Naked Director Author’s Insight: Midnight Shinjuku Kabukicho, Japan’s Wonderland | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Naked Director Author’s Insight: Midnight Shinjuku Kabukicho, Japan’s Wonderland

Where does this town's "attraction" come from? The Tokyu Kabukicho Tower towers over the town, a town of desire.

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Nonfiction writer Nobuhiro Motohashi reports on Kabukicho

Pay me, pay me, pay me!

A woman in her early twenties clutches the left arm of an elderly man firmly and clings to him, refusing to let him go.

The man, with a puzzled look on his face, pushes his way to shake the young woman off.

It is the cold winter winds of Okubo Park in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

After about 40 minutes of sexual intercourse, they stand in the park again.

They are called “tachinbo.

Until about 20 years ago, “tachinbo” were positioned at the bottom of the hierarchy in the sex industry. Soap girls and delicatessen girls who had become too old to find customers had no choice but to stand on the streets and take customers as freelance sex workers. Since there is no store in between, all the money paid by the customers goes into their pockets. In the old days, the yakuza would collect 3,000 yen per person as a “shoba-fee,” but with the enactment of the Anti-Gang Law in 1992 and the explosive increase in the number of stand-up girls and customers in the park, the yakuza could no longer collect the fee, and the girls could use the entire amount as their own income. For these women, it is a cash income for the day, and they cannot stop.

On the other hand, it has become a social problem that women become tachinbo in Okubo Park, where they can earn quick money to play at host clubs in Kabukicho.

Because they are freelance, these women have to solve their own problems. The stand-up girl at the beginning of this story probably had a dispute after leaving the hotel because she could not receive money from the man.

As a rule in underwater sexual negotiations, it is too late for the customer to cancel after the woman has stripped naked. Cancellation is not possible once the woman has undressed. The case at the beginning of this article is probably at this stage.

In this kind of negotiation, the principle is to pay in advance. In this case, the woman does not put the cash in her wallet but leaves it on the table. This was invented because some customers take money out of their wallets when they take a shower or go to the restroom.

The man and the woman walk toward Seibu-Shinjuku station, entangling with each other. I was tempted to follow them, but decided to give priority to the Okubo Park area.

Kabukicho is the best place to explore the forefront of the sex scene.

In the 43 years since I began my writing career, I have walked and written about this town as if I were making fixed-point observations.

Here is my latest report on Kabukicho, Shinjuku.

Waiting for the “reverse stand-up

After Corona, Okubo Park was in chaos. Standing girls had appeared around Okubo Hospital, which is located next to the park, and the area was packed with men who were buying them. It was like a festival spectacle.

When the event was picked up on YouTube and social networking sites, even more people gathered, and even onlookers started to gather.

Standing girls, which used to be synonymous with older prostitutes, have been replaced by young amateurs around 20 years old, and at 15,000 yen, they are now inexpensive. Thus, Okubo Park was transformed into a festival.

The area around the park, which had been neglected, changed after the police busted it last fall.

At the end of December, when I visited the park for the first time in a long while, I saw no standing handcuffs, or rather, three of them. They were dressed in twin-tail hair and minis.

What was more numerous were the men who came to the park to meet the standing handcuffs.

Three men in their 40s, all on their way home on a weekday evening, were lined up in a neat row. They are standing in reverse.

They line up early at the spot where she will appear in order to have intercourse with her. By gentleman’s agreement, the first in line gets to play.

I dared to interview a woman standing in line.

How much?


I see a hint of caution.

She is wearing a mini dress with twin-tail black hair and no makeup. She has a charming face.

How old is she?


This is an example of the aging of the stand-up crowd.

A few years ago, a college student in her early twenties told me that she used to play stand-up comic books when she was in high school.

She told me, “If I was too young, men would be wary of me, so I just assumed I was 18 (years old).

The stand-up girl I just spoke to may have been a reverse-saba (reverse age) girl, who declared her age to be higher than it was.

Perhaps sensing that I had no intention of buying, she began negotiating with a 40-something teacher-like gentleman who approached us, and within two or three minutes they disappeared into a nearby love hotel.

Twenty-one years ago. I was interviewing stand-up men in Okubo Park for FRIDAY.

The highly reputed series, “Assault! Murder, arson, illegal clubs, street hookers, and surveillance cameras.

It was the summer of the Japan-Korea World Cup, and I remember that red uniforms were conspicuous both in Kabukicho and in Shin-Okubo, the neighboring area.

The stand-up guy I approached at that time was a tall, good-looking guy with a perfectly white face. When I entered the hotel and checked him out, I found that he was a male vocational school student from South Korea. It was the year before Yon-sama became a big hit with the “Winter Sonata” series. We parted after just talking, but I wondered how the young man, now in his 40s, was doing.

He said, “The reason I have been able to do this job for so long is because I love it. I have a lot of freedom, and the pay reflects the effort I put in. I’ve been a host for 13 years now, and if I can stay for three years, that’s a long time.

