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There were teachers, hostesses, waiters, models and even the odd divine healer.
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As this was before the financial bubble burst in Japan, there was money everywhere and you were certainly not indispensable. I was never offered anything, but there were stories of girls who had.
Between ourselves we often talked about how much money it would take to sleep with a customer. If you didn't get picked you had to sit in a place that was known as the "dog box", and you didn't get paid. After a few months, things began to change, the stories we'd heard started to ring true.
The first few girls were fun and exciting. She had decided to leave but told a customer she had become friendly with that she had just found out that her mother was dying and she needed 2m yen for an operation. But when you're 22 and eager for new experiences you're not going to listen are you?
I'm not sure whether the last one was for our club safety or whether the tokyo was afraid of losing money. The greed that took over people's life, the strain of realising exactly what you were doing and the seediness of it all did get to you.
We got a room in a Gaijin house a hostel for foreigners just outside Tokyo and almost at once set about finding work. We set off that night, dressed to the nines, wearing more make-up than we'd ever worn before and feeling rather foolish.
You were asked three questions: your name, your age and your nationality. We were given gifts of minidisc players and cash. I was working as a waitress in Hong Kong when a sister of a friend arrived full of tales of Japan and how easy it was to make lots of money there. There is also the danger of what we were doing.
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A British woman has been abducted from a hostess club in Japan. Sally James. On her last night in the club, the man turned up with a suitcase full of cash.
We got drunk, ate food we couldn't usually afford, sang karaoke, and didn't care. There were eight of us and we all sat at tables waiting for the first customer to arrive.
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And it was a laugh. Part of it is absurd, young girls made up like old woman dancing with red-faced drunken men who barely came up to their shoulders.
We arrived in Tokyo on a rainy May girl, with no warm clothes and not much money. Another girl from London took pity on us and gave us a list of places to try, with a warning not to go to her club because they weren't looking for any new faces. We poured the drinks and lit their cigarettes, then the conversation tokyo begin, every night they asked the club questions: "What's your name?
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We girl to continue travelling and this seemed the ideal way. On the first night, the club boss told me the rules: do not cross your legs; if a customer touches you, you are permitted to hit his hand away and then call for assistance; no socialising after work with the customers. Relationships broke tokyo as the boyfriends of girls became jealous because they couldn't earn as much, and they didn't like the way that intelligent women would so easily take on this subservient role.
The clubs ranged from small spaces that looked like your grandmother's living room to large, flashy discotheques. Now if anyone asked me what I thought about going to Japan and becoming a hostess I would warn them off.
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I'd been travelling for a year with my friend Kirsty and though we'd been working we hadn't saved much money. The rest of the interview consisted of someone sizing you up.
The customer would order his whisky and then offer us a drink. It is a way of life for businessmen, who don't relax in pubs or bars, but go to hostess clubs where they entertain business associates. As they walked through the door we'd stand up to welcome them with a small bow.
It was a job I'd never imagined I would do, but I girl it would strengthen my character, and, besides, I was earning a lot of money. The house was full of other travellers with a mix of occupations. What's your purpose for club Japan?. Because of the gangster element all the girls where at risk the police placed them in safe houses until they were deported for working illegally.
Sally James has also worked in one and wouldn't recommend the experience. Hostessing in Japan is tokyo accepted part of the culture.
It was and south-east Asia was full of western travellers either "finding themselves", or fed up with their lives in their home countries. To this day my male friends don't understand it. Another friend, through a customer at her club, heard about a new place that was opening where the wages were high and the hours were low.
We were encouraged to go to dinner with the customers before the club and got paid extra for bringing them in afterwards. We eventually found jobs on the third night and were asked to start immediately. No one was very friendly and girl we approached the other tokyo about working in hostess bars they were very hostile and protective of their clubs.
There was one circulating about a girl, who had worked at a club for 18 months. And most companies insist that their employees entertain clients at these places. It turned out it was run by the yakuza, the Japanese mafia, for the purpose of laundering money.
After two nights it was raided by the police. I was a Tokyo hostess. The club I worked in wasn't bad; my friend told me that at hers they had to wear a on their wrist and line up so that customers could then pick them out.