Tokyo Girls

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Ratings: 7.63/10 from 126 users.
Storyline
Tokyo Girls

Being a hostess in Tokyo is really not that simple. At least Director Penelope Buitenhuis claims that through the tale of four hostesses in her documentary Tokyo Girls. Throughout this emotionally ambiguous film, a sense of complexity and complicity becomes evident, and straight lines become blurred.

At first, it seems Buitenhuis is simply giving you a first-hand look at how working as a hostess in Tokyo is a 'more economical spin-off' of Geisha culture. It seems to be another option women use to achieve financial freedom. The interviews, for example, explore the reasons these foreign women choose such an unorthodox career. Each hostess describes her job as easy, entertaining, and rewarding. Their job, it seems, is a dream come true for them.

But soon, the scene and the story shifts. Like a Barbie doll cut-outs, they hover over expensive cars, glitter in the middle of the street and on the sidewalk, and don't fit anywhere. They begin to recount experiences that are now more reminiscent of nightmares, rather than dreams. The dreams have given way to a 'twilight zone' where nothing is as simple, and straightforward as it seems.

As the film trudges on to an uneasy close, Buitenhuis "lightens" the mood and attempts to look at the "practice" from the men's point of view. Sarcastic comments, however, hint at a more subjective intent. The images get darker and more sinister. In contrast, the men describe their visits to hostess clubs as an essential part of getting ahead in business. They portray themselves as clients and pragmatically talk about the money they spend as an investment in their success.

Still, the director seems content with implying that the hostesses are being exploited by the rich and powerful. She seems to gloss over the fact that these women have willingly chosen to work in this illegal industry for money. As such, Tokyo Girls is an expose that stirs up strange reactions; and in the end, even the allusion to a silver lining is smudged.

93 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Danny

    I feel pity for those men (*and women), but who am I to judge... The girls are pretty good off I would say, being the golddiggers(correct: being primarily interested in making money using sexappeal as a means to get it.) that they are. Seems like the best place in the world for upclass prostitutes. I would describe the movie as a very interesting take on the relationship between men and women in general, women primarily seeking material security and men looking for gratification and approval.

  2. pwndecaf

    The Japanese (edit fot Danny) culture is so mysterious. Nothing is what it seems, but yet it is the same as everywhere else. They just play a game - sort of like people who pretend they are religious but it is all for show and no one is fooled. Very hard to put to words.

    I couldn't live there for a week, I think. I like people to be upfront and honest, but not rude. The East apparently only demands the "don't be rude" part. Is it just a part of "face" or ego or acceptance?

    There is more to this film than just the hostess business, at least I thought so.

  3. dmxi

    mmh......golddiggers,i hear?digging gold is easier than getting 'dug' by dick!
    the percentage of prostitutes that merely do it for financial benefits are outnumbered by those whom have no or little option otherwise .

  4. a_no_n

    Because generalizing people based on extremes never has any negative effects has it?

  5. a_no_n

    Are we really any different?

    I'm assuming you're not British, because we rarely speak straight either, we mask over our intentions and feelings with everything from politeness to passive aggressiveness and sarcasm.

  6. Danny

    I did not gerneralize people. Read again and think ... I described the movie as an interesting take not as the general truth...

  7. Danny

    I would not say that japan is representative for the "east". things are very different in china, india or thailand for ex. Japanese culture is not so mysterious once you know the history. While on the surface alot has changed the culture itself is still very much influenced by the ideals of the samurai era.

  8. Fabien L'Amour

    I would say ''the relationship between men and women in general, women primarily seeking material security and men looking for gratification and approval.'' is indeed an archaic generalization.

    There are nowadays lots of financialy secure women looking for gratification and approval.

  9. Danny

    that was not my opinion but my description of what kind of story the movie/doc tells. Did you intentionally miss the first part of that sentence? . "I would describe the movie as a very interesting take on the relationship between men and women in general" So hard to understand? I bet you did not even watch the doc.

  10. a_no_n

    your comment was nothing BUT generalisation. From the language you used down to the structure you used it in.

    you even used the words men and women in general. and then went on to generalise in your next sentence.

    perhaps think before type.

  11. Danny

    agree but that has nothing to do with the documentary ... the women in the doc have no other reason but making easy money and alot of it. they are not poor or forced to do it by any means. It is a well calculated choice.

  12. Danny

    you are the one who is generalizing. I made a very clear statement. you simply want to get it wrong. Again I said it is an interesting TAKE on ... men and women in genral. Still dont get it? hopeless case....

