Abortion, running away from home… Raw examples and harsh reality of “migrant sex workers
Nonfiction writer Kota Ishii delves into the realities of the "young homeless," young people who have lost their homes!
Continuing from Part 1: The Raw Background of the Rapid Increase in the Number of “Dekasegi Sex Workers,” this article looks at the realities of women working at the bottom of the adult entertainment industry. The following are their real-life stories.
Sana (age 26)
Sana grew up in a father-son household in Nagano Prefecture. When she was 17 years old and a high school student, she moved in with her then boyfriend, who was 8 years older than her, because she hated her gambling-addicted father. Her father was furious and disowned Sana. She was also forced to drop out of high school.
One year after they started living together, Sana and her boyfriend fell out over an abortion, and the revelation that he was cheating on her caused her to leave home. Unable to return to her parents’ home, she relied on a senior from junior high school living in Tokyo, entered the dormitory of a cabaret club in Ikebukuro, and began working as a hostess. Soon after, she became emotionally ill and developed an eating disorder due to difficulties in her relationships there. After being kicked out of the dormitory, she moved to a delivery health club with a dormitory, which she found on a job site.
She was told, “You need to get more clients.
At the delivery service, she did not get as many customers as she wanted. The manager pressured her daily to “get more nominations. She was even told to leave the dormitory if she did not meet her quota. This worsened Sana’s mental illness, and she even began to cut her wrist.
Bad things happened and when she was 23 years old, she became pregnant with a customer’s child. Sana was fired from her job and underwent an abortion at her own expense. She lived in a manga cafe for a while, but she was tired of living in Tokyo and decided to work at a brothel in Ishikawa Prefecture, near her hometown.
At a brothel in Ishikawa Prefecture, she was marketed as a “newcomer,” so she had a good number of customers there. However, the clientele was much worse than in Tokyo, and as soon as she was no longer a “newcomer,” the number of nominations stopped. If this continued, I would fall ill again. When I was worried about this, I learned that there was a girl working at the same store who was moving from one brothel to another in the region.
She told him, “You can make more money if you change brothels every few months, because you don’t have any ties and you can stay as a newcomer.”
With this lesson, Sana began to live by changing brothels every three or four months in Hokuriku, Tohoku, and Hokkaido.
Amber (age 37)
Growing up in Shizuoka, she graduated from a local national university with a degree in education and was a brilliant student.
Her grandparents lived in Tokyo, and she had always admired the city, so she began working as a teacher at an elementary school in Tokyo. However, in his fourth year, he developed depression and resigned. Since her parents were treating her for an incurable disease at her parents’ home in Shizuoka, she remained in Tokyo for treatment.
After two years of recuperation, she married a man she met on a matching app. The following year, she gave birth to her first child by C-section, and two years later, her second child. Soon after, however, her depression returned. She clashed with her husband and ran away from home, almost running away from home. Her husband was left to raise their two children.
Kohaku slept in a business hotel in Tokyo, but her savings were dwindling fast. She tried hard to find a job, but her age and the fact that she lived in a hotel were obstacles to getting hired. When she finally found a job, it was a five-day-a-week job guiding traffic or working at a pachinko parlor, both of which were difficult for a depressed person to do for more than a week.
She had no choice but to apply for a job in the sex industry. Since she could not drink alcohol, the sex industry was not an option for her. It was a brothel for married women, but it was more difficult to make money than she had imagined. She would get only one customer a day, and her daily take-home pay rarely exceeded 10,000 yen. When I talked to the manager, he told me that my physical injuries were probably the reason. He had scars from a cut on his stomach from an intestinal disease when he was a student and from a cesarean section. He also had a habit of peeling the skin off his fingers, a skin plucking disorder.
How was I going to live? When I was depressed thinking about such things, I found this post on a sex industry website.
I heard that brothels in the countryside are chronically short of staff, so even if you don’t look good, you can make money depending on your service. Besides, all of them have dormitories so you can go and work there on the same day.
I researched on the Internet and inquired about local brothels, and was welcomed. They said they had dormitories and would provide a minimum guarantee, so they wanted me to join them.
Kohaku stopped living in a business hotel and immediately joined a local brothel. Although the number of customers was not so different, the dormitory fee was cheaper and she received a minimum guarantee, so her life was more stable than in Tokyo. Also, most of my colleagues were older than me, so it was easier mentally.
However, because of the small number of customers in rural areas, it was difficult to call myself a “newcomer” when I moved to another store in the same area. Therefore, I thought it would be better to move from one place to another in various areas, and decided to live that way.
Thus, not a few of the dekasegi sex workers originally worked in the cities. In other words, those who have been defeated or exhausted by the competition in the city flow to the countryside to continue working in the sex industry.
The circumstances of these women vary widely, but they all have one thing in common: they lack a stable place to live. For those who are unable to return to their parents’ homes and whose current sleeping quarters are unstable, it is attractive that brothels provide a dormitory and a job as a set. Moreover, if they are marketed as “newcomers” and can expect to be nominated, there is no way not to jump at the chance. For these reasons, people are flowing from the cities to the countryside.
We are looking for people in their 10s to 40s who have no permanent home. We are looking for real-life experiences of people who have lost their housing, either now or in the past, such as people living in cars, Internet cafe refugees, migrant sex workers, day laborers living in dormitories, people living in hotels, people living in stores, people living in support facilities, or people who are providing support for these people. Anonymous or other conditions are acceptable, so please contact the author.
Kota Ishii (Author) Twitter @kotaism
Interview and text： Kota Ishii
Born in Tokyo in 1977. Nonfiction writer. Graduated from Nihon University College of Art. He has reported and written about culture, history, and medicine in Japan and abroad. His books include "Kichiku" no Ie - Wagakko wo Kajiru Oyasato Tachi" ("The House of 'Demons' - Parents Who Kill Their Children"), "43 Kichiku no Kyoi: In Depth in the Case of the Murder of a Student at Kawasaki Junior High School 1," "Rental Child," "Kinship Murder," and "Gap and Division in Society: A Social Map.