The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief

Enter the world of Issei, a young Japanese man who runs Rokkyo, the most popular male host club in Osaka, Japan. This documentary begins with a superficial look of the club, Issei and his male host co-workers, who sell love and attention to rich, but lonely women who cannot find what they’re looking for in real life. This make-believe love does not come cheap, with many of the women (who make their livings as call girls and hostesses) spending $3,000 to $5,000 a night for one-on-one time with their favourite host. A good number of the female clients fall in love with their host object of affection, but the documentary explores how both host and client play the game to get by, whether emotionally or financially.

It may be easy to write these guys off as prostitutes, or losers, or deceivers, but a deeper look into this destructive cycle shows that they are not happy, and want true love, but are in too deep. In the end, financial gain wins out, but hopefully, only for a time. Boab81’s rating: Two thumbs up!

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17 thoughts on “The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief

    • I also saw this on Netflix a few years ago. The most surprising thing about the whole thing, is the fact that their main clients were call girls or prostitutes. I figured the women in that profession would at least no better.. It was a very interesting documentary and worth watching..

  1. I wanted to watch the documentary after reading your post and before commenting. I spent the whole time wanting to either give Issei a hug or punch him in his face repeatedly. I have heard of host clubs before but never realized that they had them for women. Definitely an eye opener as to what some men do to achieve the amount of money they desire. Great post BOAB!

  2. Like a few others I’d seen this documentary a few years ago, I was familiar with the host world because there were several documentaries that aired while I was living in Japan. A few friends and I actually wanted to go to a host club, but knew it was pretty pricey and I was the only one of my friend who spoke enough to have a conversation with any of the guys. But they were pretty easy to find in Kabukicho, which is the red-light district in Shinjuku, Tokyo. One particular Kabukicho host was featured several times in the documentaries, and eventually became a tarento. There are quite a few Japanese drama series about hosting like “Yaoh.” Some other host clubs started boy band groups like Club Prince:

    But it’s a pretty sad world. The guys get paid well but also have to spend a lot of money keeping up with the image. The guys are pretty much drinking themselves to death. And they have professions that rely a lot of on their looks and charm; the moment they start getting older and the looks go, they can easily be replaced with younger, better looking men. And it’s not that surprising that their clientele would mostly be hostess and the like because of the amount of money they spend in those places. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the documentary, but I think one of the women mentioned for both host and hostess they can related well to each other, and probably use each other to dump their issues on. The Tokyo documentaries also mentioned the difficulty of getting out of the world and dating as well. The host life is pretty fascinating but in the sense of watching a train wreck in slow motion.

  3. This documentary sounds interesting especially because I’ve only seen the fun side of male host clubs…not personally but through a blog I subscribe to. I’ve never really thought of the hots as lonely or looking for love in their work. I guess to me what they did was just a job, then again I tend to look at hostesses the same way.

  4. I watched this last year on the Documentary Channel, and I was astonished. Not that it was happening, but because they allowed the camera so much access and just talked about everything as if they were talking about fixing lunch. The degree to which some of those girls were hooked on Issei, even with his disdain for them and them knowing good and well how he felt about them, was like… WOW. Okee-doke.

    I noticed it airing again the other day and just had to check it out again. Intriguing, indeed!

  5. wow! I’m surprised at how many of you have already seen this documentary! Up until a few days ago, I had never even heard of it. It showed up on my Netflix picklist and it looked hella interesting. I felt sorry for most of the people that were interviewed, but I really appreciated their honesty…the documentary wouldn’t have been possible without it!

  6. My nephews will be here until Saturday. The Great Happiness Space is a racy documentary and I wouldn’t want them to see it. I could only watch tidbits of it while they are gone. When they leave ,I will watch all of it. From the little that I have seen.. all of that drinking( I’ve heard)..partying….and just getting wasted..ahh by the time they are 40 years old they all will be messed up,if they aren’t already. One of the guys fear having liver damage. If he know the consequences, he should leave it alone. Cirrhosis of the liver is no joke( Lost a friend to it three years ago)

    The money may be plentiful, but no amount of money is worth them losing their lives over.. Like Nicole said, they should find more honorable, sane jobs to do.

  7. Got to see the whole thing.

    This film was quite interesting and dangerous. It may be Issei and those guys jobs to ” entertain” these women and you see some of the same things going on the states,but no matter how it’s put, it’s not only a sorry man’s job,but it isn’t worth that money those women are being paid, especially when they are just toying with their emotions..

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s foolish that these women are paying an arm and a leg to be pampered..and maybe they are asking for it,but Issei and his colleagues are also asking for it.What frightens me about these women as they a great deal of them really believe that these men will become theirs. I wonder how that woman that Issei called crazy would feel to know that Issei thinks she’s a nutcase and don’t want her? I wonder what’s up with Issei, his friends and the their clientele? It would be nice if they did a follow up to this..

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