Manaka Shida (Keyakizaka46) is now working as a hostess in Ginza

The afterlives of idols is an ongoing theme of this blog. What happens to those music and gravure stars after they call it quits?

Some, of course, go into porn, like Yotsuha Kominato (Rikako Inoue).

Others, like AKB48’s Risa Naruse (Haruna Aisaka), marry a celebrity.

Many go on to do ordinary jobs.

Here’s a slightly more unusual take on that: Manaka Shida, formerly of Keyakizaka46 (now called Sakurazaka46 since 2020), is now a Ginza hostess.

Of course, it’s well known that many adult video and gravure idols are doing hostessing on the side anyway. Some have also announced this publicly to boost the income of the club, like Kirara Asuka (who opened her own establishment) and Yoko Kumada.

Manaka Shida joined Keyakizaka46 in in 2015 and left in 2018, shortly after Yui Imaizumi — another idol who tried to carve out a career as a model and TV celebrity but that was sadly brought to an end when she got pregnant by a man who cheated on her.

manaka shida keyakizaka46 hostess ginza now working

Shida is still only 23 years old, but is boldly pursuing a more adult line of work. She announced the news on her social media channels at the beginning of the week, though it’s unclear if she has actually already started her new job.

The hostess club is Next Ginza, where a visit for a “VIP course” can cost a cool ¥50,000 per hour if you’re in a group. To designate your choice of hostess — Manaka, natch — you have to pay a surcharge, plus you then pay for her drinks on top of your own (and the prices are inevitably inflated).

Naturally, at a time when the hostess industry has struggled due to the pandemic (and was initially, and unfairly, demonized as a factor in spreading Covid), Next Ginza is pleased to hire a famous recruit and one who may bring in a new kind of clientele (though we hope those otaku know how to behave themselves and have checked the dress code!).

“I’m very excited but also very nervous,” Manaka said on Instagram. “This is a type of work I’ve really been longing to do, so I’ll do my best, even though I have zero experience.”

Hostessing occupies a strange position in Japan, at once respected and admired (like the modern-day version of geisha) and yet also frowned upon as part of the mizu-shobai “water trade” where women entertain men for money, and may offer “extras” like going on dates. In some people’s eyes, it is only a rung or two up from prostitution, and merely a more expensive version of working at a snack bar or girls’ bar. In this respect, it’s brave that Manaka Shida has come out publicly to announce her new profession.

Let’s just hope that the handsy likes of Teruyuki Kagawa stay away from her club!

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  • Kaaser23 September 29, 2022

    well can’t blame her if that her choice to have a proper job..🙄

  • Buck Swope September 29, 2022

    With all the 48 group idols who have made JAV debuts you’d figure by the odds a 46 group member would have made that same debut by now.

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