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|by Jon Day
TOKYO Stivali Ugg Classic Alti 5815 Sabbia , Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Japan's time-honored sex industry still booms today, with its modern-day heart now located in the neon-lit, hedonistic, red-light district of Kabukicho, where despite Japan's Anti-Prostitution Law, everything is for sale, including young girls' hopes and dreams.
The sex industry in Japan has been flourishing since the 15th century. Today, more and more trade routes were opened up here.
Bestselling books and Hollywood movies have even focused on some aspects of the industry's history Stivali Ugg Classic Alti 5815 Grigi , such as fictions like Rob Marshall's "Memoirs of a Geisha," which tells of 9-year old girl being sold to a geisha house in the 1920s and forced into servitude, but over the years and through intense training in dance, music, song and etiquette, becoming the most sought-after courtesan in the land and eventually finding love and happiness.
But while historians and contemporary anthropologists may fume at comparisons being drawn between highly talented entertainers and companions such as geisha and modern day prostitutes, the stark reality is that if you subtract the superlatives, the similarities are more than apparent.
What's more Stivali Ugg Bailey Button Bassi 5803 Grigi , Marshall's romanticized portrayal, if providing an enticing glimpse into the trade, gives a somewhat distorted and at times, utterly misleading lure. The reality, in many cases, is far less rosy.
"My father drank and gambled and had to take out a second mortgage on our house, but because he had such poor credit rating with regular banks, his only choice was to borrow money from a yakuza-related loan shark Stivali Ugg Bailey Button Bassi 5803 Marina ," Emi Tomikawa, 23, originally from Wakayama Prefecture told Xinhua of her story.
"He'd take out his frustration on my mom and older sister and it just became unbearable," remembers Tomikawa.
"On trips to nearby Osaka with my sister and friends, I saw girls who didn't seem much older than me wearing nice clothes, jewelry and carrying brand bags. They seemed happy -- chatting in coffee shops and restaurants with older guys," Tomikawa said.
She envied what she perceived as their easy, rich life Stivali Ugg Bailey Button Bassi 5803 Neri , and after finding out they were "hostesses", she decided that was the way she could rescue her family and, perhaps, herself.
"I was young at the time, only 17, after I found out how much some of these girls were making: between 700,000 and 3 million yen (about 5,916 and 30 Stivali Ugg Bailey Button Triplet 1873 Neri ,000 USD)a month and thought to myself:'How hard must it be to sit a chat to men and get paid for it?' I was so naive and had no idea what was in store for me," Tomikawa reflected.
So she packed a single suitcase, lied to her parents about receiving a scholarship at a technical college to study web design and boarded a train bound for Tokyo.
Her first few weeks were tough as she was the new kid on the block, with no one looking out for her, but she was approached by a "catch man" (young men working for hostess clubs, paid to recruit girls into the clubs from the streets) outside the then- infamous 109 department store -- a popular spot for teenage girls and the men who prey on them -- who took her to a nearby McDonalds to explain the business.
"Two days later I had my own apartment in Shinjuku, in a building owned by the club I'd be working for and had made a few friends there who also worked in some of the company's clubs. I got a cash advance from the manager of the club to buy some new clothes and have my hair and nails done and I was promised that as long as I could get regular customers into the club to buy me drinks, all my financial woes would be a thing of the past Stivali Ugg Bailey Button Triplet 1873 Grigi ," she recalled.
Tomikawa's story is not unlike many young girls' who have also fallen foul to the promise of riches beyond their dreams and a movie star lifestyle. But what many of these girls don't realize when they're young, is that they've essentially sold themselves into the sex trade industry, and once they are in, it's almost impossible to get out.
Sonomi Endo, an NGO volunteer for the Japan Network Against Trafficking in Persons (JNATIP) and the HELP Asian Women's Shelter in Tokyo, told Xinhua that it's only a minority of girls that leave the industry unscathed and many of them find themselves in situations they'd have once thought unimaginable.
"A lot of these girls are duped into working for these clubs believing that they can make a lot of money very quickly and fast track their plans to get into education, pay back debts, go traveling Stivali Ugg Bailey Button Triplet 1873 Sabbia , or pay for a deposit on an apartment and such," Endo said, adding that, "In almost every case this simply does not happen."
"Firstly, the girls are led to believe that they won't have to have sex with their male customers, because this is illegal under Article 3 of the Anti-Prostitution Law, but they are expected to go on "dates" with their regular clients, sometimes before work Stivali Ugg Bailey Button Bling Bassi 1003349 Neri , sometimes after and sometimes during their free time, and this is where the real solicitation can happen. If you take a vulnerable, impoverished teenager and put her in a situation where she's eating fine cuisine with the CEO of a company who claims he just wants to be her "friend" or "sponsor" and starts giving her gifts like bags and jewelry and helps her pay her rent, she is going to think she's found the dream life," Endo said.
"But the fact of the matter is that in 100 percent of cases, as the old adage goes: 'There's no such thing as a free meal,' and in almost all cases these girls, many of them underage Bambina Stivali Ugg Classic Bassi 5281 Neri , end up compromising themselves for financial gains," stated Endo.
Tomikawa's story, it would seem, was the norm and not the exception. She was an intelligent girl who did actually dream of going to college to study computer science, but there was no way her family could afford to send her and she felt that due to her father's failings financially and his violent treatment of her mother and sister, it was her duty to try and help.
"It didn't take long for me to get a few r