  13. a_no_n

    it's hard to get it when the person saying it doesn't have a clue what the words he is using mean.

    I also like how the women who do this are Golddiggers, but the men get no slur of their own...Or is that not a generalisation either in your topsy turvey world where black means white and square means round?

  14. Danny

    I did comment on the men in my first sentence and I said I feel pitty for them, that is not exactly a compliment, btw. I feel the same for you... To say something is in general like this or that implies that the person saying this is well aware that there are exceptions... You dont get it because you dont want to admit that you have got no point whatsoever.. Would you disagree that those women in the doc are only interested in making easy money by selling there sexappeal? (im not judging its just how it is, if you really need to answer please answer my question, (recognizable due to the questionmark))

  15. Fabien L'Amour

    The way you structured your sentence it seemed to me to be a very sexist generalization (based on the documentary or not). In my opinion, It's a slippery slope to try to guess the motives of humans based on a 57 minutes documentary, especially from a completely different culture.

  16. a_no_n

    ah the men get pity and the women get scorn...so I did read it right.

    Keep your self serving pity to yourself, I don't need it.

    My point is that you're a chauvinist.

  17. Danny

    If that "seemed" to you it is your problem, it is not what I typed. If "the way I structured my sentence" is to hard for you to follow you might need to read more. Also you definitely did not watch the doc. The girls are all european and not from a different culture at all, you make no sense what so ever... In my opinion it is a slippery slope to judge on someones comments on a doc that you did not even take the time to watch.

  18. Danny

    "Because generalizing people based on extremes never has any negative effects has it?"
    .....
    "My point is that you're a chauvinist."
    See the contradiction?

    I case you dont I`ll point it out: Making a general claim about me as a person based on a single comment in some forum is exactly what you accused me for in the first place. It is generalizing people (me - btw I am a person) and it had negative effects aswell. this useless discussion for ex.
    also I did not scorn anyone saying that they are golddiggers is simply a casual way of saying they make money using sexappeal as a commodity. and they do.. dont they?

    my point is, you just dont want to admit you are wrong. thats also why you did not answer my question. here it is again:

    Would you disagree that those women in the doc are only interested in making easy money by selling there sexappeal?

  19. steviecomment

    I think you are spot on, men are attracted to women with fertility, women are attracted to men with resources. Both for understandable reasons, it makes perfect sense. Now there are exceptions, but generally this is a pattern you see across the world.

  20. Fabien L'Amour

    I saw the doc and your statement still appears very sexist. The girl from Quebec didn't seem to be a "gold digger" doing pretty good like you suggest and didn't sound like she was having a awesome time in her 1 room flat having to put make up in a restaurant so she doesn't get judged by everybody at her dancing class.

    I am also curious to know how much money the agencies and club owners take from them to let them work. Do you seriously think the "pimps" that control their life in Japan don't get the largest share of the pie? You might want to read on the Yakuza before taking all that is said in that doc as evangelical truth.

    "Sex-related enterprises are the yakuza's bread and butter, and they
    cater to the wild side of Japan's overworked, buttoned-down "salary
    men." The yakuza smuggle truckloads of pornographic films and magazines
    into Japan from Europe and America. They control prostitution rings
    throughout the country, commonly holding young women from other Asian
    countries captive as indentured servants and forcing them to work as
    "comfort workers." The Japanese euphemistically refer to the act of
    prostitution as "selling spring," and Japanese johns have a taste for
    very young women, as demonstrated by the national obsession with young
    women in school-girl outfits complete with short pleated skirts and knee
    socks. The yakuza buy unwanted female children from China--where the
    law restricts couples to only one child and the cultural preference is
    for boys--for as little as $5,000 and put them to work in the mizu shobai (literally the "water business"), the yakuza's network of bars, restaurants and nightclubs."

    If you think their whiteness protects them from the Yakuza, you are delusional.

  21. Danny

    you keep on mixing up different topics, I will stick to the documentary. The girl from quebec clearly did that as a matter of choice, And do you think in quebec they have a "completely different culture" ? what are you talking about? living in tokyo and taking dancing classes does not pass as reason to be forced to work as a hostess. She does not have to take expensive danceclasses in tokyo, does she? She can do whatever she wants she chooses to work in that field. Thats like saying I need to drink two bottles of expensive champagne everyday so poor me is forced to work as a prostitute, just silly. In one point in the documentary she explaines her apartement costs her as much as a luxury 4 or 5 room apartement would cost in Canada - not exactly poverty, would you say? Also none of the girls ever talked about being in any way forced to do what they did. They all CHOSE to do it for one reason GOOD MONEY!!! come back to reality. You just dont want to admit that all I said in my initilal comment is nothing but true instead you start talking about prostitution or yakuza in general wich is NOT what the doc is about... the doc is about those women doing what they do to make a rather wealthy living in one of the most expensive neighborhoods of the world. blahblah blah.... blah..you are talking much saying nothing, what has smuggling and forced prostitution to do with the doc? NOTHING - Shut up and stop the madness

  22. Fabien L'Amour

    Your premise is they are not forced into prostitution, I have serious doubts. What makes you think they would come forward saying they are in a documentary being filmed in Japan? It's just like Eastern european women forced into nude dancing in North America that certify they only dance to pay their school tuition and never use drugs...

  23. Guest

    muahahahaha that is the dumbest thing I ever heard... make your own doc about western europeans and americans forced to work as overpaid hostesses in japan and file it under "fiction" no further comments...

    and concerning women and men:
    Attractive body (more important to men)

    Attractive face (more important to men)

    Earning potential (more important to women)

    Ambition (more important to women)

    Kindness (equally important to both)

    Intelligence (equally important to both)

  24. Danny

    muahahahaha that is the dumbest thing I ever heard... make your own doc
    about western europeans and americans forced to work as overpaid
    hostesses in japan and file it under "fiction" no further comments...

  25. Fabien L'Amour

    The only girl in there that was 100% honest was the one that divulged that they drank lots of alcool and did speed during breaks and it ended in a lot of heartaches if you get the gist of what she ment.

  26. Danny

    She also explained WHY they did that. So that they could drink more and get more comissions. They where NOT forced but they wanted the moneyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!

  27. Fabien L'Amour

    You can look at it the other way, what if she didn't get the customers to drink more or do whatever he pleases. They are swimming in the illegal "water business" of the Yakuza, it's not Mary Kay or Avon.

  28. Danny

    worst thing that would happen is that she would not make any money and has to go back to quebec because she cannot afford high living cost in tokyo no more. Thats it! Not exactly forced prostitution just a normal consequence of not doing a good job in whatever business you work in.. ah man, let it be, will ya?

  29. Guest

    I guess we have a different perspective of how the illegal drug fueled "men catering" business operates.

    You think they are gold diggers that always have a choice and they don't suffer psychological manipulation and/or physical duress of any kind.

    I think they get in with the promise of easy money and get manipulated into doing the pimps will and can't easily quit when they are too deep in to get out.

    I pity the women caught in that business and despise the men fueling it, your attitude seems to be the opposite which is diametrically against my values.

  30. Fabien L'Amour

    I guess we have a different perspective of how the illegal drug fueled "men catering" business operates.

    You think they are gold diggers that always have a choice and they don't suffer psychological manipulation and/or physical duress of any kind.

    I think they get in with the promise of easy money and get manipulated into doing the Yakuza will and can't easily quit when they are too deep in to get out.

    I pity the women caught in that business and
    despise the men fueling it, your attitude seems to be the opposite which is diametrically against my values.

  31. Danny

    I do pity the women aswell, but it is of their own making and they CAN leave anytime they want, as one woman in the doc DID. I pity theam for being either stupid or greedy or both and I pity the men for being rich but unhappy and or ignorant at the same time. Difference between us is your view is onesided and ignores the fact that in THIS case the women are not victims but women who know exactly what they are doing. Depicting them as victims anyway is actually sexist.

  32. Danny

    I pity both sides. The women and the men in the doc are poor bastards from my POV. Anyway, those women know what they are doing and they chose to do it, they can leave at anytime. They know yakuza are gangsters and still they fight over yakuza clients because they pay best! To pretend that they are victims anyway is like saying they have no will of there own or are not able to make an educated choice. THAT is actually sexist and chauvinist wich is is diametrically against MY values.

  33. Fabien L'Amour

    We know she left, I have no idea where you get the information that she left whenever she wanted. She was there 3 years and seemed very sour about the whole experience which makes me believe it lasted a lot longer than she desired.

  34. Fabien L'Amour

    You might want to read on drug and alcohol addiction.

  35. Danny

    omg that has NOTHING to do with this.... You do not need to work as an hostess in tokyo to finance a speed and alcohol addiction ... stop bullshiting yourself and accept that you where WRONG. You want to claim there is no such thing as voluntary prostitution? YOU are completely dellusional.

  36. Fabien L'Amour

    These are tools used by the Yakuzas to control their lives, which is the point you seem to totally miss about the whole thing.

  37. Danny

    WHAT? She left when she wanted to leave!! Is there any point where any girl claims she wanted to stop doing this and could not??? You are making up your own fairytale just so you dont have to admit you are wrong I dispise such behaviour. Your dead to me...

  38. Danny

    They only tool needed to manipulate them is MONEY. You are a ignorant person, atleast regarding this topic.

  39. oQ

    Give the guy a slack, he's mainly right.

  40. Danny

    thx for adding some honesty and reasoning to the discussion.

  41. watchtheduck

    It's been that way throughout history. However, it's very sexist to label the women gold-diggers, as if only they have an agenda of acquiring something from the men. It's not only one gender exploiting the other, it goes both ways.

  42. watchtheduck

    Danny, you really don't know much at all about how industry (including the military) exploits women so that they are indeed trapped once lured in to these professions. Look up Comfort Women (of Japan) to see how this is accomplished. Economics is also one way for women to become lured and trapped. It's not as easy for women to make something of themselves economically, as there is still no equality between what women earn compared to what men earn and still plenty of disparity in regards to employment opportunities.

  43. Fabien L'Amour

    We are allowed to courteously disagree, no need to become uncivil and insult everybody that disagrees with you.

  44. watchtheduck

    That's what we are told. Unfortunately, most people accept the crap we've been told about the way things are and don't bother to analyze them. If you want to talk bulls*it, men are no more attracted to "fertile" women than sport hunters are to the hunt because of a need for food. Men are attracted to beautiful women, plain and simple. Beauty has absolutely nothing to do with a woman's fertility, only youth does, but even youth doesn't guarantee that a woman is fertile. If women are attracted to men with resources, it's because throughout history women have been dependent upon men for survival, only married women had some degree of security. Unmarried women often had no means of supporting themselves or their children other than to prostitute themselves or to hook up with a man in marriage or as a mistress. Of course, most people know nothing about the history of women because we are only taught HIS-story.

  45. Fabien L'Amour

    You seem to like to categorize genders in set stereotypes, you are free to do so but please accept people might not agree with you.

  46. watchtheduck

    No he's not. Read my comments above.

  47. watchtheduck

    Absolutely right on. The problem is that many men can't see beyond their own nose to see when they are. Danny is one of them not even aware of his biased attitude which is easily detected by anyone with any sensitivity to the use of language.

  48. Fabien L'Amour

    You didn't think it was odd a client would get 5-6 calls a day? It looks pretty obvious that was set up by the patrons to have him go out with at least one woman.

  49. Keith

    I lived in Japan for two years. There are parts of Japan where they act really nice no matter how they really feel about you. That part is only professionalism though, when you actually get to know people there they will be more open. It's just one part of their culture, it doesn't make sense to say this is true about all of Japan. Plus it's different when someone there is a foreigner, they are usually really nice to foreigners which can add to them putting on a "face".

  50. steviecomment

    I see your point, i also think that you need to define what beauty is, why do women seek to look young? And why do men become more attractive, when they demonstrate narcissistic characteristics?

  51. watchtheduck

    I actually think it would be far more interesting if you define what beauty is (from a man's standpoint) since the standard of beauty for women has historically been set by men. As to your second question, I think it's more of an assumption you have made in question form. It could be presumed that men are no different. In the beginning of any male/female encounter, the men are equally as enamored towards female narcissists (aloof and hard to catch), perhaps even more so since they enjoy the chase so much. For either gender, narcissism becomes much less attractive as a relationship progresses, and it often becomes difficult to end those kind of relationships especially if children or threat of violence is involved.

  52. steviecomment

    I agree that men can find narcissistic women attractive too. But the "bad boy" character is
    more common. Maybe due to there being a greater number of narcissistic men on the planet, who knows. I never had a thing for Margaret Thatcher, thats for certain.......

  53. pwndecaf

    I hope I didn't sound like I wouldn't care for the Japanese people. If I did, then I didn't phrase it very well. I only meant it would be difficult for me to keep in tune with the differences in behavior towards one another. It is surely not "American" as in US of A.

  54. Danny

    I can go along with that.

  55. Guest

    nah cant agree to that I think this is actually sexist, pretending women are like children and not responsible for the choices they make. Men are equally lured into (for ex the military ) Economics lures and traps everyone not just women. It is not easy for anyone to make something of themselves economically. For ex. if I wanted to make a living in Tokyo by simply talking to women snorting speed and driking loads of alcohol, and every now and then let one of them **** me for 20 seconds I couldnt, because I am a man. But I could ty working for the yakuza in a different field and would be equally in trouble. It is not as easy for nto find a rich woman to marry also if he is young and handsome. So both sides have advantages and disadvantages. The lower income is only true for positions in middle and higher management and not for the everyday job.
    This is a problem of the upper class.

