the name of the fake company created by the alibi service, so that when my parents or husband demand I give them my office number I’ve got something to give them.

If you’re worried about what you wear when you leave the house, I think it’s best to change at a station on the way or at the shop. (I know people who do this) Probably 20-30% of the women who do this work keep it a secret from their husband or boyfriend. But they all take it as far as they can to make sure they don’t get caught.

I think it’s best to get down a company phone number (with someone answering as an alibi), a company address (if the shop has an office, then that address), and what you do at work. Give a thorough look at job magazines and find a good setup from the start.

Finally, while you can obviously make a lot of money, the fact is that a lot of people can’t stop once they start. Create a financial goal for yourself and don’t be greedy; when you reach it, wash your hands of the whole thing so you don’t get found out by your family.

If this is what the person who asked the question has decided to do, then I think they can. Good luck.

9 thoughts on “Fuzoku Friday: The Alibi”
  1. I think she should just become a full time sex worker and not dilute herself to think being a sex worker while a wife and mother is anything but unhealthy both physically (stress) and mentally.

  2. I don’t think that love and sex are always the same and I don’t look down on women working in the sex industry but it’s manual labor and the health risks are high. However, I don’t think there’s any reason a woman can’t be a mother and a wife while doing the job. However, she should consider the health risks to her partner. In the same way, the men frequenting these places should be using condoms as well and telling their partners. Maybe the world isn’t ready for that kind of openness about sexuality. The ideal of sex between two partners who love each other and aren’t requiring payment for services rendered is not obsolete but not everyone has that relationship. People have needs; the market provides.
    At least in Japan, it is semi-legitimate so the sex-workers have rights–including the right to be paid.
    It also says a lot about Japan that women earn so much more working in the sex industry than they can at legitimate jobs and that the sex shops often offer better day care than corporations. The sexual inequality here is astounding.

  3. I think she should quit, obviously she’s very concerned about her partner finding out. I would think it wouldn’t end well if he does and he probably will. It’s so easy to slip on lies, especially lies that are as huge as this one.
    I hope she doesn’t own the Manual to Suicide when he finds out.


  4. Maybe this has been covered elsewhere, but I’m curious about why this woman has to work in that kind of job, when she is married to a working husband who obviously earns enough for their child to go to kindergarten. In other words, she’s not a desperate single mother, so why do such degrading work? What’s the back-story? Debts?

  5. Rin: Your guess is as good as mine, but I’d reckon that debts or desire for more disposal income are likely the two main reasons many women go into the business.

  6. I feel sympathetic that those women had to go into the fuuzoku trade because they were having problems with their marriages or debts…etc but on the other hand it is alarming to see if young girls take this as something perfectly fine and acceptable to make money on.
    Myself surely don’t want my children (I haven’t had any yet) to grow up in the future thinking that it is fine and acceptable to become a soapgirl or baishuun is an ordinary way of making money.

  7. Most of the girls in this industry have been semi-abandoned by their parents since childhood. A lot of fathers, many quite successful, never come home and have little responsibility in the house and there is little respect between the parents in a lot of families. So even if the girls could get by with less money doing other jobs there is a often times not much natural instinct for them that life is better or safer on the cleaner side of things. In Hong Kong and Taiwan young girls are more desperately in need of money but less likely to be involved in these types of risky behaviour because of positive feedback from their families.

    I think only education of the risks involved and less normalization of these types of activities in the media and tv dramas could help in Japan. Western cultures could probably be accused of the same things but I think there is a lot more coverage of the crime and violence involved and very few people would view Paris Hilton as a role model.

    1. Scott,
      You are correct. I see a lot of girls with no homes to go home to drift into the business. Sometimes, coerced, sometimes, tricked, sometimes, merely because there are no other choices that they can see. I wish that the problem were treated more seriously by the media and the government.

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