Risqué Business: Japan (2023-…): Season 1, Episode 4 - Episode #1.4 - full transcript

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We're here to visit a company
with amazing brand power

located in this
impressive building.

We're in Azabujuban.

It's a wealthy neighborhood.

This is where
the rich people live.

You can see Tokyo
Tower from here as well.

The fact that their HQ
is located in this neighborhood

means they're running
a successful business.

So masturbation…

Do you…

- Do married people…
- What?

Do married people sometimes,

when they feel like it…

I mean…

When was the last time?

It's been ages.

- Like 17 or 18 years ago.
- Seriously?

I think there's a
ceiling to masturbation.

I reached mine in tenth grade.

By tenth grade, I mean.

Seventeen years ago?

For me, it's more
like 17 hours ago.

Why did I even say that?

I never thought
I'd be coming here.

- Hello.
- Hi, welcome.

- Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.



- Thank you for coming.
- Thanks for having us.

Our company is called TENGA.

TENGA started by developing
masturbation products for men

and we have shipped
126 million units across the world.


Could she explain
what these are?

Could you tell us
about the different products?

These are our
best-selling products


They were first released in 2005

and a million of
them are sold annually.

- One million?
- Yes.

Are they disposable?

Yes, they are.

How much do they cost?

The current price is
750 yen before taxes.

It's neither
expensive nor cheap.

- Neither cheap nor expensive.
- Yes.

- It's a reasonable price.
- It's somewhere in between.

Let me tell you how it's used.

The lid at the bottom

opens up like this.

Try touching it.

What's that?

- It's a prop for demonstrations.
- I see, for demonstrations.

It's very upright.

I know, it's hardly
ever this upright.

It does feel a bit different.

Would you like to touch it?

There's gel inside.

I bet this is
good for your skin.

Yes, we use a lotion
that's harmless to your skin.

It's really slippery.

- So what you do is…
- Just like that?

Just like this.

This is how you use it.

I think we've seen enough.

There's one more thing
I'd like to explain.

If you press
down on this hole…

Can you see the difference?

It creates a vacuum suction.

Could we…

- Could we give it a try?
- Sure.

It feels different.

Come on, give it a go.

I'm worried that I'll never be able
to go back to being a singer.

This is…

I'm doing it for the show.

Are there cases where students
who don't have a lot of money…

Do students who don't
have a lot of money…

Do they use the
products themselves…

and then give them
to their friends as gifts?

Do they use the products and then
give them to their friends as gifts?

I don't think anybody does that,

but some people do
wash and reuse them.

These are disposable products
from the TENGA EGG series.

Isn't this a bit too small?

Is it for teenagers?
It may even be too small for them.

If you open it up…

you'll find a soft material
shaped like an egg.

So this is it?

You can stretch
it out like this.

The inside is…

It matches the design
on the packaging.

- I see.
- Yes.

It kind of looks
like cuttlefish.

So if you move it…

Why am I being so enthusiastic?

Hold on.

This is a vibrator for couples.

It vibrates.

If you use this
during intercourse,

this part brushes against
the woman's genitals, inducing pleasure.

Come here, you.

I'm just going to pocket this.

This item is called

It's a kit for
observing your sperm.

This is where you
collect your semen,

and this is a tiny microscope.

You can place the semen here

and then use your camera
to observe your sperm swimming around.

- Really?
- Yes.

Wait a second. Let's see…

Would you mind…

Or maybe one of the
younger cameramen?

It's been 17
years. You try it.

This is fascinating.

It looks something like this.

You can see the
sperm swimming around.

Whose is it?

It's one of our employees'.

This was made
for men's fertility.

When a man has a low sperm count
or low sperm motility,

it's difficult to
fertilize the egg.

But going to a
hospital for tests

could be a little intimidating
and overwhelming,

so this kit can be used
to easily observe your own sperm at home.

- That makes sense.
- Okay.

I'll buy everything.

Thank you.

How long has she
worked at TENGA?

How long have you worked here?

I've been working
here for seven years.

What did your friends say

when you first
started working here?

Were your friends fascinated
when you told them you work at TENGA?

My friends said
it must be fun to work here.

I worked at a publishing company
after I graduated from college.

