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Occupying PowerSex Workers and Servicemen in Postwar Japan$
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Sarah Kovner

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804776912

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804776912.001.0001

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Three When Flesh Glittered

Three When Flesh Glittered

Selling Sex in Sasebo and Tokyo

Chapter:
(p.74) Three When Flesh Glittered
Source:
Occupying Power
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804776912.003.0004

This chapter reviews the changing topography of the sex markets with the influx of servicemen and the delicensing of the commercial sex industry. Sex workers have been classified according to their clientele. It is noted that majority of sex workers in the early postwar period entered the profession for economic reasons. Sasebo had been a small fishing village, but became an imperial naval base in 1883. It once boasted two flourishing entertainment quarters. The economy of Sasebo rose and fell depending on the demands of American servicemen, and sex workers played a pivotal role. Activists argued that their dependence on sex work was demoralizing, and in Sasebo as elsewhere, they focused on children. Journalists and activists also tried to re-regulate prostitution through taxonomies, maps, moral codes, and local ordinances.

Keywords:   sex markets, American servicemen, sex industry, sex workers, Sasebo, prostitution, imperial naval base

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