This week, Nonno Satake had her graduation concert for =LOVE. It seems like this was just in time as Shukan Bunshun published an expose today revealing that since late February, she has been working as a high end escort for a sugar daddy business under her real name, even advertising herself as an =LOVE member.
The paparazzi writers for Bunshun spotted Nonno Satake escorting not just one but several different clients at various hotels, often for hours at a time. When asked by the publication, the papakatsu service she worked for could only suggest that she was meeting clients at these hotels in private rooms under the guise of eating together.
The type of escort service in question is known as “papakatsu“. From SoraNews24:
While the concept of having a sugar daddy, or papakatsu, probably isn’t new to anyone in the Western world, right now in Japan, girls hoping to capitalize on their good looks and companionship are flocking to find middle-aged men who are open to becoming their mentors — as long as they have a steady bank account, that is.
From an outsider’s view, papakatsu doesn’t seem all that different from enjo-kosai, or compensated dating, where girls (particularly those who are high school-aged) seek out and/or are approached by older men who are more than happy to give them money and gifts for a little bit of their time, or possibly more. But those who currently have a sugar daddy say the concept is completely separate because they aren’t centered around physical desire or love. That is to say, unlike the Western concept of a sugar daddy, these sugar daddies aren’t getting any sugar, and the relationship is closer to one of a hostess and her client.Jamie Koide from SoraNews24
Much of this industry exists in the grey zone, with questionable legality because the service itself is not actually advertising any sexual services, but rather brokers the meeting between the escort and client. This section of the sex work industry has come into prominence since 2017 as there have been a handful of high profile criminal cases in which other girls have been victimized by working in the sector.
After speaking to a number of people in the papakatsu business, Bunshun reported that while the club has a steep entrance fee, it is actually pretty middle of the range for clubs in the industry, and the price that Satake herself has set up is actually quite low for a celebrity of her level.
Bunshun noted that since the start of the pandemic and the lackluster attempts by the government to assist individuals during this major economic catastrophe, many people around the world have turned to jobs like papakatsu to make ends meet.
As soon as the news hit, most =LOVE fans expressed shock and worry for the girl in question.
While Japan has one of the largest sex industries in the world, Japanese society has quite a negative opinion on women who go into the industry. A common example is the plethora of “your life is over”, “this is it for you” comments that frequently populate common GirlsChannel or 5channel threads discussing sex workers.
From an interview with a current porn actress from Waseda University
There were some who even went so far as to say things like “Why would she do this despite going to a good school like Waseda?” or “Her life is over”. The AV industry has a particularly negative image, and many people do think “if you do porn your life ends”. The internet was particularly harsh, especially when the fact that I was a Waseda student was revealed.Shukan Bunshun Interview with Mao Watanabe, Jan 31st 2021
This type of thinking is incredibly prevalent around the world, so her most ardent fans are currently expressing a range of emotions from worrying about her, wanting to protect her from a backlash, worrying about the other members and shock. Only time will tell how this will play out.