  56. Danny

    nah cant agree to that I think this is actually sexist, pretending women are like children and not responsible for the choices they make. It is like saying oh this poor men who go to prostitutes are not responsible for what they do because they are lured in by sex. Men are equally lured into (for ex the military ) Economics lures and traps everyone not just women. It is not easy for anyone to make something of themselves economically. For ex. if I wanted to make a living in Tokyo by simply talking to women snorting speed and driking loads of alcohol, and every now and thenhave a 20 seconds fling, I couldnt, because I am a man. But I could try working for the yakuza in a different field (not a chance i guess) and would be equally lured by money. Also It is not as easy for a man to find a rich woman to marry, also if he is young and handsome. So both sides have advantages and disadvantages. The lower income is unfair but only true for positions in middle and higher management and not for the everyday job and not a reason to move to tokyo and work as a hostess. Please be serious...

  57. Danny

    To pretend that it is not a fact that men are naturaly interested in t&a while women naturally are interested in powerfull men is simply ignoring reality. There ARE differences between men and women of sexual nature. Also in matriarchal societys this does not change.

  58. Danny

    yes I am read my responses

  59. Danny

    Some stuff to get you thinking-

    Mosuo Society is a society dominated by women:

    Is Mosuo society a paradise for feminists?

    Coler: I had expected to find an inverse patriarchy. But the life
    of the Mosuo has absolutely nothing to do with that. Women have a
    different way of dominating. When women rule, it's part of their work.
    They like it when everything functions and the family is doing well.
    Amassing wealth or earning lots of money doesn't cross their minds.
    Capital accumulation seems to be a male thing. It's not for nothing that
    popular wisdom says that the difference between a man and a boy is the
    price of his toys. (I think this is the wrong conclusion because also if you go to patriarchial organized societies indios in southamerica for ex. you wont find that the men are interested in amassing wealth and earning loads of money, that is rather due to the culture in general)

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: What is life like for a man in a matriarchy?

    Coler: Men live better where women are in charge: you are
    responsible for almost nothing, you work much less and you spend the
    whole day with your friends. You're with a different woman every night.
    And on top of that, you can always live at your mother's house. The
    woman serves the man and it happens in a society where she leads the way
    and has control of the money. In a patriarchy, we men work more -- and
    every now and then we do the dishes. In the Mosuo's pure form of
    matriarchy, you aren't allowed to do that. Where a woman's dominant
    position is secure, those kinds of archaic gender roles don't have any
    meaning...."

    I think there is some jumping to conclusions here BUT what becomes very clear is, that there are differences between men and women and that being the dominating part in a gender role does not always mean you are better off and vice versa..

  60. Danny

    Nah stevie that is not the question, dont let yourself get all confused. It is not true that women are atraccted to men with ressources because they always have been dependent on them. This is sexist thinking disguised as feminism. Women like powerfull men. Nowerdays power is equal to money. Thats all. Also most rich and independent women want a man atleast as rich as they are. Women like to feel protected. Naturally a man MUST be able to protect his woman atleast during the time of pregnancy and lactation. Men are interested in women with strong sexual features, I dont understand why this should make women look worth then men. Both of them follow natural instincts. Sure all this can be overwritten by culture or education and men can get to like children instead or even horses, and women can feel atraccted to poor men without any will or power, BUT NATURALLY men like big T&A and women like powerfull men. Its NATURAL. Everybody knows that, you also find equivalent behaviour in almost all mammals. Dont deny human nature in order to be politically correct.

  61. Danny

    sure sexappeal has to do with fertility, thick lips broad hips, round breast, long hair all this is a sign of fertility in women, also if its not a guarantee. Otherway round the same... big muscles, beard, deep voice, hair on the chest (in some cultures), are signs of male fertility, come on..... be serious will ya?

  62. steviecomment

    No confusion here.

  63. a_no_n

    i'm glad someone else sees it too.

  64. Fabien L'Amour

    As if it's easy for a hostess that doesn't speak Japanese to obtain an unlimited supply of speed (more than likely methamphetamine) without dealing with the mob. Getting your female workers hooked on drugs is the ABC of prostitution, please get informed.

  65. a_no_n

    I don't think he is, the conclusions of his argument are based on a bias that is specifically against the women and sees the men as helpless victims.

  66. oQ

    if you stay within the documentary, he is right, the girls are in it for money. I happen to know a few girls from BC who travel the world stripping, hostessing and the likes, i suppose it depends on how far they are willing to go for the extra $$. They do it for the money, for the opportunity of travelling the world, they do have agents (not pimps) to whom they pay a commission, they do drugs but then again they do them at home too. The doc does not talk about the other side of prostitution involving those who are forced against their will. I am sure if a girl spends more than she makes someone will get on her case, same in Canada or US.

  67. watchtheduck

    Where did you get that interview from? If it was in this video, I sure don't recall hearing it. Sounds to me like what is being described as "women in charge" as African and Middle Eastern culture where women tend to all the domestic work and the men do whatever they want. The men don't care if the women take over the work because they don't want to do it. Given the choice, (which they aren't) the women wouldn't be doing it either. The problem is that the women from the time they are girls are not educated well and have no other opportunities available to them. So, how in the world is this considered a Matriarchal Society? It's still Patriarchal with men having the freedom, and women doing the drudge work.

    If you want to know what a true Matriarchal society looks like, you have to go WAY back in HIS-Story before Patriarchal societies became adopted as the norm. You will find them in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Turkey, and Ancient Crete. When women aren't being subjugated as Domestics or Sex Slaves, the culture isn't actually dominated by women, but is egalitarian, with equal respect and rights of both male and female. Returning to that would heal this sick world.

  68. watchtheduck

    Ever heard of a Pimp, Danny? Women are "pimped" all the time, so don't tell me about choices.

  69. Danny

    THAT is true sexism and equals fashism. To believe women are only victims and are the better humnan beings in general is far from the truth and makes me just as sick as saying whites are better than blacks or germans better than jews.

  70. Danny

    ??? "Poor girls need to get an unlimited supply of speed, so that they can make more money and they even have to buy it from actual CRIMINALS!!!! THAT is outrages! We should send some MARINES to SAVE those poor girls!!!!" ??? - The drugs used to get prostitutes hooked are not exactly speed and alcohol, nobody gets so hooked on speed or liquor, that he/she will prostitute himself for it, those are cheap drugs and not as addictive as heroine, cocaine or crack. Also some people take drugs just because they want to. IMAGINE THAT!

  71. Danny

    Those women where not controled by any violent pimp that would take their passports and beat them up. They are not some illegal imigrants. Not all women are "pimped" all the time. Women can stand for themselfs and are just as indipendent as men are. Just like the women in the doc, actually THAT is what they are payed for so well, for having a CHOICE, there IS forced prostittution in Japan aswell, but this wasnt it. Prostitution is not always forced upon women, especially not when alot of money is involved also Hostess business is not always prostitution.This is upper class hostess business where the women know what they are doing and they do it because they want to IF they want to, they even get payed for just talking. It is a job alot of women will do voluntarily, aslon it is payed that well. You have a pretty weird way of looking at women. Women are fully capable to make choices on their own. Ever heard of the saying: every man has his price - its the same with women.

  72. Danny

    An unpopular truth is like a light blinding the eyes of those unfamiliar to it. We are allowed to reconsider our positions and listen to reason, so we can leave our misconceptions behind and develop a higher level of understanding. Sure we can aswell stick to an argument just for the sake of it. I am the first to admit when I was wrong but I will not let ignorance dominate truth without atleast trying to shine light into the darkness.

  73. Fabien L'Amour

    "For example, in lab experiments done on animals, sex causes dopamine
    levels to jump from 100 to 200 units, and cocaine causes them to spike
    to 350 units. "[With] methamphetamine you get a release from the base
    level to about 1,250 units, something that's about 12 times as much of a
    release of dopamine as you get from food and sex and other pleasurable
    activities," Dr. Richard Rawson, associate director of UCLA's Integrated Substance Abuse Programs

    "The mental depression associated with methamphetamine withdrawal lasts longer and is more severe than that of cocaine withdrawal." Winslow BT, Voorhees KI, Pehl KA (2007). "Methamphetamine abuse"

    I am not afraid to state that Meth is at least if not more addictive than cocaine. Feel free to come up with quotes and research that contradicts the above.

  74. Danny

    Meth is NOT equal to speed.. Speed is a far less potent amphetamine..

    "Speed is amphetamine. Speed is sold in the powdered form.

    Crystal is methamphetamine. Sold in the crystalline form."
    "Neither methamphetamine nor amphetamine are really safe for use but amphetamines are used in some prescription medications. Amphetamines can be safe for oral use when they are used EXACTLY as prescribed and under the supervision or direct medical care of a doctor. Methamphetamine is NEVER safe for oral consumption and should not be used by any means!" ... "Meth is both stronger and passes over the blood brain barrier quicker so it gives a stronger rush than regular amphetamine....This also makes meth way more addictive too."

    However the street name/s of a drug vary by where you are located.

    but anyhow, so what?

    you think drugusers are all forced to take drugs and have got no responsibility of their own?, or does the no responsibiltiy part only count for women? My main point about speed was that speed is a CHEAP drug and you do NOT need to be a high class hostess in japan to be able to afford it!!!!!! You ignore all valid arguments I make and try to find some minor mistakes instead. go ahead and stay ignorant, I am just trying to help here.

  75. Fabien L'Amour

    Price doesn't have to do with addiction, why should I care about the price? In Canada, where the woman that commented on them taking Speed is coming from, it is methamphetamine. Actually, regular amphetamines are really rare on the market as methamphetamines are much easier to synthesize with commonly available chemicals.

    Here is what speed is in Canada : "Methamphetamine varies in texture and purity depending on how it is made. It may be sold as a fine to coarse powder ("speed"), crystals ("crystal meth"), or white chunks with grey or pink bits. It may be taken by mouth, smoked, snorted, or injected. "Speed" is the street term for the injectable or orally ingested form of methamphetamine. "Crystal meth" is the street term for the smokeable form of methamphetamine."

    Here is an excerpt that describes the metamphetamine history and use in Japan :

    "After nuking Japan, the Americans, in order to protect Japanese society
    from the dangers of marijuana, passed the Hemp Control Act in 1948. A
    few years later Japan experienced the first methamphetamine epidemic in
    the world. During the 1950s, according to the United Nations Office on
    Drugs and Crime, approximately 30,000 people each year were arrested in
    connection with speed.

    Things have calmed down since then. But speed is
    still the number one illicit drug of choice in Japan, and its use is
    once again rising among young people.There are an estimated 1-2 million
    users of speed in Japan. While amphetamines
    were first synthesized in Germany, it was the Japanese scientist Akira Ogata, in 1919, who
    brought us methamphetamine, a more potent close chemical cousin, and the
    more popular form today."

  76. Danny

    what is your point? they need to work as hostesses so that they can get hands on speed? Are you realy that stu***? they only work as hostesses because they are addicted to speed? Did you watch the doc? None of the girls says anything about being forced to do ANYTHING. Except one girl wich kind of said she FELT like she had to sleep with one mobster guy after receiving and gladly accepting a shipload of expensive presents. She also said that she and her coworkers FAUGHT for the YAKUZA clients because THEY PAY BEST! After he put her in an expensive apartment she ran without anyone trying to stop her and took all she could carry with her. What are you saying man???? That those women in the doc where forced to do that job??? Forced to talk to some rich japanese guys in bars and earn more money they ever had before? Are you serious? Dont you think you will find lots of women who will gladly do that job aslong as they earn alot of money? Do you think women are innocent children who would never do something like that for money? Dont you recognize that this is a VERY outdated way of looking at women? If they where men who work as hostesses for rich women would you think they have been forced aswell? Hopeless case of chronic ignorance.

  77. Fabien L'Amour

    I'll re-post what I wrote earlier, hopefully that will answer all your questions in one go.

    I think they get in with the promise of easy money and get manipulated
    into doing the Yakuza will and can't easily quit when they are too deep
    in to get out.

    I am done with our discussion, it's pointless to bang heads needlessly and monopolize the board repeating and explaining the same arguments over and over for weeks.

  78. Danny

    That is totally ok with me but what you also said was: "I pity the women caught in that business and despise the men fueling it, your attitude seems to be the opposite which is diametrically against my values." - I actually think you are right on the first part. - "I think they get in with the promise of easy money and get manipulated into doing the Yakuza will and can't easily quit when they are too deep in to get out." - My point is: they CAN leave at anytime. How easy? I think packing your stuff and go is easy enough. Also to pity the women and dispise the men is not right because by your argument the men "fueling" or rather managing this business are just victims themself. Every yakuza gets in with the promise of easy money and gets manipulated into doing the Yakuza will and can't AT ALL, EVER quit once they are in. They will be hunted down, they would need to leave their country behind and their familymembers might be killed if they do it. Feel pity for the yakuza members aswell? And those men who go there to have a flirt and waste their money? They get in with the promise of a joyfull flirt (they could go to a real callgirl where intercourse is guaranteed but they choose not to) and later get manipulated by the yakuza aswell, receiving a phonecall every few minutes by a girl who begs you to go have a drink with her because she needs the money, is also manipulating isnt it? So who is to blame, who is responsible? Nobody? Only male people? Or everybody for himself? What do you think?

  79. Fabien L'Amour

    I think women are provided to the guys that spend the cash if they want one. I think women on speed and alcool night after night don't have much control over what happens to them in a foreign land where they don't speak the language and aren't in a psychological state to make the right decisions.

  80. bringmeredwine

    Is that a class thing a_no_n, or does that go for most Brits?

  81. a_no_n

    no it's laced all the way up really. Obviously there are those who don't prescribe to this cultural oddity...But suffering in silence is generallyconsidered the "British" thing to do...at least until the offender has gone.

  82. bringmeredwine

    Interesting.
    Forgive this Canadian. I'd heard about the stiff upper lip: Always always wondered if it was strictly a stereotype.
    I've met many Brits in the Caribbean. (blue collar workers) The women struck me as far more outgoing than their men. Ready for fun. The men appeared to be shy (reserved) and outside of their comfort zone.

  83. a_no_n

    Obviously it depends on the person, and i'm kind of stepping on my own toes by resorting to stereotypes, but since i'm talking about my own lot i don't think it's too hypocritical.

    In general anything which could be classified as "Causing a scene" is viewed as a faux pas.

    It's also more of an English thing than a British thing...The Scots, Irish and Welsh don't really have the same general attitude. they sort of do but i think it's observed differently...or perhaps they're just generally friendlier i'm honestly not sure.

  84. bringmeredwine

    Yes, I think you're spot on about this being an English thing. Thanks.
    My people are of Scottish decent, Glasgow. Came here in the 1800's with nothing. Nobody died by the bottle or beat their spouse about the face and neck, though. (as far as I know, lol).

  85. jackmax

    BS it is well known that you Brits are a class of whingers and if you need to have evidences review to ashes tour of Australia last years when they were flogged 5-0. You had team member walk out of the team and the dis=unity was there biggest enemy during there whole tour, and the fall out did not stop for many months after they returned home

  86. a_no_n

    yeah...i don't pretend to understand cricket...madness that way lies.

  87. Danny

    Watch the documentary "The great happiness space tale of an osaka love thief" *suggestion for TDF and let me know if this isnt just the same thing done with men...

  88. bluetortilla

    You would get used to it. It's just culture.

  89. bluetortilla

    I found this quite disturbing in that all the symptoms of being sexually exploited were evident but somehow justified in that this isn't really 'prostitution.' It seemed quite apparent to me that all these women had a very hard time coping with what they were involved in and that the men were just as lewd and insecure as men anywhere who buy sexual attention with money.
    Was this documentary about sex? About money? Drugs? About the disappearance of the person inside in this process of being used as a sexual object? After these experiences, did any of these women really have much to say that gave us insight and meaning into this world? For me it remains just as creepy and mysterious as it always has. Did the experience make them shallow or were they traumatized to begin with? (That's just what seems like an observation to me- not a judgement for sure.) Isn't hard to believe the couple who say they are happily married? These are currencies that separate humans from each other across all borders and cultures.

  90. bluetortilla

    I'd like to add one more thing: the argument that "women have willingly chosen to work in this illegal industry for money" is often invoked to make work in the sex industry seem a victimless crime. If someone can present me with a rational argument for that (that sacrificing one's self-esteem and a willingness to be abused for money is healthy) I'd like to hear it. I don't think we talk much about the how powerful and addictive the drug money really is and how the lust for it can make the innocent and naive stumble along their paths to a point where true recovery can be difficult or even impossible to achieve.

  91. innn

    oh My god. The one that speaks french is not CHIC at all. I guess her customers drink even more.

  92. matthew walker

    great film.

  93. c

    as a young woman who has worked as a hostess in a chinese 'karaoke bar' in aus - i can honestly say i have never hated myself more than in the time i spent there.

    i had no money, had rent due, had full-time university, and my part-time job had taken me off the roster for 6 weeks because i had been in hospital. its sheer desperation. some girls were okay with what was happening, and each to their own - but i can say for myself and probably 10 other girls from the back room, we despised ourselves and every minute we spent there. we had no other choice. we sacrificed our self-worth to keep ourselves afloat (financially). i pity the people who say its a voluntary business, it shows a great lack of insight and shallowness.

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