They clutch their Peace brand cigarettes, letting the smoke pour out their mouths, suggesting to anyone who takes a second look that they're just normal, average Japanese teenagers. She has hungry, greedy eyes that never blink but gulp it all in. Observe how she unfastens her wallet and how her fingertips pass over the bills. Together, they disappear into the white Honda that, during the day drives toddlers to daycare. Since both girls have working parents, who are overloaded with jobs and caring for their own ageing parents, nobody checks out the story. Now, let's turn to Monday morning and peek at the girls. Do you think that Yumi and Mariko will be sneaky-chain-smoking never-on-time glue-sniffing students? This time, look beyond the midnight neon light, beyond the expensive name brands clothes, beyond that reckless jump into an unknown car.Much later, they flow back home a little wasted on Asahi Super Dry beer, in need of a shower but 8,000 yen richer. Sure, there is suspicion, but no one wants to confront it. Do you think these girls will be the scamps of the village? You will see something incredibly normal, maybe even boring.Mariko and Yumi, in a sense, are like the typical Japanese teenagers that I have come to love. The only rule the girls break is that they have cell phones hidden in their book bags.They are filled with controversies on the inside - worried about college placement, boyfriends, club activities, new videos, print club, fashion, and independence. Tiny, not even the size of a face powder compact their grandmothers used at the same age, these cell phone make them distinctive, catapult them into adventure and make possible their new, money-making pastime.
Since the rise of cell phone use by young girls, Japan has felt a new surge of secret lust. A telephone club, by Japanese terms, is a place where people wait for telephone calls, from anyone, and then talk. Ordinary Japanese, who hadn't a clue as to what was really going on at the convenience store down by the train station, were inundated with teen interviews, polls, and flash-trash talk shows.
The Japanese call what Yumi and Mariko "do" enjokosai.
in Japanese, the word translates into "compensated dating." It is a polite word that has become synonymous for teenage prostitution.
They are sort of like the big boom version of the sex lines that were so hugely popular in States during the 1980s. " Mariko giggles and shakes her hips like she's doing a defunct version of the mambo. This body's had a baby, girl," I say and wiggle my hips back at them. Then, like all scandals, the frenzy around this one died down, and enjokosai faded again into the background.
The difference is that in the States, women ran the lines and the interaction stayed there. With less coverage and no real changes, the ignorance grew and the abuse continued.