The Tokyo Reporter

Proof of Tokyo ‘hooker pub’ proves elusive

Shukan Taishu Feb. 7
Hai, irasshai! What would you like to eat, sir?

“So desu ne…How about bringing me a mug of draft beer, five sticks of yakitori, some edamame and, uh, a woman.”

“Kashikomarimashita. Comin’ right up.”

It’s unlikely the above conversation ever took place, but that doesn’t mean something along those lines never happened. Shukan Taishu (Feb. 7) reports that as one result of the intensified competition at izakaya (Japanese-style pubs), shops have been giving first priority to hiring young and cute waitresses.

“These days in Tokyo telephone booths and public toilets in parks and so on, you see handwritten advertising fliers pasted up. Their contents boggle the mind,” a “pink” industry reporter tells the magazine.

One such flyer, measuring about 10 centimeters square, read, “If you request a Chinese employee Ms. So-and-so, she can fix you up with a girl.”

When the reporter phoned the restaurant named on the flyer to confirm the contents, he was told that particular Chinese woman was no longer employed by the shop. But upon further urging its manager admitted that the woman had been sleeping with male customers on the side.

“Some customers got a bit tipsy and would jokingly come on to her, saying, ‘Hey, let’s get it on,’ and she’d comply,” the manager admitted.

The reporter tracked the shop were the action was to one of a chain of five.

When the waitress brought beer and a plate of gyoza (Chinese pot-stickers), he asked her, “Are you from China?”

“Yes, I’m here studying at a university,” she replied.

With a clean-cut and innocent appearance, she did not look at all like the sort of person who’d engage in pimping.

He then dropped a hint, saying, “Actually, I saw that flyer and I, uh. . .”

Rumor had it that she could tap into a stable of all-Chinese exchange students available in a jiffy for 15,000 yen and up.

But unfortunately the woman feigned complete ignorance of the flyer.

“I don’t know anything about that,” she said, shaking her head in denial.

Could the posting of the flyers been an act of malicious mischief by a disgruntled customer?

So while there was no smoking gun Shukan Taishu wonders if there could have been any truth to the rumors.

“Well the cops have been shutting down on Chinese-run massage parlors one after the next,” explains “pink” writer Yukio Murakami. “So the number of places where the girls can work has dropped off.

“The other thing is, it’s easy for such girls to find jobs at late-night restaurants, so it’s entirely possible some of them are working out deals with patrons.”

When it’s all said and done, though, Taishu’s story raises more new questions than it answers. (K.S.)

Source: “Yumeiten no josei sutaffu ga assen suru baishun izakaya ga Tokyo Meguro ni atta!” Shukan Taishu (Feb. 7, page 206)

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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