Taiwan has a small population, so there is a strong sense of competing not domestically, but globally. That’s what attracted me to Taiwan. Our goal is to beat Fanza. We want to break into the global adult industry.
This is how former charismatic actor in the adult film world, Taka Kato (64), boldly states it. In July of this year, he signed a contract with the Taiwanese adult content distribution service “SWAG” and has been providing Japanese porn know-how as an advisor. When we interviewed the legend who has started his “second life in adult films,” he spoke about his ambitious ambitions (all statements in parentheses are Kato’s).
Kato said, “It was around November of last year that I had concrete plans to enter the AV industry. Taiwan lifted the ban on pornography in the country several years ago, and the industry has been growing rapidly, driven by the demand for COVID-19 crisis nest eggs. Strictly speaking, however, it is not at a level that can be called porn. The ban has only been lifted for a short period of time, and the specific skills needed to showcase the work are not yet in place. There are only girls who are like, ‘I like H, so maybe I can be an actor.
That’s where I was called in. Right now, I’m still only giving them simple advice. For example, what kind of posture should I use in the doggy position so that I don’t get tired easily, if I want to break into the Japanese market, I should make the girls feel embarrassed even if they are acting, and I shouldn’t cast girls with tattoos because they will feel more rejected. The real show is yet to come.”
He also plans to teach his signature gold finger.
I’m the only one who can use that technique, but I’m going to teach it. In the future, I plan to start a school for actors. I don’t think it’s necessary to teach girls the technique. It’s more natural that way. That’s why the actor’s ability is tested. The Japanese porn industry has developed because of the high level of actors.
Kato is enjoying the challenge of being in an untapped area of porn. But why did he choose Taiwan over Japan as the stage for his return to the scene? One reason, she said, was the momentum of the industry, but she also mentioned the “limitations” of the Japanese adult film industry as another factor.
In the past,” he said, “it was a mess. For example, in the case of molestation films, a large number of staff would surround the actors and actresses on the actual train to hide them from view. They would say, ‘If it’s on that line, we won’t be caught’ (laughs).
(Laughs.) I understand that such things are not acceptable today. However, there are too many excessive external restrictions, such as the “New AV Law” (AV Appearance Damage Prevention and Relief Law). The example I just gave is extreme, but there is a climate in other countries that allows for more freedom in the production of works. Furthermore, there is the possibility of expanding into Japan and then into the world. If that happens, the question is, which will you choose?
At one time, there were rumors that he would retire from the ED and that he was battling cancer. When asked about these rumors, he laughed them off and revealed his true feelings about the possibility of returning to the actor’s career.
He said, “The ED and the cancer are all false (laughs). I’m in good health, and I could make a comeback if I wanted to. I didn’t quit because I couldn’t do it anymore. If it is necessary for Taiwanese porn to go global, I will act as an actor.
The “Blank Decade” since Retirement
Kato has been active on the front lines for 25 years since his debut as an adult film actor in 1988. He is said to have earned 300 million yen throughout his career, and has appeared in more than 15,000 films. Then, in August 2001, he suddenly announced his retirement. The reason behind his retirement was the death of his father.
I lost my father in 2011. In his later years, he used to sit in front of the TV every day, drinking tea, eating rice, and taking a bath (……). He used to be a stubborn old man. He used to be a stubborn old man, but I thought, ‘In the end, he died without doing anything. At that time, I suddenly asked myself, ‘Is there anything left to do? Is there anything I haven’t done yet? Is it OK to keep going on like this?
I had already decided to retire, but there are a lot of actors who say, “I’m quitting” to create a buzz and then stay on for 10 years or more. I don’t like that kind of approach. So I really didn’t make a public announcement until right before I left.
After that, Kato completely disappeared from the public eye. What on earth was he doing?
I spent the first three years after I retired doing whatever I could to take care of myself. I played golf, which I love, every week. That’s why I became so good at golf after I turned 50 (laughs). Recently, I won a competition sponsored by former gymnast Yukio Ikeya.
But while I was playing, I ran out of money. I was divorced and gave all my money to my ex-wife. That’s when I started working around ’16.
After his father passed away, he launched a management company, “Kato Taka Shoten,” with the idea of “doing something,” and when it started full-fledged operations, he received inquiries from many companies. Rakuten offered him a billboard position for adult goods, and ANA offered him a job as a billboard model for a Chinese e-commerce site.
Japanese porn actors are very famous in Taiwan, China, and other Asian countries. Japanese porn actors are very famous in Taiwan, China, and other parts of Asia. Pirated copies of Japanese porn have been leaked in those areas for a long time. I think they wanted my name recognition to expand into Asia. But it didn’t go very well.
Still, as he struggled, he found a connection with SWAG, the distribution service mentioned earlier. Kato also plans to develop a new business in Japan.
I’m planning to open a body makeover store for women that will incorporate massage, bodywork, and esthetics,” she said. I have already found an investor and plan to start within a year.
After 10 years of blank space, Kato continues to be active in a variety of genres. We asked him about his goals for the future.
As I said at my retirement press conference at the time, I have zero regrets about the AV industry. I just found something I thought was interesting in the world of porn. But since I’m going to do it, I want to give it my all and go for the top. The bigger the dream and the bigger the crotch, the better, right? (laughs).
The legend’s eyes were shining like a boy’s as he spoke of his ambitions.
From the September 1, 2023 issue of “FRIDAY
PHOTO： Shinji Hamasaki