Lights explosion and dogs as customer bait

I recently learned this odd Japanese phrase: kanban musume (看板娘), which literally means daughter and store sign. I think the modern term is “door bait.” Apparently it’s an Edo or earlier tradition for commercial establishments to place their attractive daughters outside the shop to lure customers.

This male host club uses three over-sized dogs, each with their own portable heater and blanket, to bring in the (mostly) female clients. The husband remarked that he hopes the white dog with a pink bow is male.

A nearby club is surprisingly visible from the sidewalk. Peering inside makes me feel like I am on acid.


  1. One of the funniest things I have ever seen was a bunch of odd hosts in a pet store in rural Tochigi on a summer afternoon. They were all dressed in their shiny black suits and all wore that faint look of boredom and disdain. There was a puppy standing upright in a shopping cart staring up at the portliest host who was staring back at him blankly, and the other two hosts were talking to the clerk about like, how to take care of a puppy. Later, when my friend was talking to his employee friend in the lizard section, the hosts sauntered over. One was holding the puppy over his shoulder and another asked, “Ano… suimasehhhn. Do you guys sell pigs?” “You mean pot-bellied pigs?” asked the employee. “No,” said the host, “The big ones.” “Uh…no.” The hosts all looked exasperatedly each other and just left the store. My world was rocked. I was excitedly describing barnyard host club that had to be nearby and my friends had to explain to me that hosts had recently taking up the store-baiting tactic using cute animals, but it still cracks me up that they were looking for a big barnyard pig?

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