Entering into the gray terrain of the sex industry in Japan today, Gabriele Koch has written a beautifully rich account of the contradictory nature of both the work for the women involved and the place this work assumes in the larger politico-economy of Japan. Based on sustained ethnographic research conducted between 2008 and 2013, mainly with sex workers but also at their places of work, with related personnel in the legal and political terrain, and with an anti-human-trafficking organization, Koch offers a deft analysis of the way sex work both skirts the law and is implanted in the very heart of Japan's postindustrial socio-economy. While prostitution is illegal, the selling of transactional sex is thriving nonetheless, assuming an ambiguous status that excludes sex workers from the protection of labor laws and stigmatizes their work. For this reason, many who enter the field do so claiming that they are only “amateurs.”...

You do not currently have access to this content.