Press "Enter" to skip to content

Influx of amateur performers causing Osaka to stiffen control of strip club industry

Shukan Jitsuwa Nov. 29
Shukan Jitsuwa Nov. 29

The emergence of amateur dancers in Osaka’s strip club scene is behind the pair of busts of establishments in Osaka over the last two months, says Shukan Jitsuwa (Nov. 29).

On November 3 at 12:20 p.m., officers from the community safety division took Katsuya Tashiro, 54, and eight other employees at Manzen Toyo Show, located in the Ikedamachi area of Kita Ward, into custody for allowing customers to photograph female dancers who were not wearing underpants.

Ten customers, including a 56-year-old employee of the Osaka Waterworks Bureau and a 52-year-old staff member at the prefectural government of Kyoto, were also arrested.

On September 24, officers raided strip club Juso Music and arrested the manager of the club and 11 other employees for allowing customers to pay for separate sexual services as dispensed by female dancers in a private room. Officers also slapped nine performers with additional charges for violating public decency laws.

Toyo Show, which charges 6,000 yen general admission (discounted to 5,000 yen for seniors and students), opened in 1985. At the time of the bust, the venue was entertaining 40 patrons. The ten customers arrested are alleged to have paid 500 yen to rent digital cameras to photograph the female performers.

Given that such practices have existed for so long in the strip club world, Shukan Jitsuwa wonders why the raids are taking place now, while the notorious Tobita Shinchi red-light district remains untouched, so to speak. One source believes it is largely due to the increase in the number of amateur strip performers.

“At the clubs nowadays, amateur dancers are supplying sexual services and allowing for photographs to be taken,” says a person in the entertainment industry. “It has become a sales point for the clubs. The police are not allowing this now, and regulation of adult-entertainment in Osaka in general is intensifying.”

Toyo Show became known for shows featuring amateurs, but professionals and adult video stars (such as Minako Komukai, who performed in February) make regular appearances.

The tabloid notes that Toyo Show is still operating, albeit with posters for professional dancers now lining the walls.

“After the two busts, ‘idol’ dancers are increasing,” says a person working in the strip club industry. “Their outfits are less skimpy.”

Evening tabloid Tokyo Sports (Nov. 9) hints that the recent activities of law enforcement may be due to a purification campaign by mayor Toru Hashimoto, whose motivation is in part an attempt to collect more tax revenue.

Yet Hashimoto has a reputation for enjoying a bit of adult-oriented fun. In the July 26 issue of Shukan Bunshun, an article described the mayor’s extra-marital affair with a hostess in 2006 — a report that he admitted was mostly true, including the claims that he likes women who dress in costumes.

The mayor even indicated via his Twitter account on August 12 that stripping should be considered eligible for grant assistance like other theatrical endeavors. “Self-styled intellectuals and bureaucrats only view things like classical music and Bunraku theater to be worthy,” the 43-year-old wrote. “This is only a difference in values. Stripping is art.”

The paper notes that November 3, the day of the raid of Toyo Show, was a national holiday: Culture Day. (A.T.)

Source: “Suto gekijo Juso Music ni tsuzuki Toyo Show tekihatsu de yureru Osaka iromachi,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Nov. 29, pages 51-52)