• Wed, Oct 6 2010

What to Do When Your Grandpa Is a Porn Star

The best part of working is dreaming about not working. That’s why I think so much about retirement. My hero is Rodney Rothman, who wrote a book called Early Bird about ‘retiring’ in his thirties and hanging out in a retirement community in Florida, playing shuffleboard and eating dinner at 5 PM. But not everyone handles the end of their work life in the same way. Take, for example, Canadian grandfather Shigeo Tokuda. Rather than take up gardening or building ships in bottles, he turned his twilight years into a goldmine by working as a porn star.

Yes, porn star. Tokuda is one of the biggest stars of Japan’s burgeoning “elder porn” market. He has made more than 350 films. While Tokuda’s daughter is not thrilled by her dad’s second career, his wife doesn’t seem to mind. “There’s no jealousy as far as I can tell. But last year while I was drinking with my wife in Asakusa [a neighbourhood of Tokyo], someone came up to me and asked for an autograph. She was surprised, but it didn’t lead to an argument. She understands it’s a job and she trusts me,” Tokuda told The Globe and Mail. That said, he’s considering retiring when he turns 80 – so that he can spend more time going hiking with his wife.

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