Akiko TakeyamaApr 11, 2023
Selling Dreams in a Tokyo Host Club
Stanford University Press 2016
Welcome to Tokyo's Kabuki-chō red-light district, where Professor Akiko Takeyama started her 'affective ethnographic' fieldwork to explore the host clubs in which ambitious young men seek their fortunes by selling love, romance, companionship, and female clients look for self-satisfaction. Her book Staged Seduction: Selling Dreams in a Tokyo Host Club (Stanford UP, 2016) facilitates an intimate look at this mysterious love business, providing an insightful window into the lives of hosts, clients, club owners, and managers.
With rich details from her fieldwork, Takeyama reveals that the host club is a site of aspiration, desperation, and hope, where both hosts and clients are eager to take a chance. The hosts employ their exceptional sales skills to create a fantasy world for their clients who seek an escape from their everyday lives. In this world, 'the art of seduction' plays an important role to bring in the actors and actresses in a play staged at the club. The role of 'seducer' and 'seducee' are interchangeable in the host-client and manage-host relationship which are the core factors of the 'Affect Economy'.
Akiko Takeyama is Professor of Anthropology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas.
Bing Wang receives her PhD at the University of Leeds. Her research interests include diasporic Chinese cultural identity and critical heritage studies.