In Kabukicho for Decades…52-Year-Old Host Talks about What “Fun to Work” Means
The reality of Piena, as depicted by a writer who is currently a student at Keio University. 4 years after Reiwa, Kabukicho is now ...... #28
In these days of declining birthrates and an aging society, the host industry is often thought to be filled with young, good-looking men, but there is a middle-aged man who continues to be an active host while being surrounded by young people.
I started hosting 23 years ago when I was 28,” he says cheerfully.
I started working as a host 23 years ago at the age of 28,” says Kokoro, who works at Kabukicho’s “Alice” host club. I started hosting 23 years ago when I was 28 years old. Yesterday, a 22-year-old “senior host” bought me dinner. In this world, it’s not a matter of age, but the person who was at the club before you is your senior,” he said with a laugh, looking back on his life.
My mother worked in the apparel industry, and because of her influence, I came to Tokyo from the countryside to pursue a career in the fashion industry. But I came into contact with something like the darkness of the industry. …… That’s when I learned about the host profession, where you can work in the fashion you love and attract good-looking men from all over the country. More importantly, I didn’t like my real name, so I felt I could start a different life with a different name: my real name.
Twenty years ago, host clubs had unreasonable hierarchical relationships, and there was no end to forced drinking and violence. Even so, the host clubs were comfortable for Kokoro. There was a time when he thought about getting married and took up another profession, but he recently resumed hosting for the first time in 10 years.
He says, “My marriage broke up when I found out my partner was cheating on me (laughs). It’s been very hard to be a host for the first time in 10 years. I live in a dormitory now, and I can’t get any nominations or sales. The girls tell me, ‘I’m older than your father!
The majority of the hosts around him are in their 20s. Isn’t it hard for you to make ends meet by helping them without a nomination? When asked this question, Kokoro answered cheerfully, “It’s hard for me to see how I am among the young girls.
I enjoy thinking about how I can serve the young people without being out of harmony with them and without forgetting my own personality. I can continue to learn about young people’s interests and hobbies. The good thing about being a host is that regardless of age, the person who makes the most sales is the one who is the best. Even now, I am aiming for the top. However, the reality is that my physical strength is declining and I can’t do as much as I used to, so I always feel a sense of crisis that I need to produce results soon. ……
One of the young hosts with whom I share a dormitory room says, “You have a lot of vitality. What does he do on his days off?
I enjoy going out to Instagram-worthy spots. Designed spaces such as restaurants and exhibitions showcase the talent and attention to detail of creators. Sometimes I get excited with customers talking about Insta-worthy spots, and because my job as a host allows me to have a lot of free time during the day, I enjoy being able to go out to many places.”
Having lived in Kabukicho for decades, Kokoro is positive to the point of positivity.
It’s interesting to see so many hosts making sales that would have been unthinkable in the past. I want to continue to live in this town while standing at the forefront of the industry.
At 52 years old, he is living each day as hard as he can despite his declining physical strength. Why not experience the unique charms of an “uncle hos” who has experienced both the sweet and sour sides of life?
Born in Tokyo in 2000.
After attending an integrated school in Tokyo from elementary school to high school, she went on to Keio University.
He has been going to Kabukicho since he was 15 years old and has a wide range of personal connections.
At the university, he is studying sociology of the downtown area including Kabukicho.
His book, ” Pien” to shakai” (“The Disease of ‘Pien’: Consumption and Approval of the SNS Generation”), is now on sale.
Interview and text： Sasaki Chihuahua