Nowadays in Japan, fewer women become prostitutes to escape poverty than before. The reason is that poverty prior to World War II and poverty after the war are two completely different concepts.
However, there are exceptions in any time period. Even now there is a steady flow of women who find themselves in extreme poverty because of debt, divorce, etc.
Many women in poverty attempt to make a living by working at sex clubs and other such establishments. Depending on the level of their poverty, there are cases in which they are unable to keep their heads above the water no matter how much they are paid by the club. The reality of the situation is that these women are in such enormous debt they are unable to make a living through any means other than selling their bodies.
In order to resurrect their livelihoods, such women gather at Tobita Shinchi. Tobita Shinchi is a brothel district with a special system in place that is recognized as a location where financially poor women can turn their lives around. This is because Tobita Shinchi is home to a meritocracy where women are awarded on a performance-based system.
I would like to take a look at the state of poverty in Japan by examining the women gathered at Tobita Shinchi.
The system of Tobita Shinchi
Since olden times, Tobita Shinchi has a long history of taking in women who could only make a living by selling their bodies. The same remains true even now, and many merchants are willing to assume those debts and provide sex club jobs, etc.
However, in order to earn money here, you must attract a large number of customers. Simply put, since the women are selected by customers on appearance, it is easy for attractive girls to draw customers.
On the other hand, no customers will select an unattractive woman. Since the salary of the girls is commission based, it is possible to make less here than at a soapland.
What kind of women gather at Tobita Shinchi?
Women come to Tobita Shinchi under a number of different circumstances. The percentage of women who found themselves in debt after a divorce, however, has been increasing.
Especially in the case when children are involved in the divorce, family finances tend to become rather tight. Since many of these women had been dedicated housewives with no other skills, it would be very difficult for them to find actual employment.
There are also cases when women who had originally been employed as sex club girls come to Tobita Shinchi in order to seek out higher pay. However, there are only two possible outcomes; they will either make money, or they won’t. They will either escape from debt, or they will dig themselves into a deeper hole than before. One could almost say that they are gambling with their own lives.
Women controlled by overspending
Debt, divorce, etc. are understandable reasons for poverty. There are also women, however, that are plagued by poverty due to their own overspending.
Consider the following story of one such girl. She had started working part time at a sex club while enrolled in college. During that time, she was able to get her hands on sums of money that were unimaginable at a regular job. Things that she didn’t think she would ever be able to buy suddenly became obtainable, and her lifestyle completely changed.
However, her appetite grew so insatiable that the amount she was spending became larger than the maximum limit she could earn at her sex club job. It was at this point she decided to come to Tobita Shinchi to earn even more money.
The road ahead of her was one of desperation and self-destruction. At the time, she had actually received a job offer from a major trading company. Due to the sizable gap between her salary and the wages she earned from the sex clubs, however, it didn’t last for long.
In this woman’s case, she had plenty of money and shouldn’t have had any problem leading a normal life. Nevertheless, her wasteful spending spiraled out of control, and effectively drove her to unbounded poverty. Uncontrollable overspending is a mental disorder, and she could be considered a poor girl in a number of different ways.
There are more than a few women living in Japan suffering from this kind of poverty. To ignore these women, however, is a problem in its own right. It is important to grasp the reality of these financially poor women, and also to understand the darkness surrounding the sex industry, and the prostitutes who work for it.