The ever-enterprising Japanese have developed a variation on the traditional hostess club -- 'host bar' clubs for women.
GV Tokyo street with lights.
SV New Ai club sign.
SV PAN Photographs of the hosts. (3 SHOTS)
SV INTERIOR Hosts preparing for evening's work. (4 SHOTS)
SV Women clientele arriving at club.
SV INTERIOR of club with band playing. (2 SHOTS)
SV Clientele drinking with hosts. (3 SHOTS)
GV Band playing to dancers.
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Background: The ever-enterprising Japanese have developed a variation on the traditional hostess club -- 'host bar' clubs for women. Here handsome, smartly dressed young men provide companionship for women on a night out. One of the most successful is in Tokyo's Singjuku entertainment district. It is called New Ai, which means 'love'.
Here, the women can take their choice from a variety of young men.
Once chosen, a woman's partner for the evening will hurry to get her drinks, provide a light for cigarettes before he is asked, provide a dancing partner, and engage in attentive conversation. It's expensive -- up to 180 dollars for an evening's drinks and companionship, but there is no shortage of customers. Many are themselves hostesses; they come to relax after a day of pleasing men. But others are rich housewives. New Ai's manager, Hiromi Uchida, says he does not intervene in the personal behaviour of his employees. However, there are no facilities in his club for what are called further activities. Occasionally, there are angry scenes with boy friends or husbands. But these are rare as single men are not admitted. The club has 160 hosts. All are Japanese except for one Spaniard. The problem is not that Japanese women do not like foreign men -- they do -- just that most foreigners do not speak good enough Japanese for an intimate conservation.