Japan for the Uninvited

Japanese culture from a bemused foreign perspective

Enjo kosai (Compensated dating)

Enjo kosaiEnjo kosai is one of Japanese society’s most infamous phenomenon: schoolgirls dating older men for money. Although many encounters don’t involve sex, this prostitution of Japan’s youth has been cause for serious concern.

Telephone Clubs

Enjo kosai emerged towards the end of Japan’s 1980s economic boom. Young, middle-class girls had become used to an expensive lifestyle, funded by their prosperous fathers, but the economy was starting to fall apart. With their families unable to fulfil these materialistic needs, but discouraging them from taking part-time jobs, many girls looked elsewhere.

When you’re a middle-aged man, it isn’t easy to pick up schoolgirls. Where do you meet them? You’d look ridiculous if you started hanging around outside high-schools or purikura, and you’d soon get pestered by the police. “Telephone clubs” sprung up to solve this problem. These are places where men pay for a girl’s mobile phone number. Apart from that, all negotiations are between the schoolgirl and the dirty old man.

The internet has made telephone clubs largely redundant. Safer and cheaper, it also allows men to contact a greater number and wider range of girls. All he has to do is put an ad (“40,000 yen for dinner and sex”) on the message board with his contact details, and he can choose the most alluring response that rolls in.


These sugar daddies are usually middle-aged, married men with children of their own. Why do they pay so much, and take such great risks, to have sex with young girls? Many describe this craving as “tamaranai”, an “uncontrollable attraction”, which hardly seems to excuse the fact that they’re exploiting girls their daughter’s age.

“Lorikon” (Lolita complex) and “bura-sera” (the erotic fascination with schoolgirls) are crucial aspects of modern Japanese sexuality. The ubiquitous sailor-suit school uniform is as important a feature of Japanese pornography as breast implants are in Western filth. Bura-sera also drives the thriving trade in used panties.


This widespread sexual fetish is exploited by the “kogals”, young Japanese women who wear school uniforms, loose socks, and heavy make-up as a fashion statement. Many of these girls finished high school years ago, but enjoy the attention the outfits get from men.

It’s easy to understand why middle-aged men want to have sex with young girls. But why do the girls do it?

Japan has always been a country where external appearances are important. Traditionally, social prestige has been held in material symbols (samurai’s swords and hairstyles, exclusive aristocratic colours), and nothing has changed. The rabid desire for flashy designer clothes, born during the economic “miracle”, hasn’t been stemmed by economic problems.

It’s not all about money and fancy clothes. Japanese children lead a restrictive life at home and school, so enjo kosai could be seen as a sexual rite of passage for curious young women.

Media Frenzy

It wasn’t until the mid-90s that enjo kosai was recognised by the Japanese press. They compensated for this sluggishness with an amazing bout of hysteria. Astonishingly, it was the kogals who faced the most criticism.

Japan was disgusted that the younger generation had been pawning its innocence, ignoring the fact that it was the nation’s pillars of society who had been paying for it. Before long, the country was terrified of its daughters, who were roaming the streets, hunting innocent men.

Sanity was restored by an number of serious studies, which found that only 5-13% of girls had ever taken part in enjo kosai. Interestingly, one study also found that 75% of girls had been offered money for “dates” by older men.

The Japanese government recognised that something had to be done to kerb the harmful libidos of its frustrated workers. In 1999, it was made illegal to “engage in paid sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 18.”

However, the indirect nature of payment in enjo kosai has made such a law difficult to enforce. More worryingly, Japan’s national age of consent of 14 indicates that sex with minors is implicitly accepted by Japanese society. A symbolic change in the law has allowed Japanese mothers to sleep easily, but their husbands are still chasing their daughters.

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18 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. jack

    lol. looks like they’re no different from american girls ^^

    (except they like saggy balls)

  2. spacein

    thats sick, jack. It is a serious problem, girls in japan are over sexualized. It is sad how girls are treated like they are there for mens pleasure. I hope the next generations of men in japan are not as messed up… though that can’t be counted on.

  3. Claire


    (Both of them, conversely, for different reasons)

  4. Gospel

    Repent for your sins, japanese men who take on schoolgirls.

  5. Steff

    People talk about this like 5 year olds are being kidnapped and raped.

    These are girls, of legal sexual consent age, choosing to have sex.

    That’s not wrong in any country or culture. And little different to the Western relationship, where the guy buys the girl gifts as part of a dating relationship.

    The person who wrote this article is ignorant, closed-minded, and ethnocentric. Sounds like a religious nut to me.

  6. Queer Face

    Minors are only minors when a certain country randomly decrees a specific age of consent law. The first age of consent law in the United Stated was……….TEN years old. And it gradually moved up and up, to the generally accepted limit of 18. So if Japan has a legal consent of 14, then a minor would be someone under 14, correct? Child brides have been a traditional and accepted cultural practice in numerous cultures for thousands of years. Same with prostitution. Like it or not, right or wrong (whatever that means) this is the case. Personally I feel that a grown man with a young girl is pretty whack, but how about a grown woman with a young boy? I wish when I was 12 I could have fucked my homeroom teacher. So every society has it’s own problems and taboos. The problem only arises when there is exploitation and manipulation involved (which is usually the case).


    STEFF are you retarded by any chance? “These are girls of legal sexual consent age choosing to have sex.”

    Do you realize what you’ve just said? These are girls as young as 12-13… The legal age for consent in Japan is 13 years old. Can you imagine that little girls, could be your daughter having multiple encounters with your colleages anf whatsoever. Thats how dire the situation is. And do you seriously think girls that treats sex as nothing would find someone who would later fall in love with them with all their heart? highly doubt it. Mens dont like sharing women due to many reasons such as pride ego etc… In America or other countries you wouldnt assume that the majority of high school girls are full fledge veteran, sluts, whores, etc.. But in Japan it’s not unrealistic to assume majority of them falls into that category. It saddens me that you won’t find a clean girl in Japan. Men sees them and use them as human toilet. Thats how messed up Japan has become.


