One of the first things you notice about hosts is that they don’t dress like Western guys who are out on the prowl. Hosts aim to deliver the Japanese version of a customer’s secret fantasy, and being swept away by a handsome prince or Wild One on his motorcycle is what makes many Japanese ladies’ hearts go dokidoki. Of course there are specialized clubs for those whose fantasies run to anime characters, vampires or gothic aristocrats, but most hosts dress either in “Prince” (ooji-sama) or “Bad Boy” (yanqi) style.
Ooji-sama hosts take their cue from visual kei musicians. “Beautiful” rather than “handsome” might be the word that springs to mind to describe them. They often strike Westerners as androgynous, their faces as smooth as a woman’s, hair extravagantly bleached and arranged. Prince-style hosts favor sparkly accessories – silver, never gold – and tend to dress in suits made of “luxe” shiny fabric. The current rage is for the jackets to look a size too small, and to wear some sort of “alternative” tie as an accessory. Fake fur mufflers, silk scarves, cravats and other non-standard neckties are common.
Yanqis, on the other hand, tend toward black leather vests with silver studs and spikes, v-neck t-shirts featuring edgy sayings mixed with (go figure) “Catholic” images, boots, piercings and even tattoos.
Both wear their hair long, extravagantly waxed, teased, sprayed into a perfection rivaled only by the most devoted Texas debutante.
For a deeper look at what it’s like to be a host, watch the video here!
Fallen Angel readers often ask me what it’s really like to go to a host club. If you’re curious too, here are answers to the TOP TEN QUESTIONS ABOUT HOST CLUBS:
Top photos courtesy of Men’s Knuckle and Men’s Spider magazines.
And if you’d like to be in Japan right now…
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
“Without question, the best book I have read all year.” —Susan Spann, author of the Hiro Hattori mysteries
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!