Hot seat: DPJ representative Mieko Tanaka former fuzoku writer

Friday Sep. 18
Friday Sep. 18
Among the 119,021 voters casting ballots for Democratic Party of Japan representative Mieko Tanaka in Ishikawa Prefecture Constituency No. 2. during last month’s lower house election few probably knew that the candidate once dressed in costumes while interviewing ladies employed in the sex trade, reports Friday (Sep. 18).

Tanaka, 33, hailing from the city of Kanazawa, was one of “Ozawa’s girls,” which referred to a group of attractive female candidates dispatched to minor constituencies under the guidance of DPJ politician Ichiro Ozawa. She fell a mere 4,000 votes short of former Prime Minister Yoshihiro Mori during her party’s August 30 pummeling of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan — the DPJ took 308 seats, sixty-seven more than that required for a majority. Yet she wound up qualifying for a house seat through the proportional representation (PR) system.

Friday explains, however, that it has details of her past that are sure to make Ozawa blush.

Following a few jobs out of college, Tanaka became a secretary to DPJ upper house member Kenji Hirata. Three years later she moved to the office of lower house member Takashi Kawamura, who is also the mayor of Nagoya. It was around this time that she enrolled in evening classes in the political science department at Meiji University.

By all accounts, the weekly explains, she appears to be a model candidate, but it then reveals that she once harbored another sultry side, that of a fuzoku (sex business) writer who reports on her conversations with SM and massage girls.

A publishing company employee explains that Tanaka used to pen a rather racy column in the magazine Bubka titled “Beautiful costume play writer Arisu interviews sex workers: a real battle of beauties” under the name Arisu Shibuya. “She would interview fuzoku girls while she herself was outfitted in some kind of costume. It become somewhat of a topic of conversation because nobody knew why she had to dress up like that,” the employee chuckles.

The weekly also includes her profile that ran in the magazine between December, 2002 and February, 2004 (a total of ten interviews) and a question and answer session conducted with an employee at a club that operates in the “Nishi Kawaguchi-style,” which refers a town in Saitama Prefecture that borders Tokyo.

In the blurb, she describes herself as a single 25-year-old living in a Higashi Ginza apartment (in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward) who assumes a secretary position by day, but by night transforms into a fuzoku writer with the ability to attire herself in a typically cumbersome kimono in less than 10 minutes.

Photos included in Friday show Tanaka seated in a cheerleader uniform, squatting while in a summer yukata, and applying a “soft touch” with her hands to the nearly naked chest of sex worker. Images of pages from the magazines also appear.

The transcribed Q & A session is taken from her sixth issue. “Can you please tell me about the system at the club,” Shibuya asks. “Well, we take a shower with the customer first,” the fuzoku femme responds. “We get him off there. Then we take him back to the bed for a second session.”

Like all good journalists, the cosplay columnist then digs deeper, suggesting that for older men it must be tough to get them to blow their top two times in quick succession. “Yeah, that’s right,” the employee answers. “So for those guys we stimulate them in the bed only.”

Shibuya’s questioning also reveals the style of service standard in Nishi Kawaguchi — apparently something of a no-frills approach with few supplemental pleasantries. When asked about conflicts with customers, the worker explains: “Yes, it happens with guys who demand fanatical types of play. They will want to touch my butt and ask me to wear a particular costume.”

Friday cautions that Tanaka was merely doing interviews, adding that she seems to have taken the work very seriously and was prepared for each meeting beforehand.

A member of the Bubka editing team comments: “We started this series after Tanaka approached us. She said, ‘I am interested in subculture topics. Would it be possible for me to get a job I can do as a writer?’ We did an interview with her and she turned out to be a very attractive lady. We thought that this would then work out well. And her writing style turned out to be very good; we didn’t wind up editing hardly a thing.”

She was paid around 30,000 yen for three pages. The Bubka employee was a bit puzzled as to why Tanaka wanted to do the column for such little remuneration.

The staffer continues: “She had a proclivity for costumes. She went to a particular place in Harajuku to coordinate the various outfits. The reason why her column ended was that she ran out of costume varieties. Plus we thought ten issues was a good number to finish on.”

In reporting the story, Sports Hochi (Sep. 4) explains that such revelations after elections are becoming standard in politics. The tabloid cites two incidents following the upper house election two years ago. Yoshiro Yokomine had his extramarital affairs and gambling on the golf course unmasked by Shukan Shincho. Yumiko Himei was similarly exposed by Shukan Bunshun for having had a tryst with a former school teacher, who in a jab at her last name and proclivity for rough sessions referred to the politician as the “hit me, hit me princess.”

Friday approached Tanaka about her history as a sleaze scribe and she is reported to have froze in her tracks, not wishing to offer comment. (K.N.)

Source: “Tanaka Mieko no ‘Cosplay fuzoku writer’ jidai,” Friday (Sep. 18, pages 6-8)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

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