Kyoto Strip Show
C. Ogawa visits Kyoto’s DX Toji
Located on a residential street in what was once a slum, and today remains a poor and somewhat neglected part of the city where Koreans and Japan’s traditional underclass, the Burakumin, live, is the DX theater dedicated to the fine art of the strip tease.
A senpai (superior) from a previous job invited me out for an evening of staring at flesh. He normally goes with his wife — and invited her to join us but she declined — and finds the whole thing “verging on the spiritual.”
The theater itself has seen better days, and was closed several years back when a body was found on the stage. The body was male and dead, both of which raised eyebrows.
After paying the 5,000 yen (about $50) for the 9 pm show, we went through a small lobby with vending machines (500 yen for a can of lukewarm beer that costs 210 cold at a convenience store) and posters of the dancers, and then into the theater. The four rows of movie theater seating that surround the stage were nearly empty; in addition to the two employees, who clapped wildly at every gyration and played tambourines to the rhythm of the music, five or six older men sat quietly and alone.
The DX stage juts out into the seating area in the shape of an “8.” Both circles of the “eight” are covered with red carpet and rotate, and the dancers start in the back and work their way forward. The front row of the seats is at most 2-3 feet from the edge of the stage, which is at eye level.
The dancers came in various sizes and costumes — Little Bo Peep, faux flamenco dancer, whore — and the performances are vulva-centric. Each performance starts out with a bang — loud music, energetic dancing — that lasts from five-ten minutes. In the second act, though, the tempo would slow, and the girls would start to strip. Some would end up completely nude except for their heels or boots; others remained mostly dressed — but the pudenda were always on display.
Rolling on the red carpet as the stage slowly revolved, the dancers spread their legs for long periods — two to three feet from the men in the front row, at eye level — then crossed and uncrossed their legs as a teaser. Nearly all of the women trimmed, from a neat triangle to the perfect rectangular horizontal patch of black. One woman did an amazing imitation of a woman masturbating and cumming over and over in a strip club in front of 7 half awake customers. For 15 minutes or so, the tiny performer worked herself with her right hand, fingers deep inside, twitching and moaning and probing.
After each of the dancers finished, there was a paid photo op. For 500 yen, you could take a Polaroid of the woman’s nether region — or whatever else you wanted — from 10 inches away. The crowd had its favorites: the masturbator and the final performer had them lining up; the first dancer got only one grizzled old guy who aimed the camera with the patience of an OB-GYN doing a pap smear.
In front of us sat a group of what appeared to be VIPS from China who came in mid-show. A middle-aged woman, who was either a regular or an employee, flitted between the Chinese and the other strip club workers. The Chinese did not react and left early with the attentive and smiling woman.
Finally, at 10, the lights went up after the last performer finished up her photo session, gathered up the camera, and thanked us as she ran offstage. We filed out into the cold night air.
According to my senpai, in the past things were much more ribald. Men would be invited on stage to fuck a dancer; for those without the balls to perform on stage with a performer, there were side rooms where you could meet the girls and pay for services behind closed doors. Because of AIDs, and stricter enforcement of existing laws, the Yakuza bosses have toned down on the content of the shows.
In Part Two, we will explore the Osaka strip show.
Kujo, Minami Kyoto
Prices: from 5,000 yen