A byte of life from the Land of Sumos and Sushi

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Fukui crew spent a good day in the Harajuku district of Tokyo. This area has become a famous place to bear witness to the freakily dressed up kids, who congregate here on Sundays, showing off their latest fashion creations.

This phenomenon is known as "Cos Play" (costume play). The main style on display was the French maid/little Bo-Peep look, of which there are infinite variations. I believe this has been deemed the "Gothic Lolita". There is even a magazine published here which is devoted to this style and advises readers on how to get the Lolita look.

Scores of teenagers, the majority of which were girls, dressed in their Sunday best milled around, whipping out the "Vs" to appease the relentless attack by the happy snappers. There were an unhealthily number of middle age, pervy looking gaijin (foriegners), who were rubbing their hands in glee at the freak fest, filling their memory cards to the brim with fresh material.

The blonde French maid (see below) was especially popular with these men, and she even tried to avoid being captured on film by one particularly depraved looking man, shouting "sukebe!" (pervert) at him. However, he persevered and she eventually gave in, letting him get the money shot.

We headed onwards to Harajuku park, where we came across some Japanese Teddy Boys, with monster quiffs, and jitterbug dance moves. We then wandered deep into the green, soaking up the buzzing atmosphere as we went. We saw all manner of spectacles; djembe drumming circles banging out African beats, high schools girls practicing synchronized dance moves, capoirea high kicking martial artists, Zion clad regeae fans grooving to Marley, and a skateboarding dog who was particularly popular with the ladies.

In in all, the park was the perfect place to watch the world flow by and absorb the energy of the "normal" everyday Tokyoites, and was one of the high-lights of the trip.

If only Fukui had a park too.


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