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AKB48 out, mature mamas in

Shukan Bunshun May 17
Shukan Bunshun May 17

Is AKB48 over? Probably not, but we’re definitely in the midst of a “mature lady” boom, declares Shukan Bunshun (May 3-10).

Known in Japanese as the jukujo, mature gals are finding solid footing as models, porn actresses, and club hostesses.

“Comedians Udo Suzuki and Yuji Ayabe have already publicly declared their interest in older women,” a photo book producer tells the tabloid. “The peak was three years ago, and interest has been steady ever since.”

Keep in mind, folks, Japan deems dames beyond 30 years of age to be ready for the glue factory. Photo books and DVDs featuring these types of ladies are hot items.

“The popularity of Masako Umemiya and former C.C. Girls member Yoko Mori results in good sales even without exposure,” says the same publishing employee of popular ladies aged 34 and 39, respectively. “On the flip side, photo collections of gravure idols in their 20s in swimsuits are not doing well.”

The same phenomenon exists in the adult video (AV) industry. (For reference, Maki Hojo, 33, took the Best Mature Actress prize at this year’s AV awards.)

“Mature ladies were once the obsession of fanatics,” says a representative from an AV company. “Now it is an established genre. Big-name companies are seeing their biggest sales from titles featuring mature ladies. As to the content, the stories are strong, featuring elements of drama, which appeals to fans.”

But why are mature women in demand now? Magazine editor Kentaro Sakai says that of course there is the appeal contained within lurid voluptuousness, but the real key is experience. “They’ve got the back story everyone wants to hear,” he says. “The idea of potentially having a glimpse inside that part of their personal lives drives men wild.”

Jukujo pubs and hostess clubs are also taking hold. In Tokyo’s Ueno entertainment area, there is Jukujo Pub Mrs., whose Web site proudly declares, “over 30s limited.”

“Male customers in their 40s and 50s are tired of regular hostess clubs,” says a club representative. “The older ladies are able ‘to heal’ these men. That’s the appeal.”

How long will this last?

“The number of aging men is only going to increase,” says Sakai. “Further, the temptation for college students will increase as books and magazines featuring mature-lady content are easily accessible in convenience stores.”

For the older women themselves?

“They will only get more beautiful as they age,” the editor says. (A.T.)

Source: “Shashinshu, AV, pabu itarutokoro de jukujo buumu osorubeki soko no jittai,” Shukan Bunshun (May 3-10)