So my parents were shocked

and asked me why I'd leave
a publishing company for such a place.


I always thought that people would be
more comfortable about sexual pleasure

if we could talk
more openly about it.

I came to TENGA in hopes of communicating
with the younger generation.

Could we talk to some
of the other employees in the office?

Of course.

I'll show you around the office.

- Thank you.
- You're welcome.

This place is huge.

It sure is a large company.


We should ask
how many employees they have.

- Excuse me.
- Ask him if we can interview him.

- Are you available for an interview?
- Yes.

Could you ask him what he does?

I'm Endo,

the manager of the Research
and Development Department,

which oversees aspects such as
design, planning, and research

related to product development.


Where does he get
the inspiration for the designs?

Where do you get
the inspiration for the designs?

With this product, for example,

in order to get it
to move like this,

we modeled it after
a squeaky hammer.

You know those
squeaky hammers, right?

Squeaky hammer.

- Squeaky hammer.
- Yes, squeaky hammer.

Cham, cham, cham.

We could use it like that.

How did he start
working here at TENGA?

How did you start
working at TENGA?

Ever since I was young,
I've been interested in sexual well-being.

I majored in industrial design.

When I started
looking for a job,

TENGA happened to be hiring
new employees for the first time.

So I felt like I had to apply,

and that's how I started here.

Are there any employee benefits
like discounts or free products?

There are.

All TENGA employees can use
any product they want.

Anything they want?

- Anything and everything?
- That's right.

Since we're at a company
that makes masturbation products,

are products targeted
toward American or European markets

larger than those
made for Asian markets?

There is a difference
according to race.

But according to our sales data,

larger products don't necessarily
sell better in the US or Europe.

People tend to think
they have larger penises there,

but that's mostly
because of AVs.

How do you measure
the size of a penis?

Where does it start and end?

According to the WHO standard
method of measurement…

Does the WHO
measure penises too?

- They do.
- At the WHO?

You start right
above your penis…

I'll use this ruler.

He'll use the ruler.

Press down and measure
the length to the end.

When I was in middle school,

I used the exact same method.

I pressed it down really hard
so that it measured longer

and started bleeding.

It sounds like you went too far.

When new products come out,

do you test them out yourself?

We test the new products
by recruiting volunteers.

There's someone known
as the "Sommelier".


- What do you mean by that?
- "Sommelier"?

He senses the
slightest differences,

whether it be the
material or hardness.

- "Sommelier."
- He's a Mast-melier.

Come on.

Like "masturbation."

- Right.
- Yes.

- Excuse me, hello.
- Hello, nice to meet you.

We were told that
you're the famous Sommelier.


What kind of work do you do?

Primarily, I'm an
executive at TENGA.



That's what I do during the day,

but I also have
an important duty at night.

After getting off work,
I test out a bunch of new prototypes.

- Is this a prototype?
- Yes. I work as a tester.

So you write up reports
after testing them out.

Yes, I try out
five to ten products

and submit a report
on them the next day.

So in order to test out
that many products,

he can't ejaculate
while he's at it, right?

For the tests,
you don't go all the way, do you?

You can't ejaculate in order to try out
a number of different products.

You're right. I sometimes test
up to 20 prototypes,

so I'd be exhausted
if I finished with every product.


And to make a precise comparison
to figure out which one's good or bad,

I definitely can't finish.

That's something I can control.

So once I'm done
testing and evaluating...

Once you're done
evaluating the products,

do you go all the way?

- I do.
- I see.

If I don't,

it'd be difficult for me to work
with a new mindset the next day.

Let's say you have
20 prototypes to test out.

Has he ever ejaculated midway
with a few more prototypes remaining?

Have you ever ejaculated
midway with a few more left to test

because you
couldn't help yourself?

Other employees
might have experienced that,

but since I'm the Sommelier,
I don't make such mistakes.

I can go through 20 of them
with no problem.

The pride of the Sommelier.

That's how I gained credibility.

I see.

I do sense pleasure,

but I also think
about why it feels good

or what kind of design
could make it better.

I have to feel pleasure
and think logically at the same time.

So you keep your head cool

- even if you get hot.
- A warm heart and a cool head.

A cool head.

But it can be
difficult to do so.

- It must be exhausting.
- It is.

I don't know what
I'm doing sometimes,

but I manage.

Could we have a
look at the report?

This is what a
request looks like.

It explains the product
they're working on.

What I'm asked to do is to test it
and write up a report

on what works and what doesn't.

What does this say?

It says "duly completed."

Each product has
a specific concept.

It means that the quality of the product
was faithful to its concept.

Does he get paid extra
for conducting the tests?

I believed I would,
so I've been waiting.

After having tested about
6,000 prototypes over 12 years…


…I haven't gotten
a single yen.

Not even a single yen?

No. I'm still
waiting to be paid.

But all of that aside,

it's a great joy
to be able to experience the pleasure

that's yet to be shared
with the rest of the world.

That's amazing.

- Sommelier.
- It's an honor to meet you.

No, the honor's all mine.

Is it the president?
The CEO?

- Yes.
- We'd like to meet him.

Mr. Matsumoto is usually
in Conference Room four.

He should be over there.

- Conference Room four. Thank you.
- Thank you.

Mr. Sommelier.

How amazing.

After 6,000 reports,
they've never paid him.

This is it.

Excuse us.

- Hello.
- Hi.

- Pleased to meet you.
- Likewise.

Hello, everyone in Korea.

I'm Koichi Matsumoto,
the president of TENGA.

That was perfect.
Excellent pronunciation.

Sexual desire is one of
the fundamental human desires.

We at TENGA are seeking
to make it a more positive experience.

My name is Sato,
and I work at TENGA Healthcare.


We have a special gift for you.

It's massive.

Is it for parties?

This is for Dong-youp.

- And this is for Si-kyung.
- Thank you.

We don't use it
like this, do you?

Is yours this big?


If you open it up,

you'll find your gifts there.

Thank you.

We were just talking
to the Sommelier,

and he told us that he's tested
over 6,000 products

but has never been
paid for doing so.

He was complaining about that.
Actually, he was a bit sad about it.

See, he says that,

but I'm sure he enjoys it.

He's happy he
could do it 6,000 times.

I guess getting to test products

- could be his bonus.
- Continuously, at that.

That's right.

How many people
are currently working at TENGA?

We have about 200
employees in total.

We're located all over the world

with branches in
the US, Germany,

Korea, China, and Taiwan.

The total would
come to about 200.

How did he think of making
masturbation products?

How did you start making
masturbation products of all things?

I visited an adult
DVD store one day,

and there was a section
for adult products.

On the packaging
were photos of naked women,

female genitals, and
lolicon-type illustrations.

Looking at the shelves,

I felt like it was suggesting
that masturbation is vulgar

and that the products
should be treated as such.

Just like the desire
to eat and sleep,

- Sexual desires?
- sexual desires are very important.

I felt it was bizarre
to consider them

vulgar, inappropriate,
or embarrassing.

So I wanted to make
an everyday object

that can enhance
people's sex life.

That's the moment I decided

that I'm going to make
a whole new genre.

I worked for three years

and saved up ten million yen.

I began researching and producing
products myself with that money.

It took me three years
to complete five products.

At the time, selling 5,000 units
of men's adult goods

would have been considered
a huge success.

A million units of TENGA were sold
within the first year of its release.

That's 200 times more.

I was elated.

I joined a little after

- the product was released.
- After the release?

Is that so?

I first saw TENGA in a magazine.

It said in the
corner of the page,

"The future of masturbation
has finally arrived."


Before we came in,

I asked Dong-youp
when he last masturbated,

and he said 17 years ago.

Did you say 17 years?

I said that because
of the cameras.

He was lying
because of the cameras.

Your ears turned red.

You shouldn't lie on camera.

When did you first
start masturbating?

It must have been…

Sixth grade.

When was it again?

I think I was 12.

What about Sato?

I enjoyed it from a young age.

How old were you
when you started?

Five years old.

- He's kidding, right?
- No, I'm serious.

When you were five?

Is that even possible?

Then he must be a
prodigy of masturbation.


I'm a winner of
the International Masturbate-a-thon.

Wait, what was that?
What are you the winner of?

"Masturbation" plus "marathon."

- Masturbate-a-thon.
- Masturbate-a-thon.


Masturbation marathon.

- A marathon of masturbation.
- Right.

So you have to last the longest?

Is it an actual contest?

- Yes.
- Where is it held?

- In San Francisco.
- Where is it held?

In San Francisco.

In San Francisco?


He called me from the airport
before leaving Japan.

He simply said he'd
come back a winner.

A few hours after he landed,
he called to tell me he won.

What do you have to do to win?

How do you win the contest?

You must masturbate as long as possible
and maintain an erection.

So you need endurance.

So does it only
have to stay erect, or…

Does it only have to stay erect

or do you have to
keep masturbating?

You can use your own hand.

You just have to
keep masturbating

and enjoying yourself
with an erection.

- You used several products, right?
- Yes.

I packed different kinds
in case I got tired of one.

I enjoyed a collection
of masturbation products

and kept giving myself
different types of stimulation.

How many
participants were there?

There were about 100 people.

- A hundred people…
- Yes, they were all masturbating.

Were they all
standing in a line?

Not in a line.
We sat in a circle in a hall,

and the judges walked around.

What was your record?

At my first contest,
it was 9 hours and 33 minutes.

At my second, 9
hours and 58 minutes.

You lasted 9 hours
and 33 minutes?

If you ejaculate

or lose your erection,

do you get disqualified?

You're allowed to ejaculate.


I finished halfway through.

- Were you able to get it back up?
- I got the erection back.

And then I masturbated
for four to five more hours.

What if you only
have half an erection?

Would it be okay
if you only had half an erection?

Yes, that's allowed.

So it's okay if
you're only semi-hard.

The rules are not that strict.

If you keep masturbating
for over nine hours,

don't you get abrasions

or scars on your penis?

Yes, the surface…

How should I put this?

- It becomes matte.
- It loses its gloss.

It turns into a color
you've never seen before.

There's no prize money either.
It's a charity event.

- It's a fun event.
- That's right.

It's a charity event.

So what do you
gain from competing?

What do you gain
from participating?


It might actually be a dishonor.

He's not sure whether
it's an honor or a dishonor.

Did you get a
trophy for winning?

I got a trophy shaped like a hand
on my second win.

A hand-shaped trophy.

This isn't a contest
for weird perverts.

It's held by a non-profit organization
in San Francisco.

The organization is called
The Center for Sex and Culture.

Masturbation is not
a weird thing to do.

The contest aims to get rid of
the taboo surrounding masturbation.

It shares the
philosophy of TENGA.

I've always had that belief
ever since I was young,

so I thought I'd be able to spread
the message by participating.

When Sato had worked here
for a little less than a year,

he told me that he
had made a discovery.

He said you can
take a small piece

from the end of
this elastic material

and use it to masturbate.

So you cut it up?


When I said it was too small
to masturbate with, he told me that…

it can be stretched out.

That's how this
product came to be.

It sells very well.

It does.

On the US Amazon site,

it's the best-selling
male masturbation product.

He did gain something
out of the Masturbate-a-thon.

That's right.

A huge success in the US.

That's amazing.

We have a different vision

from the other adult products.

Products back in the day

aimed to emulate the sexual pleasure
you'd get from a woman's genitals.

But at TENGA, we want to give it
a more positive image.

We want to make
that into a genre.

A new category
all over the world.

That's what Dong-youp
is doing in Korea.

I see.

This is…

an industry that's inevitably
going to keep growing.

It's just going to keep growing.

As long as men have penises,

it's going to keep growing.

It will continue to grow
as long as men have genitals.

This is what we
aim to do at TENGA.

Bringing people pleasure
and making the world a better place.

To me, TENGA is an icon of love.

TENGA is something that helps you
become more comfortable with yourself.

TENGA is the best
communication tool.

TENGA is something
that enriches everyone's sex life.

It's a process of finding
the ultimate pleasure.

We received such big gifts.

I should give some away.

Did you see this coming
when you sang that song?

Which song?

It would TENGA

Food to TENGA

You did, didn't you?

- Unbelievable.
- It would TENGA

If I held my TENGA tightly

Subtitle translation
by: Sophia Ha