Host clubs in Kabukicho partner with Shinjuku government to combat COVID-19 infections

Infections continue to rise in Tokyo as we enter the second wave of the coronavirus in Japan, though numbers remain very modest compared to other countries.

Much of the blame and media attention has focused on hostess and host clubs. We have followed this as part of our monitoring of how the COVID-19 is affecting the adult industry in Japan, where sex workers, gravure idols, strippers, and hostesses are facing a sudden and serious decline in income.

There has also been some name-calling between Ginza and Kabukicho, as the hostess clubs in each district try to claim that they are not the ones responsible for the clusters that are appearing.

In fact, host clubs are proving just as risky as hostess clubs, if not more so. Of the 28 new COVID-19 cases in Yokohama on June 30, 26 infections were traced back to the same host club. Host clubs may actually be riskier because hosts sometimes live together in dorms and their customers are frequently hostesses: a vicious circle of corona.

host club shinjuku tokyo kabukicho infection coronavirus covid19 testing

So, what to do? Just let the industry fade away? There is clearly still demand and, whatever the mainstream media and politicians like to say in public, hostess and host clubs are a part of Japanese culture and society.

Some hostesses have responded by going online or wearing special masks.

Host clubs, too, are trying to engage proactively with the challenge of operating during the new normal of these COVID-19 times. Despite their unsavory reputation, the clubs are working with the Shinjuku government to conduct testing.

This involved the mayor of Shinjuku, Kenichi Yoshizumi, reaching out to a famous host club manager, Maki Tezuka, who met the politician and told him that people in the scene want to cooperate but a deep-rooted distrust of government prevents this.

Everyone was worried that their personal and business names would be made public if they cooperated with the official testing. The last thing they wanted was more demonization. After the mayor assured him that their privacy would be protected, Tezuka was able to persuade many other club managers to take part in the discussions.

“From the very beginning our thoughts aligned on infection prevention. I felt that if we could get rid of that sense of distrust, we could make all kinds of progress.”

A hotline was set up and testing among hosts rose, resulting in an inevitable jump in the numbers of identified virus infections, but the hope is to bring the infections under control rather than shame clubs.

host club shinjuku tokyo kabukicho infection coronavirus covid19 testing

Tezuka and Yoshizumi have now formed a coronavirus prevention liaison committee across Kabukicho, including hostess and hostess clubs, cabaret clubs, bars, and other businesses (presumably sex clubs), to expand testing and protect the industry. It is surely a sign of the strange times we are living through when such unlikely alliances are formed.

“There is now less distance between the government and Kabukicho, and this could become an opportunity to build a new relationship,” say Tezuka.

japanese sex doll love orient industry silicone

Kaho and Satoshi Tsumabuki sex scenes depict passionate affair in Shape of Red

Not to be confused with the comedy-action movie starring Bruce Willis, Red, known as Shape of Red in English, came out earlier this year in Japan.

The R15-rated film stars Satoshi Tsumabuki and Kaho. Based on a novel by the award-winning writer Rio Shimamoto, Shape of Red is an erotic story with several appropriately sensual scenes involving the leads. We particularly like the toe-licking scene.

For a film about adultery and whose female director said is showing what women really want, the depiction of the affair is suitably focused on Kaho and not filtered through the male gaze that films with erotic themes typically labor under.

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

shape of red kaho sex scene movie film japanese actress nude naked satoshi tsumabuki

Sorry for the small and poor-quality nature of the images. We hope to get better screen grabs at a later date and do an update here or in a fresh post.

In the meantime, here is the film trailer.

mitsu no tsubo japanese sex toy luxury