The Japanese media is reporting that a professional stripper has been arrested for stripping at a strip club in Tokyo.
According to ANN News and Mainichi Shimbun, a 38-year-old dancer at Theatre Ueno in Tokyo appeared on stage at around 12:30 am sans underwear as 15 customers watched. One reported that a light was shone on her bare bottom half “to delight the customers.”
The club’s manager, along with four other employees were also arrested on charges of suspected indecency. All have confessed, it seems, saying they did this “for their livelihood.” Which is what I’ve always thought exotic dancing was — a job that professional performers do to earn a living!
The police displayed items seized in the arrest, including the dancer’s outfit.
Online, Japanese commenters wondered why stripping was an issue in Japan when paid sexual services were not. Also, many seemed baffled as to why a stripper would get arrested for, well, stripping. Some wondered if this was part of a larger crackdown on adult services prior to the Olympics. (For context, magic mushrooms were made illegal in 2002 when Japan co-hosted the World Cup.)
As the article “A History of Japanese Striptease” explains regarding where striptease stands in the country’s legal code, most notably articles 174 and 175: “Article 174 applies to strippers and penalises public indecency, while article 175 prohibits the distribution and sale of obscene material and targets venue owners. Accordingly, in order to take action the law must prove that something actually is obscene.” You can read more about the history of stripping in Japan right here.
ANN News reports that the club would also allegedly show uncensored adult videos and allow customers to have their photos taken with a pantsless dancer for 500 yen ($6) a shot.
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