“[I]n an unfinished novel, The Mermaid (Kojin), Tanizaki tells what Asakusa was like in 1918. Its attractions were ‘plays of the old style, operettas, plays in the new style, comedies, movies – movies from the West and Japanese productions, Douglas Fairbanks and Onoe Matsunosuke – acrobats balancing on balls, bareback riders, Naniwa bushi singers, girl gadayu chanters, the merry-go-round, the Hanayashiki Amusement Park, the Twelve Story Tower, shooting galleries, whores, Japanese restaurants, Chinese restaurants, and Western restaurants – the Rairaiken, won ton mein, oysters over rice, horsemeat, snapping turtles, eels, and the Café Paulista.'”
– The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa, by Yasunari Kawabata, 1930
When “Theater Street” was rebuilt after the 1923 earthquake, the bawdy theaters were replaced by cabarets and dance halls. Rebuilt, again, after a wartime fire bombing, burlesque replaced cabaret; the dance halls were replaced by lounges (that Nick the Lounge Singer would’ve found familiar).