|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.|
Enterprising street kids scrub up to play lover 2004,10,12
Weekly Playboy 10/26 By Ryann Connell
Tokyo is fast developing a generation of street kids thanks to Gov. Shintaro Ishihara's efforts to clean the capital of its seedier elements, according to Weekly Playboy (10/26).
Revisions to a Tokyo Metropolitan Government ordinance aimed at providing youths with a wholesome upbringing have since coming into effect in July outlawed under-18s from going to karaoke booths and manga cafes, as well as encouraged pubs to check IDs with greater strictness.
Kids have since hit the streets in numbers unprecedented in the modern era, heading for spacious public areas like Shibuya-ku's Yoyogi Park and settling there.
"I've been here since July," 17-year-old Naoto tells Weekly Playboy, referring to Yoyogi Park, where he spends his days with other kids mostly listening to music.
"Lots of kids who'd run away went back to their homes when schools' summer vacation ended, but I've stayed here the whole time."
Street kids have showed considerable resilience.
"It was so hot in August, I really did think I was gonna die," Maiko, a 17-year-old runaway, says.
"I thought it'd be a bit cooler the further north I went, so I headed off to Sendai and lived like a bum there, too."
And Japan's street kids have also proved to be enterprising types to come up with the cash they need to stay alive on the streets.
"If you make 10,000 yen to 150,000 yen playing somebody's lover, you don't have to worry too much about how you're going to survive," Maiko says.
Miho, who has "played lover" for an older man, explains how the system works.
"It's all done on a monthly contract business that has you going to visit a guy at his home once or twice a week," she says.
"You can find the guys who'll pay for lovers through the Internet or friends."
The men's weekly notes that the "Shintaro Ordinance" which was supposed to clean up the capital for kids now means guys drag them into their homes instead of going to love hotels and risk prosecution if they're caught.
Street kids, though, apparently like the change.
"On rainy days you can stay at the guy's home," Miho tells Weekly Playboy.
"And he'll always let you have a bath, so it's pretty good for us, too."
By Ryann Connell Staff Writer