Anthropologist Laura Miller argues in her research that the majority of enjo-kōsai dates consists of groups of girls going with a group of older men to a karaoke bar for several hours and being paid for their time.
Furthermore, in a 1998 survey by the Asian Women's Fund, researchers found that fewer than 10 percent of all high school girls engage in enjo-kōsai and over 90 percent of the girls interviewed attested to feeling uncomfortable with the exchange or purchase of sexual services for money.
Among Japanese teenagers the most basic way of starting to date someone is by giving them a “kokuhaku” or love confession.
This sounds a bit creepy but it’s not so much telling someone you love them but rather the Japanese way of letting them know you like them and asking them out.
Picture: The Washington Post Sometimes this involves a walk around the block or a drink in a bar. “It’s easy to talk to these girls,” said one man in his 30s who was sitting at a wooden school desk in AKB High School, a café in Akihabara, Tokyo.
A 17-year-old girl in a school uniform brought the man and his colleague beers.
The female participants range from school girls (aka JK business) to housewives.
No big deal in many parts of the world – but in Japan, it means something quite different.
Here, “high school dating” matches girls in uniforms with men in their 40s and 50s, and older. Although Airi, 18, is not a high school pupil, she wears her school uniform at a café in Tokyo because, she says, it makes her more popular with customers than when she wears her regular clothes.
There are various levels of high school dating, starting with cafés staffed by underage girls and peep shows where high school girls sit behind a one-way mirror in their school uniforms, posing according to customers’ requests.
There is also “tour guiding”, when girls go for a walk with men, a walk that often ends with some kind of sexual service.
Growing up in Japan my parents were really strict and so I didn’t get an opportunity to start going on dates until after I graduated from high school.