As the “bubble economy” of the ’80s started to inflate, the nation’s sex industry rose to the occasion as well, so to speak, reports Shukan Asahi Geino (Nov. 24).
Dubbed the “fuzoku bubble,” the period largely began with the establishment of Monroe Walk in Kyoto in June 1980. It was the first no-pan kissa, or coffee shop in which women do not wear under garments. Other similar establishments opened in Osaka and Tokyo later that same year.
The shops featured topless waitresses in mini-skirts and stockings parading across a reflective flooring with fans to serve coffee for between 1,500 and 2,000 yen. A second boom occurred in 1984, when services were upped to include hand-jobs in private rooms for an additional 2,000 yen.
The nozoki heya made its debut in Osaka in 1981. The clubs offered a series of small private rooms with one-way mirrors that surrounded a large stage. For 2,000 yen, customers were able to view a highly sensual performance by a naked woman. Tissues were provided, and an additional 2,000-yen tip would allow for a private hand-job.
This service was considered the progenitor of conventional “fashion health” clubs, offering hand and mouth services, that predominate to this day.
“The mainstream brothels didn’t allow customers to select a particular woman,” says a fuzoku writer. “So this new system resulted in a huge boost in popularity.”
Indeed, nozoki joints were not offering coital sex, but things quickly escalated to include such offerings thereafter.
“While shops prohibited full service, they did allow it behind the scenes,” explains another fuzoku writer from that period. “It was dependent upon the particular shop. In fact, some girls quit because they were able to hear other customers moaning in erotic bliss in adjacent rooms.”
The “mistress bank” called Yugure-zoku (“evening wanderers”) was established in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward in 1982. But in December of the next year, the establishment’s female manager was arrested on prostitution charges and operations ceased.
Until then, men paid 200,000 yen in membership fees to meet available women, who were charged up to 100,000 yen to register. At a meeting, the pair would agree upon terms of service.
The females, says another sex writer from the period, were not self-conscious about the arrangement. “Those who registered as mistresses didn’t share the notion that they were engaging in prostitution,” says the writer. (K.N.)
Source: “No-pan kissa aijin banku nozoki heya…” Shukan Asahi Geino (Nov. 24, pages 184-186)