Back in 1986, a cute, saucy, 21-year-old university co-ed from Kagoshima named Kaoru Kuroki began appearing in AV productions to make some money for a trip to Italy.
Kuroki starred in a movie titled “SM’ppoi no Suki,” (loosely translated as “Some like it SM style”) and created an immediate stir not only for her personality and acting skills, but for the abundant black bush that blossomed beneath her upper limbs, which she eagerly exposed at every opportunity.
Ms. Kuroki’s popularity soon inspired the operator of a sex shop in Shibuya to open Japan’s first wakige kurabu (or armpit hair club).
As reported in Nikkan Gendai (Sep. 26), for the outlay of 20,000 yen, male visitors received a one-hour treatment beneath the arms of a similarly shaggy lass, who would allow them to run their fingers through it, sniff it, and so on, finally getting off in the form of an oral session while they munched on the bush sprouting from the gal’s other end.
And for an extra 10,000 yen, some of the furry female attendants gladly went all the way.
During its first months of business, the shop received heavy coverage in the tabloids and business thrived. But the customers had high expectations that the shop could not always fulfill.
First of all, try as they might, the bushy beauties employed therein were unable to render a suitable impersonation of the brainy but raunchy Ms. Kuroki. Their stumbling on keigo (elegantly phrased polite Japanese) was a turnoff, and customers complained of the dames’ diction.
Other customers didn’t care a whit what the women said; they came to revel in armpit hair, and just wished they would shut up.
Based on strong requests from kinky customers, the owner then began offering new services: 10,000 yen additional to shave the girl’s armpit with a safety razor; and 20,000 yen to pluck the hairs out from her armpits one by one.
The latter hurt like hell, and needless to say the girls didn’t like it. And even when their armpits were shaved, they couldn’t go back to work for at least two weeks while they waited for the hair to grow back.
When requested to return a week after their shave session, the women would complain, saying “Who would want to pay money to see this?” — showing off their short stubble.
The owner made efforts to bolster his work force to keep the trimmers and pluckers happy and the money flowing in. But his bad reputation spread and many potential recruits went so far as to defiantly refuse to come to their job interviews wearing sleeveless blouses.
Over-plucked and under-appreciated, the shock troops of Shibuya’s hairy armpit brigade deserted in droves, and by 1987, the club capitulated in depilatory defeat.
Source: “Kenuki ga kyaku-banare wo yonda wakige kurabu,” Nikkan Gendai (Sep. 26, page 30)