Hostessing Is a Profitable Vocation in Japan
Although not subjected to the rigorous training, makeup, costumes, and strict discipline required of a traditional Geisha, a line of work, called hostessing, is among the most lucrative and popular jobs available to Japanese women today.
According to the New York Times, the women who pour drinks in Japan’s sleek gentlemen’s clubs were once shunned because their duties were considered immodest.
With women in particular suffering from Japan’s worst recession since WWII, hostess positions are increasingly coveted, and hostesses themselves are gaining respectability and even acclaim. All emphasize that their job is to pay adoring , but nonsexual, attention to men for a hefty fee.
Employment opportunities for young women, especially those with no college education, are often limited to low-paying, dead-end jobs or temp positions. As a result, a growing number of Japanese women find that work as a hostess, which can easily pay $100,000 a year, and as much as $300,000 for the biggest stars, makes economic sense. Even part-time hostesses can earn at least $20 an hour, almost twice the rate of most temp positions.
Japanese women are increasingly asserting themselves in a former men-only society. Some hostesses work to pay their way through college or toward a vocational degree, or to save up to start their own businesses.
Atsushi Miura, an expert on the issue, says hostessing will be popular among Japanese women as long as other well-paying jobs are scarce.
“Some people still say hostesses are wasting their life away,” he said. “But rather than criticizing them, Japan should create more jobs for young women.”