The Tokyo Reporter

Japan’s porn actresses struggle with ‘the pull of the Devil’ in retirement

Spa! Mar. 8

A top actress among the estimated 8,000 employed in Japan’s massive adult video (AV) industry can earn as much as 80 million yen annually, which could mean a whopping five million yen per production.

But to work in the trade is to accept the fact that the position is not a long-term endeavor. Annual turnover is large.

In a package of articles, weekly tabloid Spa! (Mar. 8) takes a look at what lies ahead for an AV actress in retirement — and it might not be a life of leisure.

For Ai Mizushima, it was an easy transition.

Between 2009 and 2012, Mizushima starred in more than 300 AV films, including roles as a masturbating high school student and a person adept in martial arts (“The Devil Intercepted Ninja Girl Yuka”). After retirement, she became a hair stylist.

“Since I was originally interested in working in the beauty industry, I attended school while active (as an actress),” she tells the magazine. “It was tough to juggle both at the same time, but after a telling other actresses about what my studies I developed a direct connection between the two activities. This made doing both much easier.”

Others have made similar moves.

After a 1,000-film career, Hotaru Akane retired as Japan’s “Shiofuki Queen,” named as such for her adept ability to coerce herself to ejaculate, as displayed in the 2006 film “Hotaru Akane and Ayano Murasaki: Splash Heaven.” She now works as a DJ and pole-dance instructor.

In 2012, Kokomi Naruse was at the top of the AV industry by claiming the Best Actress prize at the Sky PerfecTV! Adult Broadcasting Awards. Today, she is a vocalist for the band Mezcolanza.

Shijimi worked in the trade for eight years as an “anything goes” actress under the name Akane Mochida. “Given that, a regular job just wouldn’t be satisfactory,” she tells the magazine. She now works as a freelance actress in conventional productions.

Writer Atsuhiko Nakamura says that illicit options also await retirees, such as possibilities for entering the fuzoku (commercial sex) trade, the arranging a mistress contract with a wealthy partner, or entering prostitution via “dating clubs.”

“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in”

Deciding when to “put one’s clothes on” can be a daunting decision. According to one unnamed industry insider quoted by Spa!, a girl will retire once she has accumulated a suitable amount of savings. However, that can be a tricky proposition since income is dependent on popularity, a characteristic one garners through costly treatments at salons and plastic surgery.

But even if an AV actress does hang it up the lure of easy cash can pull her back. A former top performer repeatedly quit and returned to the industry, changing her name with each reappearance.

“For regular work, I’d look at the payslips and be simply astonished,” the unnamed former actress tells the magazine. “Then I’d contemplate in my mind, ‘Would returning be so bad?’ I’d always keep tabs on what my production company was up to. It was like not being able to shake the pull of the Devil.”

Ai Mizushima in ‘The Devil Intercepted Ninja Girl Yuka’

But after the nature of her work was leaked to her parents she quit for good. At one point thereafter, she entered the fuzoku trade, as mentioned by Nakamura, after contemplating marriage. Her reasoning was simple: She needed money.

“But soon after, word spread on the Internet. A post read, ‘Former actress [insert name] is now working at a blow-job parlor in Shibuya,” she says. “I had to quit.”

For Mizushima, she says the beauty industry is in a slump, with staff reductions taking place regularly. But that is not slowing her down.

“I’m not satisfied with the status quo. I am also studying massage and looking to get various other qualifications,” the former actress says.

In looking around, Mizushima sees others just like her.

“Recently, it seems like there has been an increase in former actresses looking for other opportunities,” she says. (A.T.)

Source: “’Moto AV joyu’ no shokugyo,” Spa! (Mar. 8, pages 29-33)

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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