If you have spent any 싱가포르 밤알바 time in Japan, you will likely be aware of the Kyabakura, which is sort of like a hostess cafe or a disco, as a well-established part of Japanese nightlife. Many of the stand-up clubs, or kyabakura, are luxurious affairs with dark woods and luxurious pillows, with bow-tied servers and hosts dressed in nightgowns flying around guests, sipping fabulously expensive wines. In-between are several classes of stand-up comedy clubs, snack bars, and karaoke clubs, with endless variations catering to different tastes, including hosts and hostsesses in cross-dressing.
After hearing about these types of venues, even foreigners became interested in hosts and hostesses clubs. Host clubs are a common feature in Japans late-night entertainment scene, East Asian countries, and other areas that contain large Japanese populations. Hostess clubs and hosts are considered to be a part of the Mizu Shobai (literally, water trading), a business in the Japanese night-time entertainment business.
Hosts are male equivalents to hostesses, male performers for whom women pay a fee, though usually they do not attend the nomikais with co-workers after work, as a hostess club may. Hosts are usually drinking, offering careful conversations, and accompanying men to dates outside of the premises, but generally have no sex for the money.
A typical host or hostesss job description in Japan would be to make sure guests are seated nicely, greeting them as they enter a clubs hosts or hosts. Not every host or hostess club would let a foreigner drop by alone, particularly if you are unable to speak Japanese–communication is, after all, a critical part of the experience. To function at a typical Japanese host or hostess club, a level of Japanese is required – conversational fluency is at a minimum, for most.
As in any job, be it teaching, hosting, any kind of job, your experience may be affected by your attitude, colleagues, and location. Even if I had trouble with some teachers that I worked with, or had difficult classes, upon writing this article, and reflecting on my experiences, I realized that the job that I now hold is the–fucking–shit that was hosting. I found that sort of fascinating, as I was looking for part-time jobs that involved talking or engaging with customers.
While most places will have men advertising out front to get customers, the responsibility can fall on a (usually new) hostess to do that as well. While hostess bars in Tokyo usually have designated men out in the streets urging customers into their clubs, it is common for a few hosts to be sent outside in search of customers, called a kiyatsuchi, kyatchi, but they are often younger, less experienced hosts. Kyabakura hosts often also have one female bartender, often highly trained in mixing, and may also be a manager or mamasan.
Typically, Kyabakura hosts are not sexually involved with their customers, and men are forbidden to touch womens breasts or other body parts, but recently, a growing number of establishments appear to permit it.
Although currently, foreigners are illegal in Japan to work at hostess clubs unless they are Japanese citizens or hold a spouse visa, many women are still employed in the occupation, which is seen by some as the modern-day incarnation of the geisha. Now, according to strict laws, it is legal for foreign women to work as hosts only if they are Japanese citizens or have a valid spousal visa. Japan promised to crack down on the illegal hiring of foreigners at hostess bars, but a 2006 undercover operation found several hostess bars were willing to hire an illegally-based foreign woman.
In 2007, the Japanese government began taking measures against hostess clubs, leading many clubs to close down, and arresting and deporting numerous hosts. Japan is also filled with Hostess clubs — places where women go to flirt with handsome men and get treated like kings. A recent article in The New York Times described a Japanese hostessing career, in which men are entertained in venues where customers pay handsomely for a young womans flirtation and drinking (services which generally involve no prostitution).
There are a number of Japanese works of fiction, such as television dramas, novels, video games, manga (and anime adaptations), which revolve around hosts or hosts clubs, such as Club 9, Bloodhound, and the lighter-hearted Ouran High School Host Club. Many Japanese fictional works showcase the acceptance of the Kyabakura Hosts into general society.
These businesses are known in Japan collectively as water trading, reflecting the temporary, temporary nature of the jobs performed by the hosts. At one extreme, this industry includes the luxurious clubs in Ginza; at another, it includes migrant sex workers under conditions of indentured servitude. Yuki says some of the customers are also people working at the restaurants and clubs in the vicinity, which are patronized by the owner of the place (it is a custom in Japan for people to reciprocally patronize one anothers businesses).
This system creates recurring patronage for a specific bar, developing an affection between specific customers and hostesses. In both cases, a hostess leaves after a set time period or amount of drinks, giving the patron the opportunity to meet a new face.
If a host or hostess gets regular customers–those who ask them to do so in particular–and their ranking within a club increases, their pay rate increases. The average yearly pay for a host or hostess greatly differs depending on ones rank in the club, reputation within the club, and the types of customers.
One club recruiter said that some women show up for interviews with their mothers in tow, something that never would have happened back when hosts were not so respected. One club recruiter gets about 40 requests per week from women looking for Hostess jobs, double the number that used to come in prior to the downturn.