(Translator's note: This post is a continuation of a previous entry.)
Just when the Japanese press was writing off strip clubs as a thing of the past, the infamous and questionably stable gravure idol Minako Komukai fresh off drug use charges made her dancing sans clothing debut. However, in a perfect example of how slow, grinding, and minute negotiations in Japan can be, her agency and ROCKZA did not reach a complete and satisfactory deal resulting in the first 2 of the 4 intended performances to be canceled.
“Customers there on the first day were really, really pissed. In spite of this, attendance at the club the following month even on days she wasn't scheduled to be here was fantastic. We were packed every night. Sneaking cameras in was a no-no so we had bag checks at the door and an average day resulted in the temporary confiscation of about 50 cameras.” (A former ROCKZA employee)
Guest seating at the club numbers 300 seats. Tickets for the club generally sell for 2000 yen whereas Minako Komukai's shows ran for 8000 yen. Her 2 shows ultimately resulted in a fantastic month of sales in upwards of 60 million yen (approximately $600,000USD).
There even was a rumor that back in January of 1997, the devilish Keiko Oginome took to ROCKZA's stage.
“I recall being at a show one night and saw a new body in the lineup. First, I thought my senses to be failing me as it had to be Momo Aida up there dancing! I still don't know if this was for real or not and it remains something of a ROCKZA legend till this day.” (An unnamed sports newspaper contributor)
Incidents of note abound in ROCKZA's colorful history. 1989 saw the infamous (for her time at least) Japanese AV star, Yukari Taguchi, engage in something nefarious involving a theft at the club leaving her blacklisted as a dancer and arrested 2 months after the incident.
“ROCKZA with a full house is a spectacle in itself. Customers are armed with tambourines and castanets leading to a very AKB48-like atmosphere. AV stars still take the stage, but the ones who do nowadays are nowhere near as famous as their peers from days past. Bankruptcy and strip clubs now are uncomfortable and frequent bedfellows.” (Nobuhiro Motohashi)
Let's all take some time to rekindle the flames of the past by visiting a famous Japanese strip club like ROCKZA.
(Translator's note: Strip clubs—unlike some brothels with old-school mentality—are open to everyone. If your money is green, be sure to pay a visit your next time in a big city such as Tokyo. ROCKZA remains open to this day and most nights see AV stars of varying degree of popularity stripping to the buff along with an eager cast of lithe stark naked dancers. Be prepared for an experience based on a western tradition, but with a very welcomed Japanese twist.)
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