    In addition I like to emphasize on the fact that teenagers brains arent fully developed scientifically speaking. Especially those under the age of 16. 16 is the age when they start to change but even so thats a bit early for them to be equipped with the right judgement in regards to society. Hence they are called minors in many WESTERN and other nations It’s why kids under the age of 18-19 – (21 in some countires) are considered minor and the binding legal age for alcohol and other legal activities are 18/19-21. It’s also why when people under legal age commited criminal offense, it’s often forgiven and wiped off their record as they reach adulthood. It’s due to the fact that their minds aren’t properly equipped and developed to make the right decisions. This is backed by scientific data which resulted in many laws and legislation revolving the premise. Also lets not be hypocrites and say things like “they never make mistakes or wrong decisions and are fully capable of making the right decision at that age” when the fact is you’ve probably made many decisions early on in life in which you’ve regretted.

  9. Magoichi Saika

    Japan… the last stronghold of true sexual freedom. Long live the Land of the Rising Sun! =D

  10. Jim Baker

    I think it’s wonderful that men can find young girls willing to have sex with them. Hell, I’d do it too! Japanese schoolgirls are so hot!!!

  11. Chris

    Okay. Here’s the solution to every problem.. Force every nation to adopt U.S. laws. Problem, though. There are girls 13 (and under) soliciting others (yes even adults) for sex either virtual or offline. Another problem, is that no nation would (willingly) allow the U.S. to control so much of their internal matters. See, our government has already overstepped its influence in ensuring that all those ‘diplomatic’ issues (such as illegal spying and renditions) are swept under the rug. Frankly, blackmail and good grace can only go so far. Personally, I think the idea of girls as young as 13 (or younger) having any sort of intimate/sexual contact with another person is just plain wrong. But, I am wise enough to recognize that I have no chance of telling a nation at what age sex is ‘okay’, and no place informing another culture that my ideas about life or love are any more important or proper than their own. As ‘Americans’, we often forget that we do not own Earth.

  12. Jo

    I like to take broken iPhones and trade them for head when I visit.

  13. I feel bad for the girls. I don’t like the fact that they are so young because your frontal lobes(used to make good judgement) aren’t fully developed yet. These men know this which is one reason why they get the younger girls. When I was that age my Dad and Uncles were raping me on a regular basis(they are Japanese too, but not all Japanese men are bad) and to see it be so legal now is sad to me because that’s my home. 🙁 The girls are willing, but what if they get older and regret it terribly? I also know not all girls do this. Only a little bit do, but that doesn’t make it okay.

  14. Bob

    “In America or other countries you wouldnt assume that the majority of high school girls are full fledge veteran, sluts, whores, etc.. But in Japan it’s not unrealistic to assume majority of them falls into that category. It saddens me that you won’t find a clean girl in Japan.”

    I think you would be surprised how many girls in American high schools ARE in fact full fledged sluts. Probably a similar percent as the number of Japanese girls whoring themselves. The difference is that the American sluts just do it for fun. And a large percentage of the non-sluts are having sex, just not enough to be considered sluts. Don’t assume your daughter is a virgin because she is smart and seems innocent…

  15. b_^

    This is a very concerning trend… Japan has always had a lolita complex even before enjo kosai had it’s name; it’s widespread in their media, culture, and history. Most of it’s problem generates from it’s media, which gives the “singled-out” and/or perverted an outlets to feed their obsession. Stuffed like JAV/H-manga, for example, curb men’s desire to want young flesh thur means by visual fetishes such as young females in seifuka, gymwear, or swimwear having unprotected sex. This is usually inspired by Anime/manga from which most of their female roles as big-breasted, promicious schoolgirls and/or realistic proportional lolis. Not to mention that most J-idols and JAV-idols started out as a U-15 gravure idol… And did it mention before 2001 censorship laws there was legalized cp of the latter? On that note, it’s this type of media sends alot of bad publicity and bunch of horny foreigners to it’s country… But it’s not bad as SE Asian countries like Cambodia and Thaliland, which sells their youth to farms, brothels, or sick perverts.

  16. Magoichi Saika

    This page is still here? Cool!!!

    Well, Japan is Japan.

    If you don’t like socially-mature, highly-permissive, and super-sophisticated Japanese culture, we are not forcing you.

    But then please do not harass Japanese culture with your ultra-conservative and hypocritical mindset.

    Japanese sexual culture already gave in a little bit to foreign pressure at the turn of the century when foreigners demanded a more Christian-like policy.

    What more do you want? Japanese being mostly Shintoists really don’t care about Christian attitudes on sexuality. Non-Japanese are very rude when it demands Japan to be more like them.

    If you love Japanese culture then please give us your support. If you think Japanese culture sucks, then I can’t do anything for you.

    I said it here four (4) years ago and I will say it again… Japan is the last stronghold of true sexual freedom. You can’t change that.

    In fact it is more developed and democratic than any Asian country today. But if foreigners keep nagging about its policies, it might lose it patience.

    You know what Japan is capable of when it loses it patience, yes?

  17. Reimu

    Let’s hold on here, sure, the legal age of consent is 13 as set by Japan’s penal code, but that’s ignoring the Child Welfare Act that prohibits indecent behavior between those over and under 20, the various regional Child Protection Acts that exist in pretty much every prefecture but Nagano regarding those under 18, and the municipal acts in Nagano itself to do pretty much the same thing. In this sense, it’s not unlike the US’s practice of having the age of consent set by the state. Japan, at least, set a minimum standard.

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