Undercover in Japan: Filipina Sex Workers

A conversation with Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, an assistant professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis who went undercover in Japan to learn about the lives of Filipina migrant women workers. Parreñas spent three months working at a bar operated by the Yakuza, or Japanese mafia, in order to learn about the world of “hostessing,” where Filipina women engage in various types of sex work. I spoke with her about how these women get by, who’s making money off their work, and the implications of anti-trafficking laws on their lives.