lifestyle

Women, money and time: Behind the scenes with Japan’s 'King of Hosts'

22 Comments
By Jessica Kozuka

Meet Naoki. He pulls down 3 million yen a month, has his own TV show and music group, and is called “an ideal man” by one of his many woman clients. Is he some kind of doctor or finance wizard to be making that kind of dough? Nope, he’s a host, one of scores of men that work in the seedy bars of Kabukicho, drinking with the ladies of the capital and charging them for the privilege.

A new video by VICE Japan takes a look at Naoki’s bizarre and booze-soaked world.

A host club is a bar where lots of young and attractive men flirt with, pour drinks for, and generally entertain the largely female clientele. They earn a commission on the alcohol they sell, so the goal is to keep customers coming back and ordering lots of drinks, both for themselves and for the hosts.

This results in a lot of body-abusing alcohol consumption by the junior hosts, while the senior ones try to stay sober enough to entertain their guests.

And entertain they do! At Naoki’s club, Fantasy, there is a nightly show, which involves some probably fire-code-infringing stunts.

Naoki, a local legend in the host club world, was chosen as Japan’s number 1 host in 2011, and has now moved up the ladder to producing, which seems to mean managing a club and mentoring younger hosts. At 33, he is still very popular among the clients and respected by the other hosts. He is also the frontman for a music group called Never Fade and has a weekly online TV program.

He has a fairly glamorous life with money, free time and his choice of women, but what about the less talented members of the crowd? The video also shows younger hosts being slapped around, vomiting up copious amounts of champagne, and running away from home, and it ain’t pretty.

And I can’t help but wonder what will happen, even to superstars like Naoki, when they get a bit too old or run-down for the business.

In any event, the video is a fascinating look behind the scenes of a distinctly Japanese subculture, so take a look. Whether your interest is sociological or prurient, you will definitely be entertained.

Source: VICE Japan

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Bar with all-you-can drink beer and sake + no time limit = limitless bliss -- AKB48 producer Akimoto to produce 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony -- Why Japanese Men Can’t Stop Spending Money Just To Drink And Talk With Girls (And Why This Upsets Women So Much)

© RocketNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


22 Comments
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King of Hosts

So he's a Royal Host, eh?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

As much as I hate these types, that lifestyle has got to be tough on the hosts (hostesses). Smoking and drinking daily for hours on end, not to mention liaisons with privileged clients, has got to play havoc with their health. And, what will they do for a living when they are no longer popular?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Misery loves company I guess. Its not about the money because dispite the income they don't get to keep very much.. Its not because it's fun because having to vomit alcohol up a few times a night isn't fun. Its not because of the girls because the girls who visit hosts are either miserable also or are using the host then leaving them.

I guess it's all about the masculine bravado. Bagging the most girls, the most best looking girls etc.. But that is about as fulfilling as a sandwich full of air... Makes you wonder how successful hosts would be if they invested as much time and energy into a legitimate long term business that doesn't require promiscuity, alcohol and bulimia...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"Money. Time. Women. I've got all of them."

LOL

I like the part in the video when their pants are on fire, hee hee!

Do these guys' mothers approve of their line of work?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Smoking and drinking daily for hours on end

I should imagine regular visits to the STD clinic also take their toll...!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I wonder how much of an effect this type of thing has on the birthrate/dating culture. Do enough men and women participate in this sort of thing to have an impact? Does the fact that these types of people exist give Japanese youth an alternative to dating, thus helping to kill the birth-rate in Japan?

