After losing his wife, the former TV announcer Mao Kobayashi, to cancer in 2017, the top kabuki actor Ebizo Ichikawa was reinvented in the public imagination as a sympathetic figure bravely battling on as a single parent. Ebizo, who had an image as a womanizer before he settled down with Mao Kobayashi, is apparently starting to date again. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but the tabloids are relishing the details: namely that the 44-year-old star is dating more than one woman, judging from paparazzi shots, and they are much younger than him. Though one such report came out last autumn, ...

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The tabloid magazine Weekly Bunshun has published an interview with someone they give the alias Yuna Ishihara, who is apparently a 24-year-old student at Tokyo College of Music. But she also appears in adult video and works at a soapland in Yoshiwara, Tokyo's long-established red-light district in the east of the city. But due to the pandemic, her income of ¥900,000 (around $9,000) a month has massively decreased, leading her to take up papakatsu. As reported before, this is a euphemism for compensated dating with older men (sugar daddies). The principle is hardly new but the term has ...

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Is compensated dating with sugar daddies increasing among Japanese women due to remote working? Bunshun Online had an intriguing article suggesting something to that effect. It interviews a 24-year-old female office worker who has started doing "papakatsu," a newly coined kind of compensated dating where younger women go on dates with older men. She started her new sideline in January and over the course of the past few months, has met over 60 men this way. The woman says that shifting to working remotely has changed her whole daily schedule, making it more flexible, whole semi-lockdowns ...

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The casting couch is one of the open secrets of the idol industry. Another one is the extra money that idols (music, gravure, AV), seiyu, models, and actors earn from compensated dating. This gets exposed at regular intervals by tabloid scoops. One such scandal caused Shoko Takahashi to lose her agency as a gradol (when she worked as Shoko Takasaki) and launched her porn career. The JAV star Yuria Satomi had trouble with the tax agency in 2016 over huge amounts of undeclared income from her "boyfriends," who compensated her financially for their relationship. The latest scandal was broken ...

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One of this blog's ongoing obsessions is the open secret in the Japanese idol world, be it gravure, music, porn, or general tarento and celebrities: the casting couch. And it really is rampant, it seems, in almost all corners of the industry. Even among seiyu/seiyuu (voice actresses). The "sexy actress" (a euphemism for porn star used by the mainstream media) Cocona Yuzuki recently shared some of these secrets on television. A former chika (underground) idol, seiyuu, and now adult video star, Cocona (or Kokona) Yuzuki appeared on a late-night TV Tokyo show on June 6. She explained that if ...

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It's an open secret that "compensated dating" (援助交際, enjo kosai) goes on in the Japanese idol world and among even mainstream entertainers and celebrities. Just as the casting couch exists, so too does the dating table. Idols don't earn that much money and their careers are fickle, so they boost their income with dates. There doesn't always sex involved, it should be added, but it's surely not impossible. It's like a hostess "dohan" date (where the hostess accompanies you for dining before going to the club together) or services offered by "dating clubs" (交際クラブ, kosai ...

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Bad news if you are into "JK business", the new style of enjo kosai (compensated dating) where you go on "dates" with schoolgirls that end in a sexual encounter. The days of casually walking into a JK business venue and getting an appointment with a teenager are possibly numbered. These services are often euphemistically called "osanpo" (walks), though they may also be in the form of "massages" or "soine" (snuggling up together in bed), or as conversations in a "cafe" or even sessions where the customer takes photos of the girl schoolgirl in swimwear. ("JK" stands for "joshi-kosei", or ...

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A new exhibition in Tokyo focuses on the controversial issue of underage enjo kosai, or compensated dating. The "We Were Bought" exhibition runs from August 11th to August 21st, featuring the photography, text and diaries of junior high or high school students (JK, joshi kousei) who have engaged in enjo kosai, a euphemism for prostitution The exhibition is organized by 24 students and Colabo, a support group for female high school students. The students and other girls are aged between 14 and 26, and live all over Japan from Hokkaido to Kyushu. There are around 100 exhibits on ...

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A panel of experts advising the National Police Agency in Japan has issued a report on so-called "JK business", which is the name given to the various euphemistic services offering sex with schoolgirls. Similar to the more general enjo kosai (compensated dated), there has been a lot of media and police attention on the growing JK business industry in recent years. Some of the services include osanpo (walking dates), where you pay to have a walk with a schoolgirl. It may end at a love hotel. Other services include sleeping side by side in a "soine" cuddle cafes or getting a massage. ...

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What are the dark secrets of the entertainment industry in Japan? Here is our subjective list. 1: Sex Despite the control exerted by talent agencies over idols' private lives (who they can and cannot date, or in the case of some groups, not letting them date or have sex at all), the truth is that there is plenty of sex happening -- it's just not all that pleasant or consensual. Makura eigyo (sleeping with people to get ahead, like the casting couch) is rampant at many levels of the gravure and idol industry, with female models and entertainers frequently having sex with older male managers ...

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