JAPAN: Lucrative Feudalism

When the god Kamo Myojin descended to earth on the island of Nippon some 3,000 years ago, he brought prostitutes with him and installed them in a shrine. There and in neat, cherry-blossomed houses, they flourished as honored licensed entertainers, even after 1946, when Douglas MacArthur ordered the Japanese government to curtail the business.

Last week a Labor Ministry survey reported that prostitution has seldom been as lucrative as it is today for Japan's 124,289 registered shogi and 25,000 streetwalkers. In Tokyo, where the nightclubs are the plushiest, girls often make $100...

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