While the recession has wreaked havoc on relationships here, in Japan it’s given a better name to what used to be a naughty profession: hostessing. Hostess clubs are akin to gentlemen’s clubs, only they’re all about non-sexual attention—beautiful women are paid to tend to men’s drinks, light their cigarettes, and laugh at their lame jokes. Young Japanese women have a crazy hard time getting hired for other jobs, since companies tend to favor men of the same age. Meanwhile, hostessing can be crazy lucrative—top hostesses make between $100K and $300K a year—and thus professional hostesses have gone from being considered tarts to respectable career gals. High school girls ranked hostessing #12 out of the top 40 professions, above nursing or working for the government. And why wouldn’t they want to spend their nights in evening gowns, sipping champagne? It’s a helluva lot better than getting minimum wage to temp, right? [NYTimes] Keep reading »
Meet Nisan, a 37-year-old man who lives with his parents outside a suburb of Toyko. Now meet his girlfriend Nemu, who is about 12 years old.
Nisan’s girlfriend isn’t a real 12-year-old girl, fortunately. She’s a body pillow with a picture of an X-rated anime character on it, from a game called Da Capo. Nisan brings Nemu, who has wide, child-like eyes, a pixie haircut, a blue bikini and gold ribbons in her hair, to restaurants, karaoke and the beach.
A reporter for the New York Times magazine joined Nisan and his pillow for lunch to talk about their real-life “Lars And The Real Girl” relationship—glibly scribbling about their sick relationship with no mention whatsoever of how this tween girl fetish is one wrong move away from being criminal. Keep reading »
While most businesses in Japan are crashing, the hotel industry has found a way to “stimulate” the economy. Giving new meaning to the term “love shack,” the country’s love hotels are racking up some serious tail. Chock full of “amenities” like DVD players, karaoke machines, makeup, custom rubbers and hot tubs, love hotels are open to all couples and all fetishes. The veil of sex-shame has fallen in Japan (unlike their neighbors in China), paving the way for this new multi-billion dollar business of love. And they’re getting creative! One hotel has a room with a merry-go-round in it. Not one with a circus fetish, I would much rather stay the night in the Hello Kitty-themed hotel in Osaka. [CNN] Keep reading »
Bagelheads isn’t a slang term for my people, the Jews, it’s actually a bizarre new beauty trend in Japan. The country that brought you the husband hunting bra and nose stretcher has now spawned a new body modification trend that looks straight out of a delicatessen.
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While most couples are trying to lessen the expense of their wedding during these tough economic times, couples in Japan actually rent extra family members, friends, and coworkers. In Japan, a wedding is seen as a formal event, so it must be attended by as many people as possible. Bosses usually give speeches and colleagues or friends perform at the party. But if a cousin, boss, or some other guest can’t attend, the bride or groom can hire a staff member of Office Agents for 20,000 yen ($200) to come in their place. “Suddenly, a guest might not be able to make it. Or maybe you are concerned about the gap in the number of guests you have compared to your partner. Or, there are many temp workers these days and they may be uncomfortable inviting the boss,” said Hiroshi Mizutani, who heads Office Agents, to Reuters. At one wedding, each of the groom’s 30 guests were fake friends and family. But this firm doesn’t just rent wedding guests. They also specialize in fake funeral attendees, secretaries for those that want to seem more important, and even lovers to introduce to the family. Keep reading »
The next time you hear, “Houston, we have a problem,” you know it’s not day-old boxer stink.
Koichi Wakata, a Japanese astronaut living aboard the International Space Station for the next three months, is testing J-ware undies made by the Japan Women’s University in Tokyo. J-ware’s magic undies kill bacteria, absorb water, and dry quickly — which means astronaut’s private parts are way less sweaty than your Earthling dude!
But the best part is the sweat-less skivvies are long-lasting in a way underwear just … shouldn’t be. “He can wear his trunks (underwear) more than a week,” an official at the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency proudly said of the cosmonaut. Ummm … ew.
There are no laundry facilities in zero gravity, obviously, so astronauts need duds they can wear to infinity and beyond. Man, being an astronaut is cooler than I thought: no need to moonwalk your dirty panties to the hamper. [Reuters] Keep reading »
A 40-year-old Japanese man named Tatsuhiko Kawata has been sentenced to five years in jail for having cold feet and a cold, cold heart. Kawata, who had been married since 1994, started cheating on his wife three years ago with another woman whom he agreed to marry last October at the Risonare hotel. Still married to the first wife, Kawata tried to delay the wedding on the eve of the ceremony by dumping petrol in the hotel and setting it on fire! Thankfully, no one was hurt, and the woman Kawata was set to merry dodged a bullet, too. The presiding judge who sentenced Kawata called him “egoistic and short-sighted.” Guess we need to add a #10 to our Signs He’s A Cheater post: He carries a can petrol around with him and sets a hotel on fire. [via Telegraph U.K.] Keep reading »
Canon and some 1,300 other companies in Japan are forcing their employees to leave work early twice a week in an attempt to encourage them to go home and make babies. The country has one of the world’s lowest birth rates in the world, well below what is needed to maintain its population. Some think 12-hour workdays are to blame, which is why companies are forcing workers out of the office twice a week by turning off the lights and heat. Unfortunately for employees, it also means they’re making less money in overtime hours and therefore have smaller incomes to pay for said babies. Keep reading »
A thief with a knife came at a woman and her six-month-old baby as they walked down the hallway in a Tokyo apartment building. The armed man demanded money, but when she told him she had none, he barged into her apartment. The woman made him a cup of tea, and the thief put his knife away and talked about his life for 20 minutes. Then, the woman gave him $93 and he left. Police were unable to catch the man. My question is: What kind of tea did she give him? I could use some of that. [Reuters] Keep reading »
I hate diets. While Americans spend billions of dollars a year making themselves miserable trying to loose some extra weight, I eat cake, wear bikinis that clearly show my stretch marks, and try to keep a healthy attitude about my appearance. Sure, sometimes my muffin top gets to me, but dieting just seems like a form of self-hatred when it involves eating pre-packaged low-cal food. Yuck!
But just like technology, Japan seems to have one up on us in the dieting category. In an article in fitness magazine, Fytte, Japanese women submitted the top 10 weight loss programs that worked for them. Much to my surprise, they actually sound fun. From #4 — Pelvis Exercises that include hula hooping — to #8 — taking a bath in scented salts for 45 minutes a day — slimming down never sounded so good! Who knows, maybe I’ll finally cave on this dieting stigma and learn to put my tummy to good use with belly dancing. [Calorie Lab]
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