Closures of soaplands (erotic bathhouses) in the cities of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture and Onahama, Fukushima Prefecture are hitting female staff members hard, notes a writer who covers the fuzoku biz. “There are more than a few hundred girls working in just these two cities,” the source says. “They are temporarily unemployed. But numerous helping hands are now being extended.”
One of the first to offer assistance has been Eikokuya, which proudly flies a British flag as its symbol. It is a well-known soapland catering to the Katayamazu Onsen area in Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture.
“Two of our girls are from the Tohoku region,” says the manager of the soap. “While their families are safe, we were asked if we could help them. We have dormitories for staff members who are single. And should we happen to be over capacity on staff, we can always make transfers to other locations.”
The Kanazuen area of Gifu Prefecture also has establishments that are offering assistance. The president of soapland MGM Collection wants to take a proactive approach in the future. “Once the situation has settled, I want to go up there (to Tohoku) and provide my utmost support as a member of the same industry,” says the president.
The magazine notes that after the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, girls from the Fukuhara red-light district of Kobe also relocated to Kanazuen. “These external activities actually revitalized the region,” says the previously quoted fuzoku writer. “Gifu Prefecture has three-room apartments renting for a very reasonable 40,000-yen a month, which is very attractive to families.”
The scribe goes on to say that some clubs are asking patrons to donate part of the service fees to the Tohoku cause.
In the Kita Ward of Osaka, the SM club Carma, whose basic, non-member three-hour course starts at 65,000 yen, is another example. The fuzoku writer says, “Customers are getting an immediate five percent discount and being asked to offer that portion as a donation.”
The 42 clubs within the Ogoto adult entertainment cooperative union, which is known for its high-quality soaplands, in Shiga Prefecture are collectively pledging funds.
In the end, it’s the ties that bind the industry — and perhaps literally some SM customers — that will ensure its survival, concludes the tabloid. (K.N.)
Source: “Fuzokugyokai mo danketsu hisai soopujo uke ire mise ga zokuzoku tojo,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Apr. 14, page 38)
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