While wandering around Akihabara, the electronic district in Tokyo last year, I came across an innocuous-looking cafe. I was contemplating whether or not to go inside and expanding my waistline by indulging in some sweets when I noticed that the waitresses were all dressed in authentic turn of the century maid costumes. That’s when I remembered my friend Bill, who lived in Japan for a few years, telling me about the “Maid Cafes” wherein the waitresses (maids) were required to look angelic and cute, address male customers as “masters,” and perform such tasks as kneeling while stirring sugar and cream into the customers’ coffee and providing such services as cleaning out the patrons’ ears. It’s understood that there’s nothing trashy about this trend…how could it be? The girls were all layered in yards of petticoats, pinafores, aprons, and overdresses.
Bill and I once had a discussion about the Japanese pop culture (more specifically, the pigeon toe-stance most Japanese girls seemed to favor) and found that most stemmed from comic books and anime. Is it art imitating life? Or life imitating art?
You be the judge.
(Check out a miniseries entitled: “Maid in Akihabara” on Youtube)