lifestyle

5 lies you’re likely to hear in a Japanese hostess bar, and what they really mean

43 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

You might not be as handsome and charming as the hostess would have you believe.

While being good-looking is a prerequisite to work in a Japanese hostess bar, it takes more than that to successfully keep customers coming back for more. Just as important is the ability to make patrons feel appreciated and confident, since they’re not just paying to look at the eye candy, but for the hostesses to sit and chat with them as they drink.

Considering how crucial this aspect of the business is, mangers obviously don’t want to rely on their hostesses’ natural friendliness alone. Just like hotels and restaurants have employee guidebooks that explain how to treat guests, so too do certain businesses in Japan’s "fuzoku" industry (a broad term that covers hostesses, hosts, strippers, sexy masseuses, and more) have a manual with suggestions about how to talk to customers.

Twitter user @nanpanman_kou claims to have gotten his hands on one such "fuzoku" employee manual, and recently shared a few pages from the tome.

Of particular interest is its list of conversation pointers. For example, since many hostess bar customers are entertaining clients or drinking with coworkers, and it thus stands to reason that many of them will show up in business wear, the manual recommends finding a spot in the conversation at which to exclaim “I love how guys look in a suit!”

Patrons wearing glasses should get a similar compliment, and “You look just like [insert name of popular celebrity]” or “You look like the guy I used to have a crush on” are also suggested ways to instantly put a guy in a good mood. But where things get especially crafty are the manual’s positive repackagings of specific traits, which end up as:

“You’re so manly and cool!” “Wow, you sure are smart!” “You’re so cute, like Winnie the Pooh!” “You’re really toned!” “You’re so mature!”

Most of those sound like pretty nice compliments, right? Except that using the manual, they translate as really meaning:

“You’re so hairy.” “You’re a geeky otaku.” “You’re fat.” “You’re skinny.” “You’re a totally average middle-aged dude.”

But perhaps more than any other, the manual’s line that shouldn’t be taken at face value is:

“When I’m spending time with you, it doesn’t feel like work.”

Fun as the fantasy may be, it’s probably a good idea to keep in mind that for fuzoku professionals, working at their job always involves working the customer.

Source: Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- 10 simple phrases for breaking your Japanese boyfriend or girlfriend’s heart -- The Tokyo bar where servers are princes, customers are princesses… and everyone’s a girl -- Japanese women list the top 10 lies they can spot the second a guy says them

© Japan Today

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43 Comments
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We have a married family friend who works at a hostess bar. She once rode past me on her bike as I waited at a bus stop. As she passed she said "I want to be with you". So I immediately gave her my JCB card, left my family, and promised my undying love...NOT! Because I knew what she really meant was "Come to my club and spend all your money just because I'm talking to you and touching your leg."

16 ( +18 / -2 )

I'm not going to poo-poo the practice of hostess bars, because horses for courses and all that jazz. But you have to know a game is being played if for no other reason than that you are choosing to play it.

It's not quite the same kind of business, but I see the same thing whenever I have to go into Akihabara. All the girls on the street trying to drag guys into their cosplay cafes or whatever, and the guys stand around utterly entranced by these girls, completely oblivious that the girls may be smiling from the nose down, but their eyes are shooting daggers like nobody's business.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Trump is doing the same tactics to the public and it works.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

sensei58: Because I knew what she really meant was "Come to my club and spend all your money just because I'm talking to you and touching your leg."

No 'family friend' discount?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

LOL, even if I was single and had money to waste, I wouldn't spend it in one of those places. And what kind of husband would let his wife work in one?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I'll never get why any man would go to this type place,where all that's served is the Blue Ball Special!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

They are pretty fun for what they are, but not worth the (any) money. I only go when someone else is treating. But I enjoy it when I do go.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

unbelievable the number of these hostess bars in Japan!!! + pachinko + crowds of AKB and other "idol" fans + young adults disconnected with the reality that prefer to collect all kinds of junk and spend their weekends going to game centers and cartoon conventions than getting together with girls of the same age, enjoy some talk and have a good time: the PERFECT recipe for declining birth rates! Some friends new to Japan argue that japanese girls are "easy", when in reality that isn't necessarily truth.. the truth is that there are HORDES of single girls waiting someone with a speck of courage to go talk to them! This is my challenge to any foreigner in Japan: try to invite a japanese girl to anywhere and get rejected. Seriously guys, they don't even expect somebody good looking.. go out with your family on any given weekend and look around. Tons of princess-like beautiful girls, either alone or with other girls in their "joshikai" many of them craving for a boyfriend. And what do the japanese do about this? Go to hostess bars...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japan has to be the only land in the world where the men have to pay women to just talk to them. Says a lot about the men, really.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

As a caucasian foreign male though, it's just as easy to play these girls. Worked for me many, many times. A LOT of fun to be had while you're a single guy here!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I dated a couple hostesses back in the day, but not ever one I met at a bar.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I've been when I was taken.

