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AV actresses bid farewell to Ai Uehara at Asakusa strip theater

Ai Uehara appeared at the Asakusa Rokku-za between May 1 and 20
Ai Uehara appeared at the Asakusa Rokku-za between May 1 and 20

TOKYO (TR) – Top actresses in Japan’s adult video (AV) industry were on hand last week to bid farewell to retiring starlet Ai Uehara, reports Tokyo Sports (May 21).

On Friday, Yui Hatano and Mana Sakura and a half-dozen other actresses were gathered on stage at the Asakusa Rokku-za strip theater in Taito Ward to offer goodbyes (and shed a few tears).

“I intended not to cry but…I was so impressed to see your last appearance on stage,” said Hatano of the Friday show, the conclusion of a three-week engagement at the theater. Sakura added, “I don’t think anyone understands the hardships you have endured over these past few years.”

The appearances represented the conclusion of Uehara’s career in the AV industry — and what a career it was.

Uehara made her debut in 2011 with label Lahaina Tokai. Three years later, Uehara took the Best Picture prize at the Sky PerfecTV! AV Awards for her role in a 120-minute lesbian feature. She took top prize at the DMM Adult Awards that same year.

“An industry first”

According to Tokyo Sports, audiences packed the Rokku-za theater for Uehara’s 20 shows, for which the entrance fee of 7,000 yen was significantly higher than the usual charge (5,000 yen).

“Actresses rushing up to support (Uehara) one after another — that is an industry first,” said a person affiliated with the stripping industry.

The stripping industry had been enduring challenging times. Two years ago, the management company for the Rokku-za filed for bankruptcy. The insider thinks that Uehara’s appearance could inspire more AV actresses to take want to take off their clothes on stage.

“It will no doubt this will be the detonator for a revival in the industry,” said the insider.

“Don’t you forget about me”

In November, Uehara stunned the audience at the AV Open awards show by announcing that she was leaving the industry. Last month, label Honnaka released her final AV film. The disc, described by site as “the greatest retirement work in history,” features a competition among amateur actors to star in the last erotic scene for the actress.

“Since I’ll return to being a normal girl from tomorrow, I’d rather not convey anything new,” Uehara told the audience at the Rokku-za. “Instead, please don’t you forget about me.”