Something to think about. These relationship "substitutes" are a little crazy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I used to work in a small Hostess club there at the back of Kabuicho quite a long time ago. I went into this place (beleive it is the SAME host club) it was there way back then, with their Pretty Boys sign up on the side of the building. Inquired as to whether I could work there and was simply GRUNTED at. If they started hiring foreigners, the local boy would loose ALL their customers :)

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Only in Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If he's sensible with his cash he could set himself up OK but something makes me think he probably isn't!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If they started hiring foreigners, the local boy would loose ALL their customers :)

You overvalue yourself to no end. Envy is a tough emotion to come to grips with.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Howard; I am by NO means Pretty Boy enough to be on the same Caliber as these ( not even CLOSE ), but the mere IDEA that the customer would have the novelty CHOICE of Foreign guys, would have a SEVERE IMPACT on the business in this country( Host Clubs), hence, there ARE none ( sure, I would LOVE to make the kind of money we're talking here, wouldn't ANY guy love this kind of work?, "Just Sayin' " ).

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I once watched a TV special on this lifestyle (not this particular guy though). The women clients faces were concealed, and one of the hosts could be seen receiving stacks of 10,000 yen notes, and placing them into a bag while sitting at a table with his client. What con artists they are, playing on the loneliness of rich women (and men too).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Can't believe the amount of jealously of most of the posters on here.

"Its not about the money because dispite the income they don't get to keep very much.. Its not because it's fun because having to vomit alcohol up a few times a night isn't fun. Its not because of the girls because the girls who visit hosts are either miserable also or are using the host then leaving them."

"I should imagine regular visits to the STD clinic also take their toll...!"

"Makes you wonder how successful hosts would be if they invested as much time and energy into a legitimate long term business."

"What con artists they are, playing on the loneliness of rich women (and men too)."

blah, blah, blah ... etc ... etc ...

Here's one more overused cliche for you: "Don't hate 'em 'cause you ain't 'em!"

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It used to be a 'men's only' world of the 'hostess club'. But as independence is becoming more normal for women in Japan, they too are seeking out some sort of relationships be they platonic or more. Not sure if this would really work elsewhere in the World, surely no Muslim governed Nation. I don't fault either the guys that work those clubs or the women that patronize them, everyone is just trying to make it through the day to the next.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Most of the girls who visit the host clubs more than once are in the same line of work as these guys. It is the only way they can afford it. It is all a bit sad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That dude is a pimp! lol. He is obviously is raking in the cash doing his job. Cant speak for everyone, but I personally wouldn't want my wife (or mother or sister) going to any of these places. Would just create problems. But i think most japanese men don't mind it, as they themselves are just working and going to kyabaukura afterwards anyways. Strange system in Japan. I am just an old fashioned guy who would want to spend time with my wife and kids afterwork, if i had them... But I can compliment a beautiful woman when I see one and say to myself that a nice lady. But if it isn't mine, its not mine. And I am satisfied with what i have. Through the good times and the bad. Through sickness and in health. But yeah, these dudes are pimps. And without sounding gay, i would say he is a handsome young man. Compared to a lot of the other fat, crazy looking j-dudes that pull good looking women out here, i would say its justifiable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not pimp. Gigolo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a lot of respect for this guy. He's paved his own way and he isn't looking for approval from anyone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Equality - I hope you weren't counting me in your "most posters are jealous" comment. I for d@ng sure don't want to be like that, money or no.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, Sensei, I wasn't counting you among the posters I quoted, since I would imagine that loneliness may play a role in why some women go to the host bars. The reason I made that comment is that after watching the video, 'Naoki' came across as an ambitious, intelligent, well-spoken young man, and I was surprised at all the vitriolic comments about him (and other hosts). Since the comments seemed in no way to reflect the content of the video, it seemed pretty obvious that it was mostly sour grapes on the part of those posters.

In my opinion, hosts are simply providing an entertainment service, not completely unlike the opera or cirque du soleil. In a democratic and modern society, people - including women - are free to spend their money on whatever they wish. I wouldn't choose to spend my money at hostess bars, pachinko parlors, maid cafes, or outrageously priced restaurants for that matter, but I also wouldn't unfairly lambaste the people who work at them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" Nonsense" everything!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they started hiring foreigners, the local boy would loose ALL their customers :)

Isn't that what eikaiwa teachers are for? Plus, I don't think everyone finds overweight, hairy, pasty white guys all that attractive,regardless of what some of the locals may tell you to your face.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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