Thursday, August 30, 2018

(1662) The other back Ginza

If you look up the buildings of Ginza's back streets you can see tens of these signs with just one name, usually female, in Japanese and in Latin alphabet. These are the hostess' clubs (ホストクラブ) that make up the backbone of the area's night life and whose workers are considered by many the post-war evolution of geisha; if we leave the artistic part out (and this is a very big "if"), perhaps the description has some merit. Like geisha, the workers of these bars (this is what they are: not really "clubs") are not paid for sex but for flirting and keeping company and everybody knows that many of the deals and the relationships of Japan's financial and business life have been built here. And yes, they are often exclusive and accept new patrons only on recommendation and yes, they are usually very small, hence the big number on each building.

(For a bigger version of this picture both in color and black and white, check my "Japan Arekore" set on Flickr).

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