Boys for Sale (2017): Japanese Film about Male Sex Trade by Boys (Mostly Straight, Some Gay)

This Japanese film, directed by Itako, concerns boys, who are mostly straight, selling sex to men.  In their  intimate discussions, the boys reveal their experiences, how they were recruited, and their working and living conditions.

Set in the Tokyo neighborhood of Shinjuku 2-chome, the area’s connection to the sex trade began in the 17th century and continues to this day.

Directors Statement:

A transsexual woman came into the dark bar on the second floor of the 2nd building to make eye contact. “There are too many bartenders too much for a bar with only a few seats.” Were there about ten young men behind the bar counter? It was an information sheet with their age (18 – 24 years old), hobbies, body type information and sexuality (mostly straight), along with the picture of the young men, that opened up thinking it was a drink menu. What was additionally listed were the type and feasibility of sex acts performed on men, and the price list.

I needed to know more, why are you involved in sex work with men while being straight? But the only way to talk with them is to buy them and take them to a private room on the upper floor …

I followed my subject, a transsexual woman, into a dark bar hidden away on the 2nd floor of a building in 2-chome. “For only having a few seats, there are awful lot of bartenders here”, I thought, glancing at The 10 or so young guys behind the bar. Opening what I thought was a drink menu, inside was photos of the young guys, together with fact sheets detailing ages (18-24), hobbies, body measurements and sexuality (mostly straight) Next to this was a list of sexual acts each was willing to do with men and a price list.

I needed to know more than how they could claim to be with a business engagement in sex work with men – but the only way to speak with the boys was to purchase them and bring them upstairs to a sex room.


English Title: Boys for Sale

Director: Itako

Director of Photography/producer: Adrian “Uchijin” Storey

Illustrator: N Tani Studio

Animator: Jeremy Yamamura

Music: Kazaguruma

Producer: Ian Thomas Ash

Running Time: 76 Minutes

Production Country & Year: Japan, 2017

Rating: Not Rated