But as a Euro I would only ever get the same kind of conversation that I used to get in Eikaiwa places, the 5 lines written about included.

It's like paying 5-10000 yen an hour to have the same conversation I would normally be paid 2-3000 yen (these days) to have to be in.

Something dissatisfying about that

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Blue Ball Special lol yeah for the amount of money you can waste at one of these places, in my country you can legally take out an escort that looks like a supermodel and finish the night without the blue balls.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Japan has to be the only land in the world where the men have to pay women to just talk to them. Says a lot about the men, really."

I've been taken to the same kind of places in China and The Philippines. I'm sure there are more examples.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

While being good-looking is a prerequisite to work in a Japanese hostess bar

Been to a few hostess bars (Japanese, Phillipine, Russian, Ukrainian, etc.) in my time and even with my beer goggles on, I saw enough average to ugly women. Maybe this writer has never been to one. Being good at applying false eyelashes and makeup does not make one 'good-looking.' That said, I have never understood the allure of those places. They are as phony as it can get.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If you don't speak Japanese, you're best going to the Filipina hostess bars, as they'll always have some girls that speak English. Usually the Filipina girls are pretty fun too.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

"Blue Ball Special lol yeah for the amount of money you can waste at one of these places, in my country you can legally take out an escort that looks like a supermodel and finish the night without the blue balls."

And wake up with a nasty surprise which sees you head off to the doctor?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Waste of money, I would only ever go if someone else was paying.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Went to some hostess bars.... almost always on the company dime.... and the whole time I was there I thought it was a big waste of money. I had a good time at one once though.... it was when I took a few friends to one that were visiting from the states. It was their first time in one....I had such a great laugh when the were totally eating up all the compliments the girls gave them. They left the bar feeling like men that night.... but that soon changed when they got back to the states.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Those lies mean only one thing, for men to waste money on overpriced booze and the anticipation to make it with their fave hostess.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hostess bars bars are absolutely rubbish! Unless it's 1am and I'm smaaaashed

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Thunderbird

Tons of princess-like beautiful girls, either alone or with other girls in their "joshikai" many of them craving for a boyfriend.

What actually makes you think they don't have one? because of them going joshikai? Sorry to dissappoint but even married women do that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Nakatsu Shinji

That's it, "joshikai" is a very common event in any country around the world, but I meant it's a bit rare to see a young couple holding hands or having fun together, at least here in Osaka. Look around and you'll see families + groups of guys only + TONS of groups of girls only + very few couples. And I think there's such a diversity in the sex industry here (from talk only hostess bars to all kinds of porn) that men feel like they don't even need real women anymore.. every survey you hear on "why you don't have a girlfriend?" you get the same answers: it's so much more convenient on my own/ I don't know how to talk with the opposite sex.. On the other hand you'll have all kinds of language classes, meetups, international bbqs, culture exchange parties overflowing with japanese girls in seek of an environment where she'd get talked to. And you take out one of these talkative, funny girls, so cute+hot that makes you bet she must have dated a dozen guys just to find out she barely kissed before. The japanese could have them anytime but prefer to pay 10.000 to get lied to for 2 hours.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How about: I don't have a boyfriend = I have a boyfriend but if you have enough money you can be my boyfriend.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I always enjoy the Hostess bars, but I would never go if I had to pay my own money; we go often for work, but that's about it.

I think this article pretty much sums up the general focus of hostess bars in that it always focuses on the girls working there and how it's a disreputable job to have, however this industry wouldn't exist if there wasn't such massive demand for it in Japan. Attack the demand rather than the girls, most probably having to rely on this completely as a form of income and well-being seeing as job opportunities are so poor elsewhere

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I detest hostess joints, I get dragged there on rare occasions if I am unsuccessful in begging off, I just watch & the absurdity of it all makes me cringe & usually drink too much whisky...........

