For the past several years, the term nanmin (refugee) has increasingly been applied as a suffix to the temporary habitats of young people down on their luck. First there were the net cafe nanmin, who occupy tiny two-mat rooms in Internet cafes; next came manki nanmin, who sleep in cubicles provided by all-night manga kissa (coffee shops with comic books for rent). There are even makku nanmin, who doze with their heads on the counters or tables of McDonald’s fast-food outlets.
And now it seems there are “love hotel nanmin.” Actually for some time already, runaway girls in their teens could be seen loitering on the streets around love hotels in search of a man to provide them with accommodations for the night. But more recently, Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 31) reports, a new phenomenon has developed in which the runaway teens have been joined by women from their mid-20s to mid-30s.
According to the source, the operator of a love hotel, these women are contract or temp-help dispatch workers who have been laid off from jobs at electronic components or confectionery plants.
Linking up with johns via cell phone dating sites, their objectives are to earn income by selling their bodies while obtaining clean overnight accommodations. Usually they stay behind in the rooms after their johns have left and depart just before check-out time.
According to the source, a sure giveaway of this type of gal is their discarding of panties in the rooms. Since laundering underthings is troublesome, they tend to prefer disposable types.
Factory workers from the provinces who turn to prostitution, the source observes, are awkward and shy in the beginning. But within two months the glow begins to fade from their skin, their easygoing rustic attitude hardens, and they start wearing heavy makeup, making it difficult to differentiate them from seasoned pros.
“The other day I saw a woman — with a great pair of knockers — chasing a man through the lobby,” the hotel operator tells Nikkan Gendai. “‘Wait a minute!’ she shouted. ‘You said you’d pay me 20,000 yen. You shortchanged me by 5,000 yen short, you crook!’ All she had on were her bra and panties. Shameless. . . ”
As the economy continues its slide, this situation can only become worse. (K.S.)
Source: “Haken-kiri de karada wo uru ‘rabuho nanmin’ ga kyuzo,” Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 31, page 30)
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