|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Rina finished junior high school just a few months ago. With the exaggerated curves of her carefully plucked eyebrows, shoulder-length dyed locks and heavy eye shadow, she resembles any typical Tokyo teen-age girl.
Where she differs from her peers, according to Yomiuri Weekly (5/26) is that Rina spent her junior high school days as the ringleader of a group of schoolgirl prostitutes.
A normal day for Rina during junior high was to head out after school, provided she hadn't cut classes, change out of her uniform in a public toilet and ride a train to an area in the Tokyo suburbs that was known as a popular hangout joint for kids.
Once there, Rina sauntered over to the sixth floor of a building where her regular telephone club was located.
Being a girl, she got in for free.
She entered to a room bare except for a single telephone and a chair.
She would sit down and wait for the guys to call.
A typical conversation went along the following lines:
"Take me to karaoke."
"Can my friends come too?"
"How many of them."
"How many can I bring? We'll let you touch our titties for 5,000 yen each."
"Can't just the two of us meet?"
Rina's group was made up of six girls, all of whom were in the same class at school.
At times, all six would work toward catching a customer.
Other times, only two or three went on the prowl while the others manned the telephones at the dating club.
Each time a client was snared, the others would be alerted.
Once the customer had been reeled into a karaoke room, negotiations would begin anew.
Selling the loose socks that are a ubiquitous part of the Japanese schoolgirl's uniform could see the girls pocket anywhere from 20,000 yen to 40,000 yen.
Panties started at 40,000 yen, but could cost much more.
"We'd sting anybody who looked really weak.
We'd charge 40,000 yen for loose socks and 100,000 yen for panties," Rina tells Yomiuri Weekly.
"Some guys'd stick their fingers in or film you with a camera while they took the panties off."
Rina's girls didn't just operate out of telephone dating clubs.
They also took turns posting messages on Internet sites offering to sell their panties.
If an answer came, girls were free to act alone or call on their colleagues for support.
"If you were willing to sell your panties," Rina says, "You were willing to head off to a hotel."
Doing so would earn the girl up to 50,000 yen.
"I really wanted 50,000 yen a shot," Rina says, "but, depending on the guy, I'd go for 30,000 yen."
Rina started selling herself during summer vacation after she finished her second year of junior high school.
She'd spend hours with friends hanging out at local sites, but was sick of not having any money to buy clothes or cosmetics.
That all changed when she met a man who paid her and her friends 5,000 yen to go to a karaoke box with him and sing.
Soon, Rina was asking other men to pay her to accompany them.
If her asking price was too high, she'd soften it up with a promise to let them grope her.
Finally, she got together with a man in his 40s who, after a few meetings, took her maidenhead ... for 150,000 yen.
"It really hurt and I threw a tantrum.
We couldn't get it right at first.
We were at the hotel for six hours," Rina recalls for Yomiuri Weekly, adding that she felt no guilt or regret at what she was doing.
"It just hurt and that's why I hated it.
I wanted to get out of there as soon as I could."
Rina had little trouble enlisting classmates into her group.
She simply showed them all the wonderful clothes, accessories and bags she'd bought and made sure she picked up the bill each time they gathered at karaoke or a family restaurant.
Yumi, one of the girl's in Rina's group, says there were few second thoughts.
"Of 16 girls in our class, six were selling sex," she tells Yomiuri Weekly.
"There was nothing rare about that.
the girls doing it were the students with average grades."
None of them seemed particularly perturbed about what they were doing.
"They never thought about things like that.
Like whether it was good, or bad, or whatever.
All they wanted was the money," Yumi says.
Two of the girls ended up pregnant.
One cajoled a client into paying for an abortion after she told him the baby was his.
The other girl's pregnancy became public knowledge, but that was terminated after classmates passed a hat around.
Her teacher didn't believe the girl was pregnant, simply telling her to make sure that such rumors never got around.
Rina tells Yomiuri Weekly she has serviced clients ranging in age from about 25 to truly old men.
"Most of them tell me they're company presidents," she says.
"But usually, they're fat, or bald, or got something weird about them."
Yomiuri Weekly notes that men who'd usually be shunned by most of society bring the most delight to teenage prostitutes.
"We can milk him for all his worth," a gleeful Rina tells Yomiuri Weekly, "and guys who aren't used to being with women don't last too long once they've gone to a hotel, anyway."
May 15, 2002