They are so mind numbingly stupid. But the sad fact is most J-guys like them & for the women since they cant make decent money in normal jobs many consider this & other more sexually explicit work instead..........all rather sad if you ask me. The women who do this stuff must overall end up with a real bizarre take on what "men" are & likely messes up many future semi-real relationships. For men I think many are messed up by the time they reach their 20s as a matter of course.

I am hoping I can avoid these places for the entire 2016!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

GW: I detest hostess joints, I get dragged there on rare occasions if I am unsuccessful in begging off, I just watch & the absurdity of it all makes me cringe & usually drink too much whisky...........

Slip 'em a nice tip and see if you can get them to talk about something really interesting, like 'what the hell does Abe think he's doing this time?', or 'which town has the best gyoza?'

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't frequent them, no need to get my ego stroked at a high price?.

But I do know some hostesses and many detest men.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I've found the hostesses I've known have had a pretty good handle on men. They've told me they aren't into the kind of guys who regularly go to hostess bars.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Hostess bars bars are absolutely rubbish! Unless it's 1am and I'm smaaaashed"

Har!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In college, some of the girls paid their expenses through hostessing, and even prostitution. At least the ones I knew were able to give it up after they graduated.The world's oldest profession, and all that.

BTW, the men they attracted were not attending college.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I knew a girl who did hostess work. She cried before she went to work, she cried when she came home. She hated it - and the men that came to the bar. She did it for the money, then married a lovely Aussie man who took her away from all of that. Now she's happy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You are not only gonna hear those lies in hostess bars.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You've missed one, "You look so young!" Alas, this is never uttered to a man who really is young; it really means you're (and I am) an old fart and what are you doing messing around with someone young enough to be your grand daughter?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I keep wondering how people have fun on going to hostess bars, it seems like a hugely annoying waste of time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For some reason Japanese men enjoy "role playing". They love to act like little boys while they are at these hostess bars... but you know what... they actually look like they're having fun and I think they are. I think most of us western men are unable to get past the idea that these girls are trying to make money and are basically blowing smoke up our you know what to do so. We feel its an insult to our intelligence where many Japanese men could care less. As long as these Japanese guys are not putting their family in the poor house... heck, let them enjoy it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

danalawton - Once you get down from your soapbox, go back and read the comments. Most everyone is in agreement that its a fantasy for losers. And not one poster has suggested that men should not be allowed to enjoy it.

So whats your point again?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@clamenza.... sorry... you're right... Hostess clubs are fantasy land for losers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hostess clubs are fantasy land for losers.

Considering the number of shachos I've been to hostess clubs with, I'd have to disagree with this premise. Sure, many losers go, but it's not only losers who go.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Strangerland: Considering the number of shachos I've been to hostess clubs with, I'd have to disagree with this premise. Sure, many losers go, but it's not only losers who go.

I don't think holding the title of 'shachō' necessarily means one cannot also hold the title of 'loser'. Especially if one is sitting in a hostess club.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

those foreigners who perform for free drinks and admittance from those "shacho" certainly would disagree, turbosat. Sad that those same foreigners take advantage of the many Phillipina women who are sex trade victims.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I love this one bar where I actual don,t get charged, At first I was amaze at the attention I was receiving from these really nice happy girl, but then I realise what these feel good girls were doing, They were making the customer very happy. The owner told me that he drive the girls home after every shift they do, because sometime a customer will wait to see if they want a lift home, some time you get a drunk annoying customer but overall it a happy place to be with karaoke.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

These days the smarter hostess have gone high-tech to lure their 'prey'. Some men nonetheless are still so naive to fall victims to such bar hostess. I know one who used his app WeChat friend nearby to get to know one such girl. Thought he has strike lottery, when this young pretty innocent looking gal in her 20s start texting him back...First it's was all innocent, she pretending to befriend him, with her sob lonely story of student on visa from China, shown her Facebook n nice pics n intriguing story of numerous name change May/Claire/Monica.. After he is emotionally involved n hooked, she went for the kill....Then it was should I try for this bar hostessing job , can you visit me n before he knew it, he has splurged a 5 figures USD sum of money on her !! On 'supporting' her at the ginza bar, trips, meals , her shopping n the last straw was her demand for 6 figures to open a bar herself. Definitely Hustling gone high tech when economy was bad n hostess up their skills to use latest dating apps to hook men. Not hard considering the digital age n numerous dating sites n apps such as WeChat or tinder these days... God bless stupid men

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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