I somewhat randomly stumbled upon a user on YouTube who I would consider a largely undiscovered comedic genius. He is a white American who can speak very fluent Japanese. This, combined with his sheer intelligence, creates for some very interesting, smart and funny videos involving Japanese culture. He near perfectly imitates what one would expect a native Japanese person’s English accent to sound like.
Perhaps, though, his videos may lose its appeal to people who have little to do with Japanese culture or language learning like me. So his videos aren’t for everyone. But I go to school in Hawaii, and found this particular video to be quite amusing. Just thought I would share one of his humorous videos for an example:
But I am not writing this blog post to talk so much about how great this user is, but rather to draw attention to another video he posted that is quite incredible, and not in a humorour way. The video is amazing because of the insights it provides. In this video, titled “Ken Tanaka Learns Why Men Go to Hostess Clubs”, we as the viewing audience can find more than just the answer to that question. I’ll link the video at the bottom, but I want to transcribe part of it so I can provide commentary.
The parts I am transcribing are the second half of the exactly 4-minute video. The first two minutes establish the scene well, including the Japanese guy whom Ken Tanaka is interviewing. Instead of making a humorours video, this YouTuber interviews a Japanese guy who formerly worked for what’s called a host club. Although the video doesn’t get into host clubs, it does provide a little insight into it. Basically, a host club is where women go to pick men (hosts) who will entertain them for the night. It costs big money. He talks a bit about the male version of host clubs, called hostess clubs where, oppositely, men go to pick hostesses who will give them a good time for the night. And this is not prostitution, thought it might sound like it at first.
Like the video itself, I don’t want to get into explaining host clubs all too much right here. That’s for a different blog post, if ever. I would refer those interested in the topic of host clubs to watch the documentary, “The Great Happiness Space”, which is easily available for instant viewing on Netflix currently. That film is not rated, but would receive an R-rating mainly for the language (some f-bombs), and the sexual references. There’s also one brief shot of non-sexual rear nudity, so just keep in mind that while I recommend this documentary, it isn’t for the young-uns. Similarly, the first minute of this YouTube video I’d like to get back to talking about has some crude sexual references, so just note it’s not for those under the age of 13.
Anyway, what makes this video so great is how frankly and how honestly the Japanese guy talks to the YouTuber, Ken Tanaka, about his perception on certain issues. I’d rather not say to much yet; let’s start the conversation:
Japanese Guy (Guy): People who work at these [host clubs] only think about themselves; so you can’t trust them.
Ken Tanaka: But you still come to these clubs even though you don’t trust the people there?
Guy: (Pause) Good point…
Let’s pause the conversation, since it’s a natural break between topics in the video anyway. Take note that it doesn’t matter to the Japanese guy any reservations he might have about the workers-he still goes there. He mentioned earlier that “These hostess clubs help me to maintain the will to work”, referring to the reward he can treat himself to after his hard work. Let’s continue:
Guy: They give you a fleeting moment of happiness. They temporarily fill the void in one’s heart…that feeling of loneliness. And that’s why I’m a customer. That’s why I’m willing to hand over my money…yep.
Pay close attention to the question Ken asks here and how the Japanese guy answers.
Ken: So, if that loneliness ended, would you stop going to cabaret/host clubs?
Guy: I don’t think the void in one’s heart ever goes away. You can’t fill that void on your own and…I think that sometimes you need someone other than your girlfriend or fiance to fill it for you.
Wow, this is almost haunting; just how true this is. The Japanese guy knew that, by itself, the void doesn’t just go away. But he wants something to fill his heart. For him, he can rely on hostess clubs to fill that. Although he didn’t directly answer Ken’s question, I think the answer for him would be yes-that if the loneliness truly subsided, he wouldn’t need to go to host clubs.
Ken wraps up the video off-camera (as in not in front of the Japanese guy), saying “I think that what my friend said was very insightful and honest.” Hostesses claim that they are selling a dream, and Ken ends the video saying that “that is what my friend was looking for.”
Yes, I know the title of this post is weird. The user’s name is ‘helpmefindparents’, which is part of the joke of the character of Ken Tanaka himself. But I think we need to help Japanese people find a parent-and I am thinking of our God: Jesus Christ, the Father (parent, if you will) and the Holy Spirit. If Japanese people like Ken’s friend can open their hearts to God, then their hearts can be filled by God. This is something very important that I wanted to share today.
Here’s the video: