Book Review & Summary Koakuma Ageha’s Aizawa Emiri’s Kyaba Tell-All

Ageha model, onee brand Emiria Wiz director and Hostess Emiri Aizawa has been doing a heavy press tour about her new tell-all book “キャバ嬢社長 歌舞伎町No.1嬢王 愛沢えみりとしての生き方” Kyabajo Shacho Kabukicho’s Number One JouOu Aizawa Emiri Toshite no Ikikata. Or Kyabajo Boss: Kabukicho’s Number One Queen. Aizawa Emiri’s Way of Living. What a mouthful! She’s been featured on model’s press almost daily (among others) as hype to the book.

 

sawajiriemiri

I hadn’t planned on buying the book. Since leaving Japan my Japanese has gone to crud. I’m rarely a book reader unless it’s about murder. I’ve only slogged through two Japanese light novels previously and that was when I was studying. Emiri herself is low on my Ageha model totem pole (Sakurina #1, Past Momoeri #2, Rin #3 and so on…).

However I was browsing the bookstore and the cover caught my eye. Flipping to the story her prologue opening got me.

Dreams? I have none.

I hate trying my hardest.

Work? If I don’t have to, I won’t.

I hate waking up every morning.

I don’t have it in me to try my hardest.

No one would’ve ever thought that about me. Everyone who looked at me had no idea that was what I truly felt.

The book is a bit pricey at 1,404 yen. I worried if I was throwing away eyelash money if I didn’t or couldn’t read it.

(Side note, a good way to consider purchases is to ask yourself what you could be getting at equal money or what 3 of those could mean. If you still think it’s worth it, buy!)

Opening it on the plane I got through a lot of it quickly. It’s a really easy read and pretty well paced and amusing. Since she’s authorizing her own tell-all don’t expect to get too much nitty gritty or scandal. Instead I think she’s more about retelling with as much honesty as she can but one that doesn’t paint her in too harsh of a light.

 

Part One: Childhood to High School Graduation. I want to become a Kyabajo!

 

She was at odds with her mom and her father was always away for business. She was sent away to live with her grandmother at a young age in Hiroshima. She really attached to her grandmother and so being quickly made to go back to live with her father in Yokohama and new family brings a lot of tension. She feels like the interloper in her own house so she tries to stay out of it as much as she can.

At school in the baton twirling club she meets a girl named Y-chan and they begin to get into the gyaru movement happening at the time. Ayu is from Yokohama and one of the early faces of gal so she was a big Ayu fan and did her look modeled after Ayu. Emiri was too broke of a middle school girl to buy make-up or even get it from her family so she and Y-chan ended up going to drug stores and using the testers to do all their make-up. Even mascara! She finally got color contact lens last year of middle school and goes deeply into it. She says for her she thinks of herself as a completely different person with them on. And they transformed her into a different Emiri. She liked the feeling of being a different version of herself.

Since this a book that involves love she says her first love was a Volleyball club member and they dated steady for a while but naturally broke up when middle school came to an end.

High school she was lightening her hair and trying out even more gal looks. She said hanging out in front of the Yokohama train station was the height of the teen years. Y-chan and her started tanning heavily and while some girls were going full ganguro and yamamba she was working with gyaru. Since they were into tanning Y-chan suggested they get a job working at a beach place in Enoshima to earn money. Soon after Emiri quit because she hated the work and the waking up so early to get to Enoshima.

She worked at a sake bar where the girls had to wear mini skirts and thought that was okay. She was getting money for more gyaru things and it kept her out of her house. Her dad’s wish for her was to go to college, but she said it was his wish and not hers.

She was a poor student and tells a story about how she barely passed high school thanks to a teacher who let her do an easy assignment taking photos at a zoo. She asked someone else to do it, but still passed in the end.

 

Part Two: From Useless Kyabajo to Number 1

At 17 she says she didn’t have really any dreams or aspirations. She just wanted to enjoy herself and be happy and leave the things she hated behind. That’s the reason she became a kyabajo and how her world changed.

In her second year of high school she falls in love with a guy and he tells her “I want to a host in Kabukicho and you’re in the way”. She cried a lot and then fell in love with another guy who also happens to be a host boy. She says she’s always had a type and she always falls hard. The next one says “I’ve had it here. I’m going to go fight in Kabukicho. You should come, too, Emiri.”. They broke up but the words “Kabukicho is a place of battle” were engrained within her.

On her 18th birthday she goes into the best kyabakura in Yokohama and applies for her a job. She says she learned the ropes of working at a kyabakura here and remembers the words of her manager “This place is a special place. Think of stepping into here as Disneyland”. Words she didn’t understand then but does now.

She got her first steady customer who was a fatherly dentist. He took her out to dinner and bought her a long pink rose printed dress. When she wore the dress she said she finally understood what it meant to be a kyabajo. Not work in a kyabakura, but be a kyabajo. The difference was huge.

While in her last year of high school she’d browse hostess sites and learn how to be the best hostess. It was then “Koakuma Ageha” came out and she began to feel she was truly in “Ageha”period. For the glory of Ageha she would try her hardest at being in the hostess world. She finally broke it to her family and the tale didn’t go well.

A bit expected but she often scorns and apologizes for her teenage self. It does drag on the story and of course as an adult you will see things differently.

After she graduated high school she says most were looking forward to college but she looked to Roppongi. Emiri returns back to her house to snatch up her Louis Vuitton bag she wanted and there was a memo that said “Leave this house okay.” she was teary but understood.

She gets a job in Tokyo’s Roppongi district “M Club” which was part of an Osaka group expanding to Tokyo. She was really impressed getting a job at such big group’s kyabakura. Although when she was forced to visit table to table and talk to guests she says she feels like “kaiten sushi” (conveyor belt sushi) lolol!

After a while she moves in with a rich head of a company. She lives in a 10,000($usd) a month place in Tokyo Midtown with him. That’s one of the most expensive places in Tokyo. She says she was shopping at select shops and buying the most expensive fruit (fruit is expensive in Japan, expensive fruit is crazzzzy expensive). She thought she was going to marry him. Even started learning cooking and other household chores so she could become a good housewife for him. But he started drinking too much and going to other hostess clubs and was lazy about his work. So there was trouble in paradise. After two years she breaks up with him and her heart is crushed. More even her world is crushed, she goes from leaving her parents place to living with this guy for two years who she plans on marrying and doesn’t really know what to do now. She decides after all this heartbreak and parental loss she wants to live only for herself.

She decides to go to Kabukicho. Remembering the “Kabukicho is a place for battle” saying of her ex a long time ago. She treats it as a battle. She will defeat all the other hostesses. How will she? By becoming the top earner. She will win against all the other women. She grinds herself into work. Trying to work everyday and learn everything she can about her customers their drink orders, when to call them etc…

She was getting a little more popular but it was slow going. She says she worked everyday and everyday did dohan. Dohan is going on a date before entering the club. Hostesses got bonuses for going on more so she tried to go on as many as she could. She says on the five days a week she worked she did 20 hour days. With dohan it became 21 hours a day. Believable or not… She always made a point to do dohan because if she did she’d have a customer at the club. Waiting in the club with no customer meant no money. So in her words “to kill two birds with one stone” she would always do dohan. Because she always had a guest so she didn’t have to move from table to table. Gone were the “kaiten sushi” kyabajo says of Roppongi.

And that’s a lot of typing… please stay tuned to learn more about Aizawa Emiri.  :hearts3:

Next summary: Part two continued and part three | part four

I’m a slow reader unless I’m on a plane or traveling so best hope I travel soon so I can finish up the reading and summaries. :wink: Please consider buying the book if you’re interested? It’s available on amazon Japan and is a well paced read.

Minor pet peeve is Emiri refers to herself in 3rd person in a horribly cutesy way.

 

Now I hope to get to the rest of the book later, but currently I haven’t found it since the move to ATL so fingers crossed it turns up  :hearts3:  Meanwhile Emiria Wiz has been doing splendidly, go Aizawa Emiri!

Sorry guys I got caught up in moving, then I explored the new city, and then I got really down. I miss my friends. I realized I’m not good at making friends. I’m not naturally friendly, so it’s been tough right now since I know no one in this city. I got back into my depressive ways (sleeping all day, hating everything, not taking care of myself). After planning to head to Japan to see friends in Nov/Dec I’m on the upswing and decided like Emiri I will do better for myself  :cheery:

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12 Comments

  1. September 24, 2015 / 10:51 pm

    lmaooo at the kaiten sushi comment!!!!!

    thanks so much for this series, seems like an interesting read and i also find it annoying with referring to yourself in kawaii 3rd person lmao

    and i’m so sorry you’ve been having such a hard time. moving by itself is such a difficult thing to do, but then to move your whole life and make new friends and get into new habits is even harder i feel like! i’m glad you’ll be going back to japan soon and have that to look forward to! you deserve so much and more <333

  2. September 25, 2015 / 3:03 am

    Thanks for the summary! I am fascinated by it and am looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

    Good luck with moving and all!!!

  3. September 25, 2015 / 6:07 am

    Thanks for this! I always want to read books from gal models but my Japanese still isn’t good enough to read well. I can’t wait to read the rest it’s really interesting!!

    Sorry to hear about your move and missing friends, I totally know the feeling =( I also find it very hard to make new friends, it’s difficult as you grow older… Don’t beat yourself up to much, I’m sure it’ll come soon, it’s just a matter of time!!

  4. Hortaru
    September 25, 2015 / 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the translation! I really wanted to know more about her & she seems so much like Momoeri & Muto Shizuka, women who drive themselves hard to launch their own businesses & not only survive but thrive in a difficult market.

    I’m sorry to hear about the move & missing all the familiar things. It’s definitely not easy but I find these r things dat will strengthen u. Just take it easy, smile abit more, compliment someone, wander around the city abit, things will soon work out. Hopefully I’ll get to see you durin our respective trips to Japan!

  5. Alicia
    September 25, 2015 / 8:16 pm

    Thank you for the recommendation! I heard about this but I never thought to buy it for myself. I just purchased it from Amazon Japan through the Sutocorp forwarding service, as well as the latest edition of Sweet. Might as well, I thought. It’s my first time using the service but I hear the prices are very reasonable!

    I’ve moved a few times in my life, twice in high school, then university was another issue, ugh…it just is really hard to meet people, especially people who share the same interests. Even then it’s hard :/ I feel sort of rejected by my local gyaru group because they are more hardcore than me, and I don’t go to meets anymore :( I’m getting older and leaning more towards onee style, while they are still rocking heavier/obvious styles.

    But it makes me feel less retarded to hear your honesty. There is just so much pressure in life, sometimes I feel like I’m the only one with struggles. Happy to be reminded that it’s a universal struggle! Keep going xo

  6. Novv
    September 26, 2015 / 3:30 am

    thanks so much i really appreciate it! i really wish i could read japanese this books seems to interesting. looking at emiri you wouldn’t have guessed she had such a difficult youth. i feel like i can relate a LOT to her

  7. September 27, 2015 / 10:22 am

    Wow thank you so much for this! I follow her on instagram and I envy her lifestyle… It looks so glamorous and she is always immaculate! It’s nice to hear her back story :D

  8. September 29, 2015 / 7:46 am

    Ahh I can’t stand it when people refer to themselves in the 3rd person, even worse when it’s a cutesy way.

    Thanks for reviewing this book though, it’s interesting to hear the back story to some of these models.

    Sorry to hear you’ve been having a hard time at the moment :(. Moving is never fun and then with the new location and having to make friends, it’ll definitely takes it toll. Don’t worry though, you’ve not alone, I’m not good at making friends either, takes me forever. But yay Japan soon, how long will you be there for? We’ll have to get some cocktails!

  9. October 11, 2015 / 9:31 am

    Thank you for this! I’ve always been curious about the lives of the Ageha models. Being unable to read kanji is really hard XD

    I’m especially always curious about their youth. Some of the models have really interesting stories and Emiri is no exception. I can’t wait until I can read a decent amount of kanji. Would you say Ageha was intermediate level? I would say so since it’s an adult magazine, but there’s that stigma about gals being thick, so I’d assume the wouldn’t use the more complex kanji.

  10. Kei
    November 8, 2015 / 9:09 am

    Aah great read for my train journey, thank you for the translating/ summarising this, it really is nice insight to emiri’s life and the kyabajo & ageha world. My japanese friend is actually kyabajo as well so i can understand the work in it, really is tough work doing dohan & the club stuff. I even joined her in one of her dohan ( ̄◇ ̄;)

    Have you settled in your new place yet? I’m going to be moving into a new city soon which will be less friends & family and london city life so im feeling bit sad and depressed too but hope moving to manchester will be new life for me (as i need it!) and be more happier person. I know this might be cheesy but your such a friendly and funny gal you’ll make friends in no time xxx

  11. February 2, 2016 / 12:45 pm

    I’m reading the first part before I continue on with the second. This is all really interesting!
    A personal break down of such an unknown lifestyle, you know. I can’t wait to start the second part.
    Also, you moved to Atlanta? That’s my home town! I hope it’s treating you well.

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