Koga Ishikawa, 33, the representative of the Kabukicho host club “Majesty,” says, “I’ve been a host for 13 years.

He is a living witness to the host industry, having shared some behind-the-scenes stories with us in my book “Kabukicho Underground” (Komakusa Shuppan), which was published last spring.

When I met him again for the first time in six months, he had lost 13 kg, grown out his hair, and undergone a drastic change.

When I went to Las Vegas in October, I was shocked to see the body shape of foreigners. I thought, ‘Muscle is everything.

The world of hostesses is athletic, and it is said that there have always been many former members of the Self-Defense Forces.

Starting this month, we have banned the selling of hostesses.

The problem of accounts receivable from female customers in host clubs has become a social issue. The problem of accounts receivable from female customers has become a social problem, and is putting pressure not only on female customers, but also on the hosts.

The problem has become a social problem, not only for female customers, but also for hostesses. “Since there are so many host clubs, hostesses are forced to borrow money to buy expensive suits and accessories to prevent their rivals from taking them over, and they are forced to work for a long time with debts. Even hosts with sales of 100 million yen are sometimes in debt to their competitors. The world of hosts is a world of ostentatiousness and vanity.

The nights in Kabukicho are harsh. It was and still is.

The “underworld” still roams the streets of Kabukicho

The Tokyu Kabukicho Tower, a new landmark in Kabukicho, is glaring at the plaza where the “Toyoko Kids” hang out on the street.

Girls from girls’ bars lined up side by side, their bare legs exposed to the cold winds, attracting customers.

Kabukicho is home to many men with a missing left pinky finger. A former hitman I recently met for an interview also had a missing pinky finger.

He swears, “It doesn’t affect my ability to shoot a gun at all.

He is in his late 40s, a mid-level member of a broad-based gang, and a former hitman.

I rarely do target practice under river guards or at sea,” he said. It’s too conspicuous.”

He doesn’t shoot at targets 200 meters away like in “Golgo 13,” but rather shoots at the very last possible moment in order to make a steady kill, so courage is more important than skill.

The thieves’ market still exists in Kabukicho. Brand-name suits, bags, furs, and other items line the shelves at about one-fifth the market price. All items have a reason. Stolen, robbed, and embezzled goods.

And then there is the Chinese restaurant that quietly operates near the border of the other world of Kabukicho. On the surface, the restaurant serves popular food, but secretly it is a hub for counterfeit card groups and is well known in the underground world. The main members of this group are believed to be members of the Shanghai group of the Chinese mafia.

A 50-something member of a Japanese underground organization with close ties to this group confides some disturbing information.

He told us, “We made a lot of money with counterfeit credit cards when the Expo ’90 was held. I used the card to buy tickets to the Expo for less than 100,000 yen at a number of stores, and several of us cashed them in at a money store.

Counterfeit credit cards could be made in as little as five minutes, but it was difficult to counterfeit a card that could be used for cash advances, so they had to resort to rougher methods.

Once we had the information about the person with the money, a separate team would go in and steal it. They would also steal passbooks and seals. In the old days, even if there was no seal, a seal was stamped on the bank book, so they would make a seal based on that. With the stolen bankbook and seal, they withdraw the full amount at the bank counter. If there is also a time deposit, the full amount will be withdrawn. I would also produce a fake driver’s license for the person standing at the counter, and prepare a Japanese person to match the license.

The Chinese restaurant also handled the then-popular yao tou wan, also known as ecstasy, a synthetic drug (MDMA), and delivered it to yao tou wan parties.

When I visited the store the other day, it was already gone and the store was empty.

The Shanghai group’s counterfeit card group later mutated into an Oreore scam and fictitious billing scam group, recruiting young Japanese as subcontractors, according to the report.

Some of the victims are the ones who take the cash and run away with it,” he said. These cases are exposed in a lynching video that is distributed to their friends to make an example of them. Video? I’ve seen one where they shaved off an ear. ……”

The man stopped talking after saying that much.

The night wind is even more biting.

The nightless city has returned to Kabukicho.

Girls’ bar waitresses call out to passersby in the freezing cold. Their bare legs peeking out from under their down coats.
The area around the Shinjuku Toho Building, made famous by the “Toyoko Kids,” still attracts young people even in the middle of winter.
The center of downtown Kabukicho. Girls’ bar staffs, holding signs indicating prices and other information, are trying to catch customers.
Around the Hygeia Building, two women in their 20s were approached by a man in his 30s and engaged in some kind of negotiation.
A man talking to a woman by Okubo Park. This kind of scene decreased for a while last fall, but has recently begun to increase again.

Nobuhiro Motohashi, nonfiction writer, was born in 1956. Born in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture. Graduated from Waseda University with a degree in politics and economics. Author of “Kabukicho Underground” (Komakusa Shuppan), “Boku to Johnny’s” (East Press), and “Zenkaku Oyaku MURANISHI Toru Den” (Shincho Bunko).

From the January 19, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • Interview and text Nobuhiro Motohashi PHOTO Takero Yui

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