In Ginza, sexual harassment and power harassment are never tolerated, even by the biggest stars.
These are the words of a woman who has been in Ginza for 20 years and currently works as a mama at a famous high-class club.
This was over 30 years ago. When I was a reporter for FRIDAY and wanted to go out for a drink with my colleagues after a stakeout, the editor-in-chief at the time said to me, “If you are going out for a drink, you should have something to talk about.
If you’re going out for a drink, come up with a story, but don’t go to a cheap place. But don’t go to a cheap place; a 3,000-yen place will only have 3,000-yen stories.
In other words, he meant that if I went to a popular pub for a drink, I would not be able to pick up a big story because there were no celebrities there, but if I went to a place like a high-class club in Ginza, I would be able to get a big story that would become a scoop.
Believing the editor-in-chief’s words, I started going to Ginza that night to gather information, but most high-class clubs in Ginza do not accept first-time visitors. I was able to go to the first one through an introduction by the editor-in-chief, but it was difficult to get fresh information even if I kept going to the same club.
We needed as many and as wide a source of information as possible, so we began to explore other high-end restaurants, but again, none of them accepted “first-time customers. So, what to do is to ask the hostess or the hostess in charge at the club you have become a regular customer of to connect you with the club you want to go to.
Ginza clubs and the staff who work there have deep horizontal ties. Even if the clubs are different, there are always people who know each other, such as the moms, hostesses, boys, and porters, who take care of the cars of customers who come to the clubs.
Some people may wonder, “If they go to other stores, why would they introduce me to their own store if their sales will decrease?”
However, Ginza store owners do not have such a cheesy attitude. They say that since they are paying high prices, they want their customers to be satisfied with their services and have a pleasant experience. And because they all have pride and confidence, they do not worry about introducing customers to other stores and having them leave.
As the editor-in-chief said, there were many famous and big-name actors, celebrities, athletes, and presidents of major companies who could be the subject of a big story at the Ginza stores. Sometimes there were even Hollywood actors visiting Japan. Thus, the club activities in Ginza, which were called information gathering, continued for the next 10 years.
As a result, I was able to get a lot of information on affairs, including the marriages of popular Japanese celebrities, affairs of popular actors, affairs of popular professional baseball players, affairs of famous professional golfers, affairs of famous second-generation celebrities and businessmen, affairs of popular baseball managers, and so on.
I witnessed many entertainers and celebrities playing in this way, but I do not recall ever seeing a celebrity playing in such an ungraceful manner as Teruyuki Kagawa.
When Kagawa’s “forced wisecracks on a Ginza hostess” was first reported, we spoke to a TBS insider who told us, “The viewers’ opinions of the station were evenly split between condemnation and defense.
He told us, “The viewers’ opinions were split 50-50 between condemnation and defense.
The majority of the reasons for their advocacy were the same as those in the past. Most of the reasons given for defending the program seemed to be that it was a foolish thing to have done in the past and that the parties concerned had already discussed the matter.
Some of them were prejudiced, saying, “I guess the high fee includes the sexual harassment.
However, some of them were heard to say, “The high fee must include sexual harassment,” which was filled with prejudice.
There are a surprisingly large number of people who think this way. Most of them are older men, but they have probably never had a drink at a club in Ginza. In that atmosphere, there are eyes all around you, and people don’t usually do such things when the women don’t want to. It’s ridiculous to think that sexual harassment is included in the price, and it’s not a place where that kind of thing is done in the first place.
The former club owner said, “If it’s a man and he’s drinking, he’s not going to do it.”
I understand that if you are a man and you have been drinking, you may feel a little like that, but there is a limit, you know. But there is a limit. Many of the customers who come to Ginza clubs are very proud. They are concerned about what others think. They want to be liked by the women who come along. At the very least, they don’t want to be disliked. They want to be thought of as good customers. That’s why most customers don’t do anything that would make them feel unwanted or uncool.
Even so, there are customers who misunderstand us. But if they really don’t like it, most of them will stop. That is normal. Some people feel bad and leave quickly after being scolded, while others apologize and resume drinking. But the next time, they all become gentlemen.
Even customers who leave after being scolded have a high sense of pride, so they usually don’t come back. This means that they don’t have to be banned from the restaurant. Whether they are dealing with a big star or a corporate bigwig, they will clearly say no to what is not acceptable. It is also their pride.
In the case of Kagawa, the victim sued her mother, and she was not wrong.
And the voices defending Kagawa disappeared after the second edition of Shukan Shincho (September 8 issue) came out. Many people may have shuddered at the expression on Kagawa’s face. It was not a picture of the victim, but the picture had such a strong impact that Kagawa was driven into a corner, and women in Ginza who saw the picture
The women in Ginza who saw the photos said, “It is out of the question to have your underwear removed and your breasts touched directly, but it may be even more disgusting to have your hair set in a mess. I would like such customers to leave immediately.
In general, there are probably no women who do not mind being touched on the body, hair, or face by a man they do not like. And for the women who work in clubs, their hair and clothes are their “wardrobe. Many of them go to a beauty parlor every day before work to have their hair and makeup done. And it is not cheap.
But if their hair is messed up like in the photo, they can’t do their job and have no choice but to leave the club. If you are a mom, you can’t leave until the store closes, so you have no choice but to continue working in a miserable state. There is nothing more embarrassing, she says.
There are people who get in trouble for hitting people on the head over something, but if you look at the picture, Kagawa-san not only messed up Mom’s hair, but he pulled it up. I’ve never seen a customer do that. He is the most hated type.
Incidentally, the next most hated type of customer is the long-timer, or one who stays in the bar for a long time. It is said that the smart and well-liked type of customer is the one who drinks quickly and leaves quickly.
Kagawa has been humiliated to such an extent that it may be more difficult for him to return to Ginza than to return to TV. A return to Ginza may be more difficult than a return to TV.
Interview and text by： Hiroyuki Sasaki (Entertainment Journalist)
Born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Hiroyuki Sasaki became a reporter for FRIDAY at the age of 31, reporting numerous scoops during his time at FRIDAY and later working mainly for the weekly magazine. Currently, he also appears on TV and radio as a commentator.
PHOTO： Ippei Hara, Yusuke Kondo