ARAKI: Tokyo Lucky Hole

After recently reading Jake Adelstein’s thrilling real life account of life a round-eyed crime reporter in his awesome tome Tokyo Vice, I was left with a yearning to find out more about the Japanese capital’s seedy underbelly. Which is how I came upon Tokyo Lucky Hole, though from a slightly earlier period than Jake’s book this photo led account documents a very similar scene, namely the Shinjuku neighbourhood of the city during the early 80s whose ‘entertainment centres’ catered to all those weird and oh-so Japanese kinks. From the fairly straightforward panty-less coffee shops waitresses through to the frankly mental coffin and commuter train fetishists, nothing was too taboo in this neck of the woods back then, making Amsterdam look like Disneyland by comparison. At the centre of this scene was the popular club ‘Lucky Hole’ where clients stood on one side of a wooden partition, a hostess on the other and in between an aptly placed hole was there to help them make friends. Photographer Nobuyoshi Araki spent a lot of time hanging out at Lucky Hole where he did some serious snapping of the to-ings and fro-ings of both clients and punters and has decided to share 800 of these photos in this fascinating and unique book. If like us you’re fascinated by all facets of Japanese life, then you’ll really love leafing through this book, though don’t blame us if you start going mad with the Black & Decker next time you fancy a bit of how’s yer father.


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