Last night was a lot of fun. We caught a
taxi to a restaurant somewhere near Sogo. It was new, but traditional
Japanese. Hanako ordered a range of small dishes. Junko was delayed at
her shop.

The food was delicious, although the cigarette
smoke grew worse during the evening. One of the waiters even came and
apologised for it. Junko arrived, and had a bit to eat and drink.
Hanako was on the phone to Aiko, who was standing in for her at
Masanobu’s club. Apparently it was full, so we got a taxi back to near
Tenmaya and went to Kento’s, the “oldies disco” that Junko  took
me to ten years ago. It was hilarious. The band was ’50’s style, and
excellent. Helen observed that the patrons either came there all the
time or practised at home – they all knew all the moves. It was sort of
rock line dancing. When she came back from the toilets, Helen said she
had been in Japan too long – she had stood with her hands under the
tap, expecting it to turn on automatically, then realised she actually
had to do it herself.

Another phone call confirmed that we had a space
at the next show at Masanobu’s club. We walked there, passing throngs
of working girls with big hair and party dresses – they looked like
they were off to a deb ball. Outside the club, we were greeted by
Junko’s elder sister. Twenty years ago, the Filipina girls did a sort
of karaoke review, and ten years ago, the Taiwanese girls did a similar
“show”. This time, girls from Eastern Europe and a couple from Brazil,
doing pole dancing, in G-strings. Most of them were tall, with long,
blond hair. At the end of each dance, customers would stick large
denomination notes in their G-strings

A very plain Japanese hostess squeezed in beside
me. The club catered for all “tastes”. There was a middle-aged Korean
lady, an elderly Japanese lady in a kimono, and another about 40 years
old. Then, as well as the young dancers, there was also a young
Japanese girl and a Filipina.

Eventually one of the young girls came and sat
with us. She only spoke Russian and Japanese. We had a conversation,
with a bit of help from Hanako. The customers started drifting out, so
we headed off as well.

We said goodbye to Junko at the end of the street, and she went back to Koyo in the taxi.


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