WHAT IS A “HOST” IN JAPAN?
“Host” is an English word adapted to Japanese “hosto” or host. Currently in Japan it refers to a young man that offers company to women in exchange for money, usually in a kind of club specially dedicated to this purpose. When a westerner hears this definition automatically think of male prostitution, but the host is not a gigolo. The main difference is that it doesn’t offer sex but only company.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Drinking in a “Host Club” is much more expensive than a normal bar. A drink can cost between 50 and 100 euros, but if you ask, for example, a bottle of champagne, the price can easily shoot over 1,000 euros. If we add entrance fee and tips, the average cost of one night may be around 400 euros.
Ordering a bottle of champagne is what is known as a “champagne call” and can make from 450 to 2000 euros depending on the brand. Often it implies that all hosts in the club surround the table to sing a song or a similar number. On special occasions you can request a “Champagne Tower” for which they may need between 7 and 20 bottles.
HOW MUCH YOIU WIN AS A HOST?
The host takes a commission (about 50%) over the price of drinks. Occasionally you may receive gifts such as clothing, watches, cars and shoes or even apartments. The money that a host can get each month will vary depending on their work, mainly depending on the glasses that his client consumes. The best feature that can attain 10,000 to 50,000 euros per month.
WHO DEMANDS THEM?
Someone may be wondering if the beautiful Japanese women need to pay 100 euros for a drink just to have a conversation with a guy. Are they unable to seduce a man and get that free company? Contrary to what one might think, the lead plaintiffs are relatively young and attractive girls. In a high percentage are “hostesses”, ie girls who do turn the same job but for men. In other cases they are entrepreneurs or simple executive with good salary, after a hard day at work, the last thing they want is to keep holding to a male group generally quite macho, more focused on the pursuit of sex than on the needs of a woman.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
A host and his lady “play” to be a perfect match from the female point of view. They flirt, speak about fashion, romantic movies, hairstyles, shoes, etc. Even occasionally they may have sex, but is not common and is not in the initial approach. In fact, many believe that the key to survival lie in the professional knowledge to manage a polite but firm rejection of sexual advances.
The first night a customer enters a club is usually received by all hosts available that will bring their presentation with a brief seductive as possible cards. The girl elect one of them and when she returns will always be served by him. The client can only change host in special cases and talking to the owner of the club. Talking to clients of another host you are frowned upon and can even lead to dismissal. The meetings outside the club (travel, meals, karaoke, etc.) are rare and not well seen.
At dusk it is common to see them handing out advertising, addressing girls alone or sending messages from their mobile to their clients to encourage them to go to the club. Today most clubs open at 4 pm and close around 2 am, though unofficially many are open all night especially on weekends.
Although it seems a nice job, the competition is very tough, the age range to carry it out is very short and that his salary depends on what they drink makes long-term pay too high a price for their health.
The first “Host Club” opened in Tokyo in 1966.
Today it is estimated that there are over 200 only in the capital.
More than 3,000 hosts work every day in the city of Tokyo.
Most of these clubs are in “Kabuki-Cho,” the red light district of Tokyo (and the largest in Asia) where all the sex-related businesses are concentrated at night.
Only the two most successful clubs turnover of about 6 million euros a year.
Probably the number one employer in the business of the host is Takeshi Aida. His little empire (including 4 “Host Club” and some small bars) is valued at 380 million euros. He has written several books for businessmen and usual to see him lecturing at universities and companies but also the lives of high economic flights has taken its toll: in 2011 he suffered a heart attack and in March 2015 one of his sons committed suicide.
In Japan there are numerous references to the figure of the host in film, literature and especially the sleeve which also they sometimes take their artistic names. There are plenty of books on the subject as well, as manual tests to become the perfect host. In the kiosks we can find magazines like “Men’s Knuckle” that tell us about their lifestyle and in turn serve the clubs to recruit applicants.