This episode takes us deeper into the world that hosts exist in. While the life and work of a host/hostess does not revolve around sexual favors, there are businesses that do. We are exposed to this and more in this story…
ImeKura – In episode 2, Sayo is considering working at one of these establishments in order to make money to pay off her debts. “ImeKura” is short for “imeji kurabu,” or “image club.” It’s a brothel that caters to the sexual fantasies of its customers. Contrary to what you might think, these fantasies do not take place in elaborate fantastical settings but rather in offices, schoolrooms, and trains, for example. (In my opinion that makes them creepier…) The women who work there dress for the part as nurses, secretaries, schoolgirls, teachers, etc. Selling intercourse is illegal in
Fuuzoku – The general translation of this word is “manners” or “customs” but there is a secondary, contextual meaning which refers to prostitution. ^^;;
Mizushoubai – This term carries a lot of different connotations, but it is perceived as a crude, impolite term, so be careful where you use it. It can be used to refer to a business scheme with high risk and a high turnover. Generally, however, it is used in connection with businesses that would have been housed in the entertainment business in old
Omise – The term “omise” means “store,” as in “a place that sells something.” We’ve had to get creative with our translations because we wouldn’t actually call a host club a store. They, however, do. It’s also interesting to note the honorific “o” used at the beginning of the word. This shows respect for the establishment itself. It’s another example of the way the Japanese have traditionally felt that the group is more important than any one individual (with the exception of the leader), especially oneself.
Keigo – When Yuki-san goes to speak with the owner/manager of the ImaKura, she speaks very formally. This style of speech is called “keigo.” In English, some of our level of formality when speaking is indicated by our tone of voice. In Japanese they have a completely different way of conjugating the verbs, plus some words that are completely different than regular speech. The use of correct vocabulary is just as important as tone of voice and body language in
Mitsugideiru – This is the word for the sum of money patrons of a host club (or hostess club I would assume) pay on a regular basis to shimei someone. It literally means “to pay tribute (generally with money or goods).” They’re paying the owner of the establishment for the privilege of reserving someone’s attentions. This is part of why going to host/hostess clubs can get very expensive. I think the “mitsugideiru” goes to the club, and the hosts get commission from drinks and things in addition to a minimal hourly salary. Again, we’ve never been to a host club so we don’t really know.
Aniki(bun)/Otouto-bun – In the translation notes for episode 1 I talked about “habatsu” (factions), and senpai/kouhai relationships. You should be getting the sense that
Showing Affection – Okay, so in the comments for the last set of notes we got the question “why doesn’t Kohei kiss his wife?” This opens up a huge cultural can of worms…the simple answer is that Japanese adults, historically, and when I say historically I mean from pre-history all the way up to about 10 years ago, do not touch each other. I’m serious. Parents don’t even really hug their children. Couples didn’t hold hands in the street, let alone hug each other. Touching between a man and a woman is generally considered sexual in nature. (That’s why kids in middle school can hold hands, boys with boys and girls with girls, it’s because they are not adults.) Even hugging was considered sexual. The word for “hug” in Japanese is “daku” which is slang for having sex. (That sorta puts a different spin on “Daite, senorita” doesn’t it?) Kissing is seen as super intimate, more so than sex sometimes. If you poll 60-80 year old married couples in
The fact that Kohei hugs his wife shows that he loves her very, very much. He is far more demonstrative of his affection than is normal for his age bracket, super demonstrative, in fact, so much so that it would probably embarrass most people his age. His hugging her shows that he loves her more than he cares about how people think of him, more than he cares about his own pride or dignity, more than anything in the world besides his daughter Orie whom he loves with equal fervor.
Admittedly, this attitude is changing among younger people in