A ship is a soap and a car is a delicatessen…! The meaning of the “cryptic pictograms of adult entertainment and illegal activities” used in Kabukicho is too deep. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

A ship is a soap and a car is a delicatessen…! The meaning of the “cryptic pictograms of adult entertainment and illegal activities” used in Kabukicho is too deep.

The reality of Piena, as depicted by a writer who is currently a student at Keio University. 4 years after Reiwa, Kabukicho is now ...... #67

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Is anyone interested in the “elephant, tree, waving emoji?” Such posts appeared on social networking sites in the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku in the summer. In order to avoid being caught in online searches, sexual customs and illegal activities are converted into such cryptic pictograms and spread among people. Can you guess what these cryptograms are? Elephants, trees, waving bye-bye and waving pictograms. …… Yes, the correct answer is “organ trafficking. Although it would be nice if organ trafficking were not solicited with such a pop pictogram, this kind of cloak culture is popular in Kabukicho.

In the second installment of this series in 2010, we introduced the use of a pictogram with a crossed hammer to indicate “adult” (sexual activity) in papa activities and the like. Other pictograms include “dinner” for a meal, and “teacups” for a meeting at a café. These pictogram cloaks are now quite diverse.

This is a profile of a Kabukicho girl. More than half of the sentences use “cryptic pictograms.

Beginner’s level

The basic examples are “bathtub” and “car,” which are pictogram cloaks used in soapland and delicatessen, respectively.

I often use them when I write about my work in my profile on social networking sites, such as “car girl” or “bathtub/car girl”. I use them because they are convenient and only those who understand them will understand. I combine it with another cloak and use “hotel” and “car” to describe a delicatessen that goes to a hotel.There are alsoホテル〉〈walking人〉 ♀” and “〈 hotel〉,” which refers to hotel girls.

While delicatessen girls are dispatched to a wide area and mainly travel by car, hoteheru girls walk to the neighborhoods themselves, hence the use of these pictograms. On the other hand, the cloak for the few “Hakkoheru” (storefront health clubs without a production line) is described as “cardboard,” a pictogram of a box.

While the sex industry is described in detail using a variety of cryptic pictograms, the water business in general, such as “champagne glass” and “champagne,” is described broadly using a pictogram of champagne, he said.

There is no big difference between lounges, galleries, and cabarets, and they don’t have to operate illegally, so you can just call them ‘cabarets. I don’t think there’s any need to be particular about the secret word.

Intermediate level

The more illegal the industry is, the more cryptic pictograms are developed, especially among prostitutes.

The most difficult ones to distinguish for non-native users are “〈Ramen〉〈Esthetic salon〉♀” and “〈風船〉〈Esthetic salon〉♀”. They refer to men’s esthetic salons and sex salons, respectively. There is almost no difference between the two, but “風船(風船) Esthetic salon” has a nuance of assuming that the services are provided without any extras. However, there are still illegal establishments, no matter what kind of signage they use, so if the establishment is completely wholesome, it is written as ‘wholesome ramen.

Some of the girls cutely describe themselves as “oil painters. What they do is to apply oil to the old man’s skin. ……

Another common pictogram that I have seen recently is the “airplane” pictogram. The “airplane” pictogram is a cover-up for the word “migrant worker abroad,” and beside the “airplane” is a pictogram of the flag of the country in which the migrant worker has traveled. Looking only at their social networking profiles, which are lined with flags, they appear to be Instagram girls who love to travel, but what they are doing is something else entirely.


Now, the profile that includes all these cryptic words is the image above.

The first thing to notice is the name “assistant executive officer,” which is the host’s job title. She has also included the position of her nominated supervisor in her own profile, which suggests that she is a host fanatic. The (complete/5) (3/7) next to it is her migrant schedule, meaning that she has completed five days of migrant work and is currently on the third day of a seven-day migrant work schedule. While calling himself a Kabukicho beginner, it is clear that he is a fierce competitor who has been crossing between men’s esthetic salons and papa’s dating clubs, and occasionally going to work as a delicatessen worker. It also says that he is over 20 years old and his main job is a student …….

Residents of Kabukicho use these kinds of cloak-and-dagger language to vent out their daily complaints on SNS, exchange information with other members of the same profession, and communicate with customers. One might think, “Why don’t they just not use SNS if they’re going to go to the trouble of talking in a secret language? ……,” but for these women who want to release their daily frustrations, it is an indispensable activity.

Sasaki Chihuahua
Born in Tokyo in 2000. After attending an integrated school in Tokyo from elementary school to high school, she went on to Keio University, where she has been living in Kabukicho since she was 15 years old and has a wide network of contacts. At university, he is studying the 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.

From the September 8, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

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