Akeno Gekijo is a legendary abandoned theatre in the city of Chikusei, Ibaraki prefecture.
Akeno Genkoji: hangover from golden age of striptease
The Akeno theatre opened in the mid-sixties as a performance venue. It changed names and owners several times before eventually morphing into a strip club.
From the 1950s until the bubble burst in the early 1990s, striptease was a huge success in the Japanese archipelago. Akeno Gekoji is a relic of this boom. Such establishments were ideally sited discreetly in the middle of a forest.
The club closed down in 1994. The reasons are thought to be mismanagement and prosecution following a police raid. The following year a fire (probably arson) destroyed the premises. The local mob was likely behind the incident …
At its peak Akeno Gekijo was one of the best-known venues in northern Kanto region, and notoriously hot dancers of the day, such as Sayuri Ichijo or Kyoko Aizen, performed there.
Strip club haunted by a mysterious red thread
Despite fire damage and decay, the two-storey building is still standing. On the ground floor is the main room with the round podium in the centre of scattered seats and disks. Upstairs, the sound and lighting control rooms.
The Akeno theatre is one of the most haunted places in Ibaraki prefecture. Several paranormal phenomena have been reported, mainly on the first floor of the building.
Local rumour has it that the apparition is the spirit of a homeless man who died in a criminal fire. Some report strange noises such as the murmur of female voices, but the most unusual mystery is that of the “red thread”. It seems that a tuft of brand new red thread has appeared in different places, sometimes on the floor and sometimes on a chair. Urban myth says spirits appear if you touch the thread.
Nobody knows whether this is just a joke, a strange ritual or an unexplained paranormal experience … the mystery remains!
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