Attenders” have become well known among the general public since the emergence of Yoshikazu Azumaya, a.k.a. Garsy. Their existence, which serves to connect entertainers with the general public or between entertainers, has been quite useful for entertainers who find it difficult to openly associate with the opposite sex.
Before the spread of social networking services and the ability for anyone to send messages to celebrities, Ms. A, a woman in her 40s, was herself an attendant and a so-called “pro-girlfriend” who was dating celebrities.
Ms. A had her first contact with a so-called “celebrity” more than 20 years ago, when she was in high school. It was when she was a high school student. The story goes back to the summer vacation of her junior year of high school, when she went to a theater to see a solo live performance by B, who belonged to a major entertainment company that she had been supporting through TV.
At the live performance, there was an audience participation quiz, and Ms. A raised her hand to answer the question and went up on stage. This experience would change her life forever (all statements in parentheses are her own).
The live performance itself went off without incident, but I did receive a comment on my questionnaire that read something like, “Thank you very much for putting me up on stage. I put a photo sticker with my PHS number on it along with a comment like, “I had a lot of fun.
Later that night, I received a phone call from someone claiming to be a staff member, saying, “We are having a launch party right now, would you like to come? I later learned that he was not a staff member, but a junior comedian.
Mr. A, who was staying at his sister’s house in Tokyo, could not suppress his excitement and headed for the venue.
She said, “My sister said, ‘You don’t have that kind of chance, so you should go. My sister told me, ‘You won’t have that chance, so you should go. If you hear from your parents, I’ll take care of the rest. So I joined the launch. Later, I found out that such things are done on a daily basis, such as ‘If I find a girl I like among the fans, I will contact her.
B was Mr. A’s first contact with a celebrity, and even after B quit his career as a comedian, they have been friends for 20 years. After that, Mr. A began to study for the entrance exam. It was not until after she entered a famous private university in Tokyo, a regular participant in the Hakone Ekiden (relay relay race), that she began to interact with them in earnest. From here, she would spend about four years as an attendant.
“When I was accepted to the university, Ms. B. started to expand her network of contacts at once. She said, “Now that I’m a college student, you should introduce me to someone cute. Since many of my friends around me were also showy, they would say, “Well, I like comedian Dare Dare Dare, so introduce me to him.
I began to think that it was easy to connect with celebrities, and that they were not so far away from me, even though it was not an everyday occurrence for me to be involved with them.
After the hurdle to contact them was lowered, Mr. A began to take action to expand his own network of contacts.
“I had always liked sports, so I thought, ‘I don’t need to be a comedian to do this,'” he said. I started going to soccer games in the countryside and waiting for people to come out and give me their contact information. I played a lot with players from the J1 League and the Japanese national team.
As he expanded his scope of activities by focusing on “comedians” and “soccer players,” his life became more and more lavish in proportion to his gradually growing network of contacts.
Attendants are often called in the middle of the night, so they live in Minato-ku, where they can move quickly. I lived in Azabu Juban, too. Some girls who lived in the suburbs would call my house or the house of a friend who lived in Minato-ku their “waiting place,” and they would wait for me, saying, “I think I’ll hear from you today.
When I played with them, I often went to places where I could hide and where they could keep secrets from me, rather than to high-class restaurants. When it came to that, I was often in Minato-ku or Ebisu. They were usually izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) on the second floor of a building, where you would have to be someone you knew to get there.
Since then, Ms. A has experienced both the sweet and sour sides of love with celebrities through her relationships with the comedy duo X, who are currently popular on variety shows and have opened a private exhibition of their paintings, a specialty of theirs, and the big-name sibling duo Y. She says, “You can’t always say that about a celebrity.
Looking back on those days, she says, “With every celebrity, there is always another woman who is just like you.”
After that, Mr. A did not develop a relationship, but preferred to keep it casual, going on trips with several people and enjoying drinks at home. Among them was comedian Z, who announced the breakup of the duo in their later years.
He was like a father to all of us, like a big brother. Of course, Mr. Z was single, too, and we had a lot of fun, going to his apartment in Ebisu, where he lived at the time, and going on trips to Atami.
After dating a TV man, Mr. A moved away from Minato Ward, where he used to play on a daily basis, and since then, he no longer plays the role of an attendant.
Mr. A, who now runs his own business in Tokyo, recalls those days.
In the end, I wanted to satisfy my need for approval. I think I wanted to be lifted up by playing with men who had money and status.
So, since the development of social networking, are attendants really no longer needed? When we finally asked Mr. A, he gave us a surprising answer.
If anything has changed with the development of social networking, it is that it has brought even more people into it. In the past, we used to go hand-deliver a piece of paper with our contact information on it, but it turned into a social networking DM, and what was then a photo sticker is now just a post (post). Those ordinary people are now also becoming attendees.”
The old-fashioned people are definitely still around,” A-san says with a strong sense of conviction. There are those who continue to be thoroughly in the dark, and there are newcomers through social networking services.
A single interaction with a celebrity through a chance DM connection stimulates the desire for another interaction. In fact, in today’s world where the desire for approval continues to grow with the advent of SNS, such interactions may be even more inundated.
As long as the young port city girls’ desire for approval is not satisfied, will attendants continue to be established in different forms?
Interview and text： Miho Honma