Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ok, Japan is weird, but...

You won't get any denials from me - Japan can be a strange, strange place. Where else do grown men wearing suits look at pornographic comics on the subway without attracting uncomfortable or disapproving looks? Where else can you pay to sit at a cafe and be waited upon by a maid dressed in Lolita goth who addresses you as "master," or perhaps a girl who pretends to be your sister? Collectible girls' bikini butts? I could go on and on...

However, having just been home in the States for a couple weeks, I experienced another Smurfs moment. So yes, this is ready-trodden territory, but I feel a compulsion to share. Ever been to a Renaissance Fair? Well I have. Now, I'm somewhat of a nerd - I play a lot of RPGs, I like a good fantasy novel every now and then, and I know my way around D&D - let's just get that out there. Renaissance Fairs can be good fun, but I've never been the type that can jump in and fully enjoy myself. I guess it's just too close to LARPing for my comfort zone - a line that must never be crossed. I actually have friends who have sworn blood oaths to release me from my mortal coil should I ever slip so far from reality. But I digress. Japan has some weird $^@%. So do we in America. I think these pictures can speak for themselves:

If you don't think that stuff is weird, you are a product of your native society...and a freak. Oh, and if I offended any LARPers that may happen to be reading, I cast a charm of forgetfulness on your ass, so, uh...don't scroll back up - this post isn't worth reading, anyway.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I put these on the level with other festivals in Japan where people wear traditional or native garb. I wouldn't regard it the same as maid cafes or other fetishistic behavior. The people who take part in these do it as an annual thing for a few weeks and lead otherwise normal lives or they actually are caterers, restaurateurs or performers who earn money through these festivals.

    The other quirky stuff in Japan is more like Las Vegas attractions or Playboy clubs (when there used to be such things) with ongoing patronage of something which isn't mainstream and tends to pander to a certain neuroses in the case of regular customers and novelty-seekers in the case of those who visit them once.

  3. True - I didn't mean to place Ren Fairs in the same category as fetishist behavior. I think a more appropriate comparison would be something like Iga's Ninja Village.

  4. First, I wanted to say that I'm enjoying reading your blog!

    Second, I think Ren fairs are similar to anime/video game conventions (which happen in Japan and other countries). People love to dress up in costumes. I've been to a couple Ren fairs, and although I have dressed up, I can't immerse myself, either. Turkey legs are pretty tasty, though!

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

  5. Thanks!

    I have yet to go to a convention, but I wouldn't mind doing so sometime just for the experience of it.

    And yeah, turkey legs and barreled pickles for the win.