Tokyo’s Akihabara district has been home to ‘maid cafes’ for a few years now. The likes of Royal Milk catering for the obsessive anime/gaming crowd, with the waitresses generally kitted out in innocent-yet-at-the-same-time-highly-suggestive maid outfits. The subservient young women treating their geeky and adoring customers like lords.
Due to their successes in the capital, maid cafes have now started to appear in other parts of the country. The first two to open in Kyushu however have had a slightly inauspicious start — almost falling foul of the law.
It seems that the eateries were strongly advised to apply for a special licence in order to avoid violating any adult ‘entertainment’ laws, although a representative for the cafes was quick to stress that it was merely a cautionary measure. “We understand that there has not been any illegal activity. We have planned dinner parties and other events, and we filed applications as a precaution because we didn’t want to violate any laws.”
The police however weren’t quite so convinced. The availability of a VIP service, and the practice of waitresses sitting next to customers whilst responding to their ‘requests’ was seen as potentially falling under the banner of entertainment.
Which, dependent upon the requests, is understandable to say the least.
nice choice after that report on womens rights in japan.
Pop Culture Review says
Women’s rights? Oh c’mon, this is just innocent fun for all the otaku out there. Show me some evidence that something is really going on.
And besides, the maids are free to quit and work someplace else.
We need more information. I think we need more pictures.
c’mon p.c. quit whining. I meagerly stated that the choice of the two posts in congruence simply showed the current state of japan’s confusing social normalities. I for one think the otaku thing is great and that kind of resteraunt would be a fun place for most. geekdom notwhithstanding, some changes must be made if women want to be more in control of their position or place in society.
Tell ’em, James! Nothing like this exists in America!
What’s this? “Hooters”? Never heard of it. . .
Pop Culture Review says
James, your reply is a classic example of psychological displacement. You whine yourself, but since you believe you’re not a whiner, it must be the other person who’s whining. Might want to look into it lest it get serious.
Yup, I agree with everything else in your reply. A true masterpiece: qualified to the hilt with an absolutely lovely tautology at the end to finish things off.
Are you a politician by any chance?
no the 8 year old I take care of whines when she is proven to be remiss or doesnt get to eat ice cream for dinner. I was pointing out disparity. But thanks for your concern on my well being; I assure you I mentally sound.
My goodness. Toykotimes is one of the most amazing blogs on the internet, and someone dares complain? This article about maid cafes is relevant and interesting, because it shows what Japanese culture is doing right now.
Plus, what’s wrong with wearing costumes & getting paid for relaxing men? It’s a grand old tradition in Japan, and probably not as laden with anti-woman cultural baggage as it would be in the west. Or wait — all women have to be weighed by western standards, right? (Wrong: go read some Gayatri Spivak.)
At any rate, before I read the comments to this post, my comment was going to be along the lines of:
“Errr — I get the maid outfit, but why are they part cat?”
You go, Tokyotimes dude. I read you religiously.
tokyo times dude you should be banned. your anti-feminine views are a plague to us all. I ban you and go to church.(sarcasm) are japanophiles the most defensive people in the world? wtf I was only making an observation not a complaint. I WOULD GO TO THE F’N CAFE AND ENJOY IT. I THINK THE GIRLS ARE HOT AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THE FREEDOM TO DO SO IS GREAT. AMERICA IS SODDEN WITH THE CHRISTIAN CONSERVITIVE BLANKET THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FREEDOM AND MORE TO DO WITH MOTHERING THE WORLD INTO BELIEVING THEIR VIEWS. I THINK IT’S GREAT THAT JAPAN HAS THIS AND EXTENDS THIS TYPE OF FREEDOM TO ITS CITIZENS. CANT A PERSON MAKE AN OBSERVATION OF DISPARITY WITHOUT BEING CONSIDERED BIASED. WHAT HAPPENED TO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT AND FREEDOM OF IDEAS. I WILL NOT SILENCE MY OPINIONS, WHICH WERE ONLY THAT IT WILL BE A STRUGGLE FOR WOMEN’S EQUALITY IN JAPAN ONLY BECAUSE OF WHAT IS EXCPECTED OF THEM NOT BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY LIKE OR WHAT THEY WEAR OR WHERE THEY WORK.
caps means quit pissing me off. I have nothing against you manga loving otaku, please be free and live in fantasies but dont take general observations as attacks on your lifestyle, its embarrising
and tokyo times you have a great website I come to it often. I hope all confusion is cleared up.
Interesting, maybe Malaysia could have start something similar, but only for show, with absolutely no touching. After all, this is a Muslim country. 😛 (Not that I mind)
Fancy seeing all the guy version of Maid Cafe… huhuhu…
Pop Culture Review Wins. It’s a commonly known internet law that the first person to resort to caps lock loses, similar to Godwin’s Law.
Godwin’s law doesn’t say anything about losing or winning.
I think that misrepresenting Godwin’s law results in said loss though.
I accept said loss as an affirmation of struggle to prove my point.
Andrew Milner says
Quote worth requoting, but first the background: Western guy at that first meeting with Japanese girl friend’s parents. This is when there is a significant age difference; like she’s in her twenties and you’re are pushing 60, basically as old as her parents: “She may have to lie about my age.”
Or to put it another way, a lady has to sell the new man in her life to friends and family. So when you tell her you used to be a pilot, racing driver, in the SAS, knew Princess Diana and/or Prince Charles (perhaps not), Lee Harvey Oswald and Elvis, and single-handled negotiated a peace treaty between Vatican City and Estonia, all you are really doing is giving her the outline for the sales brochure. Like the tax authorities, you don’t have to deceive them forever; just the rest of your life.
â€œSo these feelings of inadequacy you have been experiencing. Tell me about them. When did they begin?â€ (works best in German accent)
What’s up? Don’t you Infidels have a sense of humour?
Pop Culture wins by dint of being a more rational and articulate human being.
You’ve no need to silence your opinions James. Your blatant agression, not to mention your poor spelling, make your bigoted views perfectly clear.
And that goes for my poor spelling, too…
what. agression. oh that whole thing about being right. yeah that was kind of aggresive but isnt calling me a bigot also aggressive. I think mostly this is boring, however I am bored anyway and people seem to want to prove me wrong for something so I will continue untill my spelling improves. I will give you fair warning that could take awhile.
stanks for postn
Its kind of repulsing. I don’t like the idea of using females as a fantasy object to be seen and serve you only, kind of sickning 🙁
I just can’t understand what the deal is with the women wearing cat ears. It’s not cute looking. These two girls just look ridiculous.
Ok, so people say it’s just harmless fun for otaku nerds. Why then don’t they have the opposite? Where’s the hot guys in waiter uniforms crouching by the female customers’ side? Fair is fair.
I just don’t get the fluffy ears.
This if my first time posting, and I b et I’ll forget I ever came here though…I think cat ears are like a fetish. Seeing as it was a gamer/anime kids/”otaku” cafe`, I guess they like the ear thing.
Chi magnet says
I love French Maids, mine get naughty but it is also great clean fun. I got the oddest Rock Band to hit Tokyo since Gwar. Oh no Turdzilla!
>>here’s the hot guys in waiter uniforms crouching by the female customers’ side? Fair is fair.
Google ‘butler cafe’
“