TOKYO (TR) – Certain high-end Tokyo kyabakura clubs employing models as hostesses are the target of a crackdown following last year’s drunken brawl involving kabuki star Ebizo Ichikawa, reports site Yukan Fuji (Feb. 9).
The article says that certain VIP clubs — known as “limited lounges” — in the Tokyo’s Nishi Azabu and Roppongi entertainment areas, often frequented by celebrities and athletes, are coming under watch by law enforcement authorities.
United Lounge Tokyo, located in Nishi Azabu, was busted on the evening of Feb. 4 for operating a kyabakura establishment (hostess club) without a proper license, a violation of the nationwide adult-entertainment law.
The Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 8) reports that two arrests were made, including the 41-year-old manager, Shoichi Hashimoto.
Yukan Fuji adds that the club has a roster of 6,700 members, including IT moguls and politicians, and last year had a revenue of 450 million yen. Charges ranged between 20,000 yen and 30,000 yen per hour.
The store took a commission of 15% on sales by the hostesses, who on average would take home between 100,000 yen and 150,000 yen each month — not attractive money, but that’s not what they are seeking.
“These types of places are increasing rapidly in Roppongi and Nishi Azabu,” says a restaurant owner. “There are a lot of ladies that belong to model and talent agencies but there’s not a lot of money if you are just starting out. They are looking for a supporter or to become a possible mistress if it could lead to better opportunities. There are quite a few girls willing to sleep their way to success”
The focus on these clubs by the police, the article says, is a response to the incident involving kabuki star Ebizo. Last November, an intoxicated Ebizo became engaged in a confrontation at a high-end Nishi Azabu club. He suffered minor injuries but was forced to cancel future theater appearances.