Gravure idol Ayana Kobayashi shares experience of the casting couch

Regular readers might remember Ayana Kobayashi, whose stunning gravure shoot we wrote about in 2019. It was notable because she did an alluring nude shoot with her butt and nipples on display despite being married (to a comedian).

She has since released a couple of DVDs.

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It’s perhaps because she’s a bit of an outsider — someone who came to mainstream gravure a bit late and already married with a child — that she’s freer to say certain things.

Now in her early thirties, Kobayashi recently made headlines with a blog entry in which she described her own experience with sexual harassment.

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In the 2010s before she got married, Kobayashi was attached to Ohta Production, a large talent agency.

When she was younger, she relates, she was approached by a self-proclaimed producer who said that she could appear on a TV show if she slept with him. “All the popular gravure idols have slept with me,” he boasted.

She reveals that he clearly targeted young women who wanted to be famous at all costs.

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Your choice of agency really impacts your career, she says, because of the people around you. Fortunately for her, Ohta Production didn’t have predators like the producer she describes.

The casting couch (known as makura eigyo, literally pillow business) is an open secret in the music and gravure idol world. Cocona Yuzuki has also revealed that this affects the seiyuu voice actress world too.

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