Beyond the Host: A Woman’s Journey from Kabukicho to Heartache | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Beyond the Host: A Woman’s Journey from Kabukicho to Heartache

The reality of Reiwa 6 years later, Kabukicho is now ...... #87

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Although the relationship between a host and a client is only one of money, it seems that parting is still painful.

The author, who took six years including a leave of absence to finally attend the graduation ceremony at Keio University, recently celebrated this milestone. Despite graduating from Keio, the author still cannot leave Kabukicho. However, in Kabukicho, March is a time when graduations are frequent.

“Sachika” (pseudonym, 21), who hails from a rural area, explains, “I got hooked on the host and took a leave of absence from university, but my classmates were deciding on their future careers and starting new lives in the spring. Watching that woke me up.”

Upon entering university, Sachika initially lived alone near the campus, but she became infatuated with Shun (pseudonym), a university student host, and took a leave of absence from her studies. To live with Shun, she rented a house in Okubo and spent over a year living a lifestyle centered around hosts.

“At first, I thought I could devote all my youthful time to him, thinking it would be fine since we were young and a year of being held back wouldn’t matter. But when my friends started graduating, it hit me hard.”

Shun also encouraged her to drop out of university, saying, “I want to be serious about being a host, so I’m quitting university. I want you to be serious with me too.” However, unable to make up her mind, she opted for a leave of absence, which turned out to be the right decision. While Shun had money despite not having an education, Sachika realized she would have neither money nor education if she dropped out of university.

Thus, Sachika managed to graduate from university despite her relationship with Shun, but she began nominating another host as a way to take a break from job hunting. Like the author, she seems to be enthusiastically staying back for another year in Kabukicho.

On the other hand, there are women who were graduated by hosts they were nominating. Yui (pseudonym, 24) is still unable to accept this fact.

“I had been nominating him for about six months, and I really liked him. I even started working at a night job for him. He told me he was a university student, and around summer, he said he had received a job offer. I thought, ‘Oh, maybe this means we’ll break up.’ Despite being prepared for it, I wanted to spend as much time as possible with him while he was still a host.”

As promised, he retired as a host at the end of February. All the social media accounts he used as a host were deleted.

“I hoped we could still keep in touch even after he quit being a host. I thought maybe we could congratulate each other on getting jobs or listen to each other’s work complaints. I was hoping for that kind of relationship. But in March, his real university account got leaked.”


What she saw was his fulfilling university life. He was popular among underclassmen as a handsome senior in his circle, and he went on trips with several friends during holidays. Although he didn’t post it himself, her account, which appeared to belong to his girlfriend, was also uploaded at the same time.


“I couldn’t help but cry when I saw it. I only knew him as a host, and I realized I was just a customer in his life, just part of his temporary part-time job life. I probably won’t see him again, and since he was a very serious guy, I don’t think he’ll come back to Kabukicho. But when he walks around Shinjuku or recalls his time as a host, I hope he remembers me, even a little.”

It’s a heartbreaking story, but there are also hosts who, after saying “I’m quitting being a host next month, so let’s go out,” fleece all their customers for money, delete their contact information, and return to their hometowns, leaving behind the women who were nominating them. Thus, Yui’s nominated host is more sincere.

However, even if they temporarily graduate from the host industry, many hosts end up coming back to Kabukicho after failing outside. While the industry may have strict regulations, what’s even tougher may be the second career after graduating from being a host.

A new book that summarizes this series, “Host! Tachinbo! To Yoko! Overdose na Hito-tachi” (Kodansha) is now on sale.

From the March 29, 2024 issue of “FRIDAY

  • Interview and text 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. He studied sociology at the university.

Photo Gallery2 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles