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Gravure idols next on anti-gang hit list in Tokyo

Shinsuke Shimada
Shinsuke Shimada

TOKYO (TR) – With television entertainer Shinsuke Shimada revealing last month that he had ties to organized crime, Yukan Fuji (Sep. 6) speculates that gravure idols (pin-up models often appearing in magazines and on variety shows) will soon find difficulties as police work to eradicate the underworld from the entertainment industry.

Starting in October, new anti-gang legislation will prohibit ordinary citizens from doing business transactions with gangsters.

Years ago, it was not unusual for organized crime groups, or boryokudan, to associate in public with enka and kabuki performers, but today that is no longer allowable.

Nowadays the relations exist through offices that employ models.

“A famous, busty idol has been seen coming and going at a restaurant in Roppongi with a gangster-looking entourage,” says an entertainment beat writer. “Another gal who appears in sexy photo collections and a regular on variety shows are also both shadowed by gangsters.”

Crime groups have established special hostess clubs to employ many of these ladies when they are just starting out.

“In Roppongi and Akasaka, there are gangster front companies inside buildings that house hostess clubs,” says a writer who covers the sex trade. “They staff the clubs with college-age gals looking to break into the entertainment biz. Customers can check out various places on all the floors. It’s generally understood that the girls can be taken off the premises. Recent trends include joints that offer gals known for their nipple teats and loose-hanging lingerie.”

With these places on the rise, warns Zakzak, few idols-in-the-making will be able to demonstrate that they have no ties to organized crime.