In May 2011, Yokohama police arrested 37-year-old Takamitsu Tanno on charges of violating the Labor Standards Act, which stipulates that minors may not work in places that pose a hazard to their health or social welfare.
Mr. Tanno was the manager of a new kind of adult establishment called “high school girl viewing clubs”, where customers pay money to sit behind a one-way mirror and look into a room full of high school-aged girls.
Inside the room, the girls go about their business as if they were killing time at home. Some read manga, some play around on their cell phones, some chat with friends about where to go to eat after work. However, for an extra fee, customers can select a girl to sit directly in front of his booth with her legs spread open so as to reveal her underwear.
The number of clubs had been increasing rapidly in Kanagawa and Tokyo prefectures beginning in late 2010, but the industry was thought to have died down following Mr. Tanno’s arrest and a simultaneous raid by Tokyo police on four clubs this February.
However, according to an investigative reporter at Nikkan Spa!, not only are most of the original high school girl viewing clubs still in business, but new clubs have recently begun appearing around Tokyo.
***Warning: NSFW content below!***
Nikkan Spa! visited one such club, which opened this October in the red-light district about 5 minutes north of Ikebukuro station. Nearby is a massage parlor that claims to be staffed by high school girls, making the area look like a special district for schoolgirl fetishism.
After entering the club, Nikkan Spa!’s reporter was greeted by a young female receptionist wearing a high school uniform who instructed him to place his cellphone and watch in one of the lockers as photography is prohibited.
He was then shown to a cramped private booth separated only by a curtain. In front of him was a one-way mirror; on the other side of the glass, 4-5 girls with their skirts rolled high and a tag pinned to their chest showing their name and “number”.
^ Photo from a different location
“The system is pretty much the same as the clubs that were exposed by the police,” writes Nikkan Spa!. “The customer lets the staff know the number of which girl they want to see, upon which the girl will come sit down in front of the customer’s booth and ‘show off her special pose’, as they call it there.”
While Nikkan Spa!’s reporter was there, the customer in the booth to the left called over one of the girls and he was actually able to get a glimpse of what makes the “pose” so special.
“The girl unbuttoned her shirt so that her bra was exposed and pressed her chest against the glass. She then pulled up her skirt and positioned herself so the customer could see her underpants from behind.”
^ Actual photo taken by Nikkan Spa! during previous investigation
And it didn’t stop there. “After that, she spread her legs out to expose her crotch and began rubbing herself as if she were masturbating. On the other side of the curtain, I began to hear the customer breathing heavily through his nose.”
Before leaving the club, the reporter asked the staff if all the girls were really high school students.
“Well… some of them are over 18, but most are high school-aged girls. There are a few who don’t go to school, so we can’t say that they’re all actually high school girls (laughs).”
For this particular club, customers can choose between 30 minutes of viewing for 3000 yen(US$37) or 60 minutes for 5000 yen ($62). It costs an extra 2000 yen ($25) to have a girl come sit in front of your booth.
The girls are paid 1000 yen ($12) an hour and receive an extra 1000 yen for each time they are called on. Questions of legality aside, it’s not a bad gig for sitting around and talking, but we’ve heard of better.
▼ The following photos are from other clubs and were not taken by Nikkan Spa!