The apparent sombre mood of a Saturday morning after what was presumably a far more lighthearted Friday night.
Tokyo has no shortage of interesting exhibitions, but ‘In Goude we trust!’ was particularly enlightening.
Despite the clean cut and healthy appearance of the hosts staring back from the posters, their working lives are little more than one long drinking session after another. Basically, the more they drink, the better off they are, as their earnings are based on what female guests spend on them. A lifestyle that slowly but surely must take its toll — both mentally and physically.
It’s a situation that’s the same for a good number of host club customers too, as many of the young women who frequent such places are hostesses or other red light district workers in need of some fun and affection once their own, similarly soulless work shifts are over. A sad cycle of money and dependency that is expertly documented in the film, The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief.
The man drunk and asleep in the photo, however, very likely isn’t a host. His appearance simply doesn’t match the profession’s very distinctive look. Instead, it’s probably just a fella who attempted to do what the men in the posters do most nights, but unfortunately he came out the other end looking rather less clean cut and healthy.
Tokyo, and Japan in general, has no shortage of wonderfully old and faded structures — an aspect of the country I’ve documented on my portfolio site here, as well as on my Instagram feed which is almost entirely dedicated to such scenery.
These kinds of buildings, however, are far from equal, as this truly incredible example in the far west of Tokyo amply demonstrates. A local business that has textures and signage by the absolute bucket load. It’s one that’s still a going concern too, it just happened to be closed on the day the photograph was taken.