Friday, July 18, 2008

Last bits from Japan

OK some last bits and pieces from Japan: Yes there was Karaoke.
Yes I did sing.
No I wasn't very good.
For the most part, Lionel Richie and Elton John are firm favorites along with the spirited Elvis below.There were a number of Brits, Yanks and Australians in our group. They were slow to start but soon got in the spirit and were belting out tunes greased by a never ending flow of beer. The highlight for me was Elvis above and the spirited rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody by the westerners (sans moi). Our Chinese, Japanese and Korean colleagues smiled politely but found the song incomprehensible.
Some things just don't belong on the Karaoke machine.
Now for something truly strange: My colleagues took me to the Akihabara section of Tokyo. Its the home of computer and camera stores, animie and manga as well as Maid cafes.
The people who frequent these places are known as "moe, moe" men. Which roughly translates into a love of things cute. Middle Aged men go to be served by pigtailed girls in their 20's mimicking girls between the ages of 12-14. Its not prostitution and there isn't anything overtly sexual going on but its very, very, VERY CREEPY. The girls sing little songs, play silly games with the customers and pose for pictures. I wasn't allowed to take any pictures (except for the one above) but lifted a couple from Google Images Very strange and very Japanese.
Finally I want to say sayonara to my colleague Koji who is leaving the company this month. He's a great guy and I'm sure will succeed whatever he does. He has a 13 year old daughter and finds the maid cafes as creepy as I do.
That's it for today. I'm in Michigan having spent a couple of days in Chicago. Home on the weekend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was a maid cafe in Toronto , it stayed in business over a year but seems to have gone under. Not sure if the concept travels well. With any luck it won't.