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Japan’s soaplands pull together to stave off stiff times

Japan's soaplands pull together to stave off stiff times
Oji-sama Net
Following the Great East Japan Earthquake of last year, Japan’s soaplands, or erotic bathhouses, have struggled in retaining customers. “Famous clubs are closing one after another,” laments an employee at one particular establishment in the famous Yoshiwara district of Tokyo.

Hopefully coming to the rescue, reports Yukan Fuji (May 25), is a Web site that brings together six red-light districts in a move of solidarity.

Touted as the world’s first upon its launch six months ago, Oji-sama Net aims “to create a system that perfectly takes care of customer needs.”

In addition to Yoshiwara, the site has assembled establishments in Kanagawa, Chiba, and Ibaraki prefectures. The 20 clubs registered thus far are categorized as to whether they offer soapland or deri heru (out-call sex) services.

The founder of the site, a 63-year-old restaurant owner, tells the tabloid that customers are asked to take an 18-question survey covering basic information, such as the age and type of girl they are seeking. The club manager will then make a selection from his stable of “foam princesses” to best suit the customer. The result is delivered by email. Confidentiality is guaranteed, claims the site.

As an example, customers may be tempted by the treats on offer at Yoshiwara Academy, where the buxom Asamiya utilizes her 93cm chest to administer paizuri services — in which a man is brought to orgasm via stroking between a women’s cleavage — for 15,750 yen for the first 110 minutes.

Even before last year’s March 11 quake, the the industry was struggling. A police white paper for 2011 reported that there were 1,238 soaplands in Japan. For 2006, the figure was 1,248 clubs. “The earthquake was the final blow,” says the Yoshiwara employee. “The mandatory electricity-saving policy is making doing business difficult, and our sales are off by 30 percent.”

In Yoshiwara alone, Yukan Fuji reports that five businesses have shut down.

The manager claims that 100 people have already registered with Oji-sama Net — a signal to him that better times are around the corner. (A.T.)

Source: “Soopurando mo tsurai yo! Anotekonote de kyaku atume,” Yukan Fuji (May 25)