If you have talent, you can afford about one million yen a month…” Why “catchers” of young people are increasing drastically in “Kabukicho”? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

If you have talent, you can afford about one million yen a month…” Why “catchers” of young people are increasing drastically in “Kabukicho”?

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Where are you planning to go? I can introduce you if you like.

Many of you may remember being approached by touts or catchers like this while walking downtown. In Kabukicho, one of Japan’s most popular shopping districts, there has been a major change in catches over the past few years.

The change is that the number of catches has increased to the point that the streets are overflowing.

The cause is the outbreak of the new coronavirus. The COVID-19 crisis has kept customers away for several years. In the past, Kabukicho would have attracted a certain number of customers without putting much effort into attracting them.

However, due to the coronavirus, customers who would have come to the stores without doing anything have left Kabukicho.

The advertising trucks with the store names and pictures of hosts and cabaret girls, which are synonymous with Kabukicho, are expensive and ineffective in attracting customers, but the pride of the stores is at stake, so they cannot stop. But the shops’ pride is on the line, and they cannot stop.

In a way, it’s like Kabukicho. It’s like Kabukicho in a way; I think it’s a culture.

A man who works as a catch in Kabukicho told us the following about the current state of catch in Kabukicho.

There are a lot of people who start catching, but there are also a lot of people who quit. My impression is that about 80% of them quit right away because they can’t make money. Many of the catchers who can make a lot of money go out on their own to start their own men’s esthetic salons when they have enough money, and there is a lot of turnover.

Many young people start catching in Kabukicho because they hear they can make a lot of money, but they wonder, “How many customers will stop by? How many customers will they attract? The job seems to be a simple one, but it is a job that requires a good sense of humor.

In a typical month, I make about 2 million yen. These days, many stores have a system where the catch is paid directly from the first order when the customer enters the store, so I can earn several tens of thousands of yen just by sending one person to the store. I work as a catch on the side, but I make much more money this way.”

In this way, the system is such that a reasonable amount of money is paid to the catch if he or she leads one person to the store, so if the catch has skill, he or she can make quite a bit of money.

The yakuza have taken notice of the catchers and touts who are in such a bubble. As in the dramas and comic books, each yakuza clan has its own territory.

They tell me to tout only on this street. Each ass-holder is assigned to a different street and has a specific place to work. Also, there are rules among the catchers, such as not interrupting while someone is talking to you.

Most catchers follow the rules and rarely get into trouble, but on the rare occasions when trouble does occur, it is usually resolved through discussion.

The reason for this is that if they cause a violent incident and can no longer do business here, they will lose their future source of income.

If there is a bad catch who does not abide by the rules, an “ass-holder” will come out. The ass-holders are yakuza. The catch can do whatever he wants here, but he has to abide by the rules set by the ass-holder. As long as you follow the rules, the ass-holders will solve any trouble on their own.

Even though the yakuza have faded from the Kabukicho scene, they seem to be alive and well among the backstage business people, including the “catches.

Paying 50,000 yen a month to an ass-holder gives the ass-holder the right to tout at this location. By yielding 50,000 yen every month, they can solve incidents that happen here, including problems with the catches.

It is the yakuza who lay down the rules and solve the problems of those who deviate from those rules. Apparently, the composition of gangsters and nightclubs may not have changed over the years.

A catch actually calling out to you
A catch actually calling out to a customer
Sales chart of the catches mentioned in the article
  • Reporting and writing Midori Shirakami

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