The Tokyo Reporter

Promise of hard cash pulls part-timers into porn industry

Taka Kato, once Japan’s top male porn star, retired last year
The Chitachubu Area Fire Department announced last week that a firefighter from the region will be disciplined for appearing in adult video (AV) productions.

In March of 2012, the 25-year-old submitted an application to an AV firm after seeing an advertisement in Nagoya. He starred then starred in two films shot in Osaka and Tokyo at a rate of 50,000 to 60,000 yen for each production over the next two months.

The matter came to light on February 14, when an anonymous letter and DVD showing the fireman performing reached the Hirata City Fire Department.

According to Nikkan Gendai (Feb. 19), such a development is not unusual as the AV industry’s male performers are primarily part-timers.

The evening tabloid estimates that there are between 300 and 500 male porn stars in Japan, with maybe 30 who have reached elite status — meaning those who are able to demand between 30,000 and 50,000 yen per shot. The remainder comprise the industry’s “soup” men, a category of secondary performers who are tasked with ejaculating on the face of the lead actress.

“You’ve got guys without a regular job, office workers and those who are self-employed,” a male actor tells the tabloid. “These guys are passionate fans of AV and long to shoot their wad on a naked actress.”

Wages for soup men, who could be as young as 20 or well into their 50s, are comparatively low, ranging between 3,000 and 5,000 yen. The key is anonymity.

“It is difficult for viewers of AV films to see the faces of the soup men,” says the actor, who adds that Nikkan Gendai’s readership would be astounded if it knew the number of government employees working in the trade.

Most soup men get started in their college days, with some veterans continuing in the trade for 20 years while working full-time as salarymen. It is also not unusual to find musicians in no-name rock bands taking a stab in the industry, so to speak.

Payment is via a rigid commission system: one shot for 1,000 yen in hard cash.

“Staff members will have stacks of 1,000 yen notes wrapped in rubber bands ready on the set,” says AV writer Kazuo Kajiyama. “Payment is made afterward, right on the spot.”

A firefighter, a university researcher, your local barman — who knows what they do in their free time, chuckles Nikkan Gendai. (K.N.)

Source: “Hongyo ha okatai shokugyo ga oi ‘AV danyu’ arubaito no jittai,” Nikkan Gendai (Feb. 19, page 5)

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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