japan

How Much Money Do Japanese Porn Stars Really Make? New Book Explores Life In Japan’s Adult Film Industry

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Japanese adult actress Yua Mikami (by Yuipyon / via Wikimedia Commons)

The Japanese porn industry is worth an estimated US$4.4 billion, but how much do adult actresses actually make? Do they live a glamorous life, as some people might think? A new book by Japanese author Nakamura Atsuhiko (中村 淳彦) sheds light on a seldom explored side of Japan’s adult film industry.

According to “The End Of AV Actresses – The Women Who Escape The Sex Industry”, many adult actresses find out that selling their own body is barely enough for them to pay their monthly bills. Apart from a small number of successful porn stars, the majority of adult film performers can at best be described as low-middle income workers.

Due to the proliferation of free online pornography, less and less people are willing to pay to watch adult films. The market for paid pornography has shrunk to only 40% of what it used to be at its peak. As a result, porn actresses‘ pay has been decreasing dramatically over the past few years.

Nakazawa Miyuki (fictitious name), a porn actress interviewed in the book, says that she earns between US$1300 and US$1800 per month. She lives in an old-style wooden house without a bathtub, for which she pays a rent of US$350 per month.

Her total monthly expenses amount to about US$970, including not only basic commodities like food, drink, electricity, water and internet fees, but also things that are necessary for her job such as manicure, hair salon and cosmetics. She believes that most porn actresses earn about the same as she, and only the most popular ones, who can attract large crowds at events, can be said to be rich.

In the book she says that sometimes she had to live without water and electricity because she couldn’t afford them.

However, she seems determined to continue to work in the adult film industry. “I’d rather grit my teeth and bear the pain than do something I hate,” she says.


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