Tsubomi - Life After Retirement: One Final Interview

Published : January 27th, 2023 Written by JWL

After appearing in some 3000 titles, she just calls it quit out of the blue.

Debuting in April 2006, Tsubomi made her name as the eternal nymphet and created a lasting legend for herself. Since her retirement in April 2022, she had been contributing to a column for Weekly Playboy and that had come to an end too. We catch up with her and asked about her days and thoughts for one last time.

— First of all, allow me to thank you for all 16 years worth of work. It was quite a shock when you announced your sudden retirement nearly a year back in February 2022. Permit me to ask once more, why the abrupt decision?

It all just came to me one night in late December 2021 that I decide to stop doing JAV once and for all. I can't explain why, as the day before I had thought "It could be good if I can reach the two-decade milestone"
But I know myself, once I decide on something there's no turning back. And I messaged my decision to retire to my manager through Line.

— I can imagine that got your manager all riled up.

Speaking honestly from my heart, I wanted to quit there and then before the year is up. But that's impossible of course. After much discussions, a common ground was reached for me to be fully retired by the end of April 2022.

— Any thoughts on the past 16 years?

At the very beginning, I never saw myself lasting that long. It was quite a turbulent era, looking back.

— For the initial 2 years since your debut, you were an exclusive. After which, you spent 5 years as a freelancer. And you return as an exclusive again for the latter half of your career that lasted 9 years. Any idea how many titles are you credited with?

I don't (lol). I believe I starred in about 170 to 200 individuals annually during my freelancing years. If you take into account the compilations of my older titles, that could tally up to some 3000 releases.

— Did you entertain any notions about quitting prior, back in the day?

There was that one time actually. It's my fifth year on the job. I remember it was on the set of a bukkake production, the plan was to film everything in one take according to what was discussed and agreed upon. But then we had to take a break to prep the juice extras. There I was, all exhausted and naked while the crew was having a meal. Not exactly what I had expected.

Anyway, after we took a photo shot meant for the packaging, there was an announcement that we have to wrap things up in 3 hours. I was in the makeup room, touching up and one of the crew members kept rushing me, asking "Are you done ?"

I was seriously considering about walking off the set and calling it quit then. But as things turn out, once filming wrapped, I feel refreshed and the idea was dropped. There you have it, about that time which lasted just for a couple of hours.

— Pardon me for being blunt, but how much are you paid exactly during your time?

To be honest, I never did inquire about my wage during the early part of my career. But during the freelancing era, since I took on a lot of projects, I recall receiving about 3 million yen a month. At some point, I did request a breakdown of my agreed payout. Though things escaped me mostly due to the blurred period between the pre-production and the actual filming. Anyway, I didn't put much thought into them. Thinking about why "I'm only getting paid so much for such a gig" is a downer.

— So, you were not just in it just for the money alone?

Realistically, there are no free lunches as they said. But I will not have lasted 16 years if I were in it for the money alone. I had entered the trade just to see what it was about and had my doubts and suspicions about those sweet nothings that were whispered to me prior. I was prepared about being exploited after exposing myself to the world at large.

But as I continued, the promised compensations to me were fulfilled and my rights were respected. I got a sense of security, and the belief that I found my calling grew where it finally became a place that I can call my own.

— It's a shame how the industry is in chaos now, due to what they refer to as the "new law".

Correct me if I'm wrong here but, for a time, JAV talents were given the same pedestal as common idols, being featured in mainstream media. I was observing from the sideline, puzzled by everything. That's not how the industry was supposed to function originally, basking in the limelight. This is perhaps one reason why we got burnt by the new law now.

— Agreed, the job of being a JAV actress has always been a stigmatized one, no matter how well you try to package it.

I was one of those who belittled the job of a JAV actress before. It was even worse when I decided to make the jump from exclusive to freelance, a lot of my peers thought that I had hit rock bottom. However, I didn't think of it that way.

In this line of work, it doesn't matter how much you rise or fall. As the trade is already the worst of the worst in the eyes of many, my hitting rock bottom is fine by me since I don't have to live up to anyone's expectations now (lol)

- There could be a day when the entire catalog of Tsubomi's titles will just fade away completely. How will you feel if all traces of 16 years' worth of history were to be truly wiped ?

There's nothing to it. I will not cry over it. I might even forget that I was Tsubomi if the day ever comes.

— There's word that you had retreated from the city after retirement. So how is your new place?

It's a sleepy town 3 to 4 hours drive from Tokyo where there are only fields all around. Not someplace any youth will visit.

— And this place calls out to you?

No, not really. (lol) I always had an interest in piano and bought a grand concert model some years back. It was such a pain transporting it and I can't even play it at the usual apartment, not to mention you had to reinforce the flooring to support the weight.

So I figured a place in a dense residential area will never do. Began my search and after a while, here I am. A lone homestead in the middle of nowhere where it's fine by me.

— Are you hitched, by any chance?

I got asked a lot if that was why I quit. No, I have no desire to get married whatsoever. Perhaps I might develop the urge if I ever got knocked up somehow...

Until then, I'm happy to be alone with my cat and just let the days roll by.

— Doesn't that sounds... lonely?

It truly is. Though I try not to let it get to me. But after a while, I do miss interacting with fans over the net, like how it was during my active days and I just had to have somebody to talk to.

— And what will you do then?

I'll check out the odd local notices and get in touch with the town associations if there is a need. There's also my periodic trip to Tokyo where I attend my piano lessons, get my teeth fixed at the dentist, and my hair done at the salon. Perhaps catch up with my friends, have some tea along the way, and take the chance to spill my guts.

— Tell me what's a normal day like for you at current.

I rise at 9 am, draw the bedroom curtains aside for a bit and let the sun shine through. After brushing my teeth, I open all the windows to let some fresh air in before taking a morning bath. When all the housework is done and I had my meal, I spent some time on the piano. Now that I got into a natural cycle of slumbering and waking, I'm feeling great lately.
I timed to get my shopping done at the supermarket during the evening where the stuffs are on clearance sales. Finally, I round up my day by cooking my own dinner. There was a while where I did night walks, but it gets so dark here that I had to take a flashlight along and don reflectors. It got my neighbors agitated when they saw me in that getup and I had to stop eventually. (lol)

— I must say, it was quite something seeing you as a Blondie when you arrived in Tokyo today for this interview.

Well, indeed, I have never had a dye job during my active years. Not something that was enforced by my previous management, mind. It's just that I had a habit of touching my hair and I will feel guilty about damaging it. But now, there are no worries. I could snip them off at will anyway, so why not try something daring and new?

— I'm sure your fans will have the same reaction as I did. How is your income nowadays?

After my retirement, my only income is from writing for a column in Weekly Playboy. But my contract is up at the end of the year. So all that is left are my savings and what I can maximize without working... By my estimate, I could maybe last 5 years if I stretch every dollar.

— But what if you have to come out of retirement?

Hmm, good question. Perhaps I could try something at a local combini or a supermarket? Anywhere within walking distance. That reminds me, I got an offer to tend a stall at the last Comiket. A model acquaintance, worried about my financial state, called me up offering this gig.

But I turn it down since I'm too much of a slacker now.

— So, if fate wills it, we could see you as a cashier perhaps somewhere years later. This will be really like something out of a movie. Any final shout-outs to your fans?

To all my fans and related staff, thank you--truly. Especially the fans who had been standing by from the beginning, your presence has been a big part of motivating who Tsubomi was.

These 16 years had been a blast. Thank you.

Source:- 「猫と二人、田舎の一軒家で幸せに暮らしてます」現役時代のギャラや田舎での生活、結婚の噂の真相まで。全てに答えた、元セクシー女優・つぼみの現在

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Nickji 1 year ago
Thanks for everything, Tsubomi. You were the absolute best in porn, and I suspect you'll be the best in whatever you do in the future. Many good wishes to you, sweet girl.
Slamdunx 1 year ago
Thanks so much for this amazing interview. I've been wondering for a good while now what Tsubomi has been up to since retirement; as a fellow introvert, I know it can get tough when we retreat into our natural element of "solitude" - you can get so used to it you wouldn't even know you're regressing in quite mammoth ways. That slacker line of Tsubomi has me a bit worried for her longtime well-being, but I'm glad that in the short term at least she sounds like she's doing quite well.

I love how levelheaded, almost to a cynical degree, she comes across in the interview, while at the same time being so low key charming in that way that her fans know her to be. I remember a few years ago I saw that Japanese poll from 2012 that ranked the greatest JAV stars of all time and saw that "Bud" was at the top, with my all time favorite Yuma Asami in second (a more predictable outcome in my mind). Not even knowing who "Bud" was at the time, I looked her up and was amazed that this plain, not especially beautiful girl with a relatively average body compared to JAV goddesses like Yuma Asami and Julia was rated the greatest of all time by the Japanese JAV buying public. As I delved into her back catalog over the years, Tsubomi slowly, but surely crept into my heart to where she's now and immovable Top 10 of mine, and I can't even say for sure how that happened. I think the thing that makes Tsubomi an all time legend above and beyond even other all time legends is the air of mystique around her: she just had this deep interiority exuding from the deep pools of those incredible eyes of hers that sucks you in.

She might look "plain" in that traditional way that the Japanese are purported to love (although her curves are and have always been all-woman), but compared to the more naturally beautiful JAV stars of the past and present, she is not especially physically noteworthy as an all time great. I truly believe it's those eyes - hands down her best and most intoxicating feature. Those eyes, and the shy smile that goes along with them. Tsubomi is quite clearly an introvert, yet she did perhaps THE most extroverted thing in all of the entertainment world for almost 2 decades, and she did it unapolagetically - almost defiantly. That dichotomy makes her an endlessly fascinating person, and an absolutely electric performer when she's at her best.

I don't think any image in the past or future of JAV will ever supplant my absolute all time favorite image from this corner of adult entertainment: Tsubomi, tongue stuck out with some dude's freshly ejaculated load collected on top, staring defiantly into the camera and showing off the efforts of her labors - staring right into your soul with those infinitely dark pools.
ZENRA 1 year ago

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Slamdunx 1 year ago
Thank you, although I probably went a bit overboard LOL. I just appreciate content of substance like this. JAV stars are of course major sex symbols, but before they're anything, they're just human beings doing what we're all doing: folks trying to make the best possible decisions for their lives. I very much appreciate this kind of content. Please keep it coming, especially since JAV stars and just adult entertainers in general make for such interesting subject matter: they're mavericks of society, forging their own paths.
MimorinThrowaway 1 year ago
not gonna lie i do dig this tsubomi blonde look, shame she did it after retirement lol
ZENRA 1 year ago

She looks good, but I'll always prefer the black hair.

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