Bust of talent agencies for pimping porn starlets reveals hard times in industry

AV actresses are working at soapland bathhouses to supplement their incomes

Mio Futaba of Haute Couture
Mio Futaba of Haute Couture

The arrests earlier this month of three presidents of talent agencies based in the capital for allegedly dispatching adult video (AV) actresses to bathhouses to serve as prostitutes has led to speculation within the fuzoku (commercial sex) industry as to the motivation of law enforcement.

A person with knowledge of the investigation, for instance, tells evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (Nov. 25) that the bust — in which the three agency heads were accused of dispatching three actresses to soapland bathhouses in the Yoshiwara pleasure district of Tokyo’s Taito Ward — was “an example for a clean up [of the sex industry] for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

That, however, is hardly newsworthy. But perhaps this may be: The crackdown reveals the hard times now ongoing within the AV industry.

Each of the suspects, who have been accused of violating the Employment Security Act regarding harmful work referrals, received a commission of 5,000 yen per customer served by the actress he dispatched to either bathhouse Latin Quarter or Haute Couture.

“I was told by the women that they could not exist via the AV industry alone,” Masao Enomoto, the 39-year-old head of agency Style One, was quoted by police in admitting to the allegations.

AV recession

With the industry having undergone something of a recession over the past several years, the dispatching of actresses to bathhouses provides them with added income, says the paper.

Latin Quarter and Haute Couture used their web sites to attract customers by posting the names of actresses, their photographs and titles of their films were posted on the sites. Popular actresses fetched upwards of 80,000 yen per 120-minute session, with the bathhouse taking a cut of 15,000 yen.

Recent revelations that actresses have been forced to perform are further adding to woes in the industry. “Jobs [for actresses] are being cancelled one after another,” says a person working in the industry. “With work opportunities fading, [the women] have no choice but to turn to soapland bathhouses.”

Snag a rich husband

Fuzoku writer Taizo Ebina says that more women are entering the AV trade to snag a rich husband.

“Girls are half-heartedly entering the trade on a lark with friends, some of whom are looking to score big by marrying into money,” says Ebina. “With the title ‘AV actress,’ women have a chance to encounter rabid fans with money from the Middle East and China.” (Though such an assertion may sound absurd, actress Yuria Satomi appears to be highly skilled at befriending wealthy men.)

According to Ebina, employment at a soapland bathhouse, though, is a reasonable option in the meantime since the actresses receive very good treatment. “They won’t resign,” he assures.

Source: “Joyu wo soopu ni assen de taiho AV gyokai no samui futokoro jijo,” Nikkan Gendai (Nov. 25)

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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