Akaya Kunugi owes it all to his rich “princesses” who spend up to US$35,000 a night on him. 

Entertaining guests over drinks is something that geisha have been doing in Japan for centuries, but these days it’s the country’s male hosts that have been making news.

Akaya Kunugi, a professional host who works at the main branch of Club Acqua, makes a living from entertaining customers, and in a recent interview with Asian Boss, he made some astounding revelations about what it’s like to work in the industry.

Take a look at Kunugi’s story in the video below:

After failing to get into senior high school, Kunugi decided to enter the workforce instead, leaving his parents’ home to live in a shelter made from cardboard boxes in a park while picking up work at a construction site.

However, Kunugi had big ambitions to own nice clothes, expensive watches, and a flashy sports car, so at the age of 16 he headed off to Tokyo with 6,000 yen (US$53.26) in his pocket and decided his fast path to riches would best be made by joining a host club.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, though, as most host clubs have a rule which states that if you don’t earn at least 500,000 yen ($4,443) a month, you have to clean the club for 2-3 hours before your shift and then again after it closes. With no hourly wage, and earnings coming mostly from commission, Kunugi was taking home just 2,000 yen a day, or 40,000 yen a month, after penalty fees were taken out of his pay for poor earnings.

After living on 100-yen fried noodles from Lawson, which he cut up into four so he could at least have three meals a day, Kunugi decided to be himself and let customers at the host club know just how poor he was.

This proved to be the turning point for Kunugi, as customers began to support him, spending money on him to such an extent that he eventually became the top-ranked host out of all the Acqua branches around Japan, topping the list on Japanese site HostxHost, which ranks the monthly sales figures of hosts and host clubs around the country.

That was back in November 2017, when he earned 21 million yen in one month, and to help celebrate, one of his “princesses” — the term he uses to refer to his customers, as hosts aren’t allowed to use names for privacy reasons — helped him celebrate by spending a whopping 1.2 million yen (US$106,512) in cash on a crystal magnum decanter of Louis XIII cognac.

This particular 19-year-old customer became acquainted with Kunugi a year-and-a-half ago, after he approached her on the street while scouting for customers. Despite being under the legal drinking age of 20, and therefore not yet able to drink at the club, she regularly buys drinks, as customers are expected to do, often spending over 80,000 yen on a bottle of champagne or 500,000 yen for a champagne tower.

Kunugi says half of his customers are female university students, while the other half are women who work in the fuzoku industry, which refers to the adult-oriented service sector, covering jobs ranging from bar hostess to topless dancer and erotic masseuse.

As well as entertaining women, which make up 99-percent of his clientele, Kunugi says he also entertains “men who are women at heart” and male bosses in the industry, who usually come in with a group of girls, and Kunugi’s job is to massage the boss’s ego to make him look good in front of his female companions.

Kunugi has roughly 20 regular customers a month, who spend a minimum of 30,000 yen each in one visit. One time, a regular spent 4 million yen in one night, on the “cutoff date” of the month, which is when hosts’ earnings are tallied to determine their monthly rankings. This is the day when Kunugi asks his regulars to go for the crystal decanters and brandies, the expensive drinks that help him to maintain his position as Acqua’s top host.

Kunugi now has a billboard all to himself in Kabukicho, and he wears a diamond-studded Hublot brand watch that cost 10 million yen (US$88,870) while driving around in a 42 million yen (US$373,000) 2018 model Lamborghini, gifted to him by one of his generous princesses as a “reward” for his hard work.

Still, despite achieving his goals of owning an expensive car and nice clothes, Kunugi says he’s working hard in order to feel fulfilled in future. With no desire to have a girlfriend at the moment, Kunugi says he’s happy to “enjoy love games” with his customers, and who knows — one day he might reach the level of the legendary Roland, King of the Hosts, who earns $375,000 a month and is the top earner and most successful host club host in Tokyo.

Source, images: YouTube/Asian Boss