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Japanese Host Clubs: The Cycle of Fake Happiness

What if you were a woman looking for a place to relax after a hard day’s work, a woman who is desperately seeking love, or a foreigner who happens to get lost in Tokyo and winds up in the “Red Light District?” It wouldn’t be a surprise if a good-looking, stylish man approaches you and says that you’re the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. What will you do from there? Flee? Or be escorted like a princess into their lair to be surrounded by handsome gentlemen who will cater to your wishes, who will shower you with compliments, and who will entertain to make you happy while you take a sip from a glass of wine? In Japan, this place is known as a “Host Club,” a bar filled with professional entertainers known as “Hosts” whose sole purpose is to entertain female customers to make them happy enough to come back and drag them into a financial ruin.

According to the website,, Kabukicho is the most popular entertainment area located in Shinjuku where lies a variety host/hostess clubs, love hotels, and night clubs to choose from. Some Japanese folks believe in a phenomenon known as, “Paid Love.” It basically means that people are willing to pay to feel loved, and Host Clubs are known for providing the love, especially when it comes with a whopping price.

Who has the money for the honey?

Hosts hang around in the streets in search of girls who look rich by checking if they are wearing branded clothes and accessories. In order to pique interests of potential customers, Hosts offer deals if they are first timers. The price varies from place to place, but usually it’s 1000 yen ($10) and up per hour. Within the documentary, ,” A host revealed the real scam comes from the bottle of champagne that their customers drink. Also in the documentary, a female client admitted to have spent $3000 in one day! The moment a customer agrees to a drink, a bottle can range from $100 to even $1000 if you aren’t careful.

Fantasy Realm of Hopeless dreams

The services hosts are ready to offer are keeping a conversation interesting, playing drinking games, singing karaoke, and dancing. Their main goal is to get their customer to fall in love with them, and are ready to alter their personality to suit their customer’s heart’s desire. There is a wide range of men to select from, and what’s scary is that each Host makes the experience flawlessly fun. They have been trained to the point where they keep the mood happy as much as possible, and it doesn’t even feel phony or weird at all. It’s no wonder women fall in love with them because it seems genuine, and they keep coming back, paying, hoping that they can have a relationship with their prince charming. In reality, Hosts can’t even think about commitment since In the documentary, another Host said, “They come here and tell me they love me, but they’re saying that at all the clubs. I’m well aware of that. And the girls know that I know. That’s how we play the game”. They can’t possibly fall in love if there is no trust while having to satisfy other customers.

Becoming a Fuzoku (Prostitute)

There is a heavy consequence when you fall head over heels for these Hosts. It’s quite astonishing seeing how far women are willing to spend at a Host Club for one night and how far what they are willing to go. For example of how much customers are willing to spend, In the documentary, the owner/top Host Issei admitted, “All they want is to spend their money on me.” “In my experience, the highest spender paid…$30,000-$40,000… In one day…”. For wines that are originally $15, they are sold for $100 by the Hosts, and it’s not surprising for customers to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars in one sitting. In order to keep up seeing Hosts, and to pay for the debts of Host Clubbing, some women are driven to becoming a full pledge “Fuzoku” or “Prostitute.” Why would women go to such extreme lengths? In the documentary, one of the Host’s customer’s reveals, “What am I doing… To the body my parents gave me? you know… Why am I spending my hard-earned money on hosts. I went through a period when I questioned that. And even though my job isn’t something I can tell people about, 70 or 80 percent of a host’s earnings come from Fuzoku clients… So when we talk about work, we can tell each other everything. And they don’t down on us.”

Despite living in luxury under handsome men, a glamorous environment with a side of expensive champagne, there is also a dirty side. The famous Documentary, “The Great Happiness Space Tale of an Osaka Love Thief” shows both perspectives from Hosts and the female customers. Despite being paid to look good along with having a very high salary, there are several downsides: Drink at least ten bottles a day until they throw up blood and destroy their liver, masquerade behind a fake identity they created to satisfy customers, unable to trust women/settle down, and Hosts feel guilty after scamming the women who adore these Hosts.

The majority of women who go to host clubs take the relationship seriously to the point where they actually believe that the more they visit, their host will hopefully fall in love with them (Which the reality is unlikely). No matter how good-looking, how sweet, or how persuasive Hosts may be, it is their job to entertain and keep their customers happy even if it is secretly making them unhappy themselves. It’s okay to enjoy and treat yourself if you want to go to a Host Club, but don’t get hooked to the Hosts to the point that you blindly close yourself off to the world. Just be smart and don’t take the visit to heart because It is not worth driving yourself into a financial ruin for the “happiness you paid for” when the relationship you have fabricated with a Host is undoubtedly a false connection. There is no gain in creating these fake bonds or else both Hosts and customers are trapped by this continuous fake happiness.