Essay on Prostitution in Japan: A Young Body Worth a Profit

Essay on Prostitution in Japan: A Young Body Worth a Profit

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Prostitution in Japan: A Young Body Worth a Profit

At a street corner, a young girl around the age of seventeen, dressed in a navy blue school uniform and white socks, stands looking vacantly into the street. After a few minutes a middle-aged man approaches the girl and offers to take her out to an expensive dinner; in addition, he offers her a satisfying amount of pocket money. With a shy, quivering glance and a sweet smile the girl graciously takes the man’s arm. On the corner of areas like Shibuya, a central Tokyo entertainment district, popular with Tokyo’s younger generation the scenario described has become a common and casual rendezvous (Moffett, "Little Women" 48). Japan, a country with the second strongest economy and highest academic standing in the world, is facing a major problem with a wide-spreading and popular after-school activity of its young female students. An increasing number of Japanese schoolgirls are soliciting their bodies for entertainment and extra "pocket" money in a society that is setting extremely high prices for them.

Enjo kosai, which translates as "subsidized socializing" or "patronage" or simply "prostitution," is no longer a rare secret on the streets of Japan (Schreiber 84-85). There exist numerous outlets that are propagating the idea and helping teenage girls to find interested clients. Phone booths near train stations are plastered with phone numbers and photos of young schoolgirls, many from middle-class homes (Butler 44). Girls can also market themselves with commercial voicemail. Dial into a commercial voicemail and you can hear a message similar to the following: "I am a 16-year-old high school girl. I am looking for someone to meet me tomorrow for an enjo kosai arrangement.

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...apanese School Girls Cash in on Their Innocence." Far Eastern Economic Review v. 159 12 Dec. 1996: 48-50.

Moffett, Sebastian. "Strange Move: In Japan, Sexertainment Reveals Bizarre Versatility." Far Eastern Economic Review v. 158 14 Dec. 1995: 29-30.

Morrison, Andrew D. "Teen Prostitution in Japan: Regulation of Telephone Clubs." Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law v. 31 n. 2 March 1998: 457-497. Replicated in Infotrac, ISU Library Expanded Academic ASAP, item A20862669: 1-10.

Schreiber, Mark. "Juvenile Crime in the 1990’s." Japan Quarterly v. 44
Apr./June 1997: 78-88.

Strom, Stephanie. "Japan’s Legislators Tighten the Ban on Under-age Sex." New York Times 19 May 1999: A6.

Yamada, Alice N. "Teenage Prostitution in Japan." Trincoll Journal. (1996): 2pp. World Wide Web 13 October 1999.

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