Host Murder Attempt Inspires Film- Kabukicho Through the Lens of a Rising Director | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Host Murder Attempt Inspires Film- Kabukicho Through the Lens of a Rising Director

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A hostess takes a high school girl around Kabukicho. It’s like a tourist destination.

“I liked it so much, I couldn’t help it.”

The 2019 Shinjuku Host Stabbing Incident, which became a hot topic due to such testimony. Inspired by this shocking incident where an active host was stabbed by a female customer, the movie ‘After the Heat’ was released on February 2nd.

Starring Ai Hashimoto (28) as Sanae, the protagonist who stabs the host, and Taiga Nakano (31) as her husband, Ken. This film, created with a stellar cast, had been a hot topic even before its release in Kabukicho. We spoke to the up-and-coming director, Akira Yamamoto (32), about why he decided to create a movie based on this incident.



“When I visited Kabukicho, I was left with the impression of it being a city where people come and go. Shinjuku isn’t a place where people stay for long. Even if you’re there all the time now, most people will be gone in a few years. I wonder if those called hosts or ‘toyo-yoko kids’ are also heading somewhere different.”

Kabukicho, a city where money and love intertwine. While its twisted relationships are often ridiculed, Yamamoto does not portray them as tragic.

“The act of dedicating money to someone has been used in literature for a long time. Gatsby in ‘The Great Gatsby’ also pours money into his beloved to materialize his love. I think such culture is not unique to young people or specific to this era but is universal.”

The author’s favorite scene is when Sanae’s husband, Kenta, angrily accuses her of being deceived by the host and selling her body for money, to which Sanae calmly replies without changing her expression, I wasn’t deceived. At the preview screening, most of the middle-aged men in the audience were surprised by this scene and sat back in their seats.


The author couldn’t help but laugh, but in reality, women who frequent hosts are often not ‘deceived’ by them; they invest large sums of money fully aware of what they’re doing.

Not everyone will lavish large sums of money on any host they meet. Many host-crazed individuals, like Sanae, exhibit behavior suggesting, “It’s because of this person that I can work in the adult entertainment industry and earn this much.” What do women currently visiting hosts want to see in this movie?

“How much someone loves another is something only that person knows. It’s painful and sad, but if through the movie, even a little bit of those feelings can be shared, I would be happy.”

While Sanae displays a kind of insane and pure love, almost devoid of practicality, the host, Hayato, who accepts such love, may be someone who doesn’t understand love. Perhaps that’s why he was able to fully accept her love.

This film is not a direct adaptation of the ’19 incident but rather inspired by it, focusing mainly on the daily life six years after the protagonist stabs the host. The extreme love that leads to stabbing a host, the love that involves selling one’s body for money, and the peaceful life with her current husband, which stands in stark contrast. It’s quite a complex narrative, but Kabukicho’s host-crazed women were eagerly anticipating the release of this film.

“I’m going to see it with my partner. By hearing his thoughts on the movie, I feel like I’ll get a glimpse into how he views his job as a host and our relationship. It’s about understanding his values.” (Mako, pseudonym, 26)

This film prompts us to think about what it means to love someone. It’s a movie that not only appeals to hosts but also to those who have experienced love that deviates from society’s idea of normal happiness, be it through affairs or in the realm of fantasy. As Valentine’s Day approaches, why not take this opportunity to ponder about love A Story of Love After Host Hostilities?

From “FRIDAY” February 23, 2024 issue

  • Interview and text Chihuahua Sasaki

    Born in Tokyo in 2000. After attending an integrated school in Tokyo from elementary school to high school, he went on to Keio University. 15 years old, he has been living in Kabukicho and has a wide range of personal connections. His new book "Host! Tachibonbo! To Yoko! Overdose na Hito-tachi" (Kodansha) is scheduled for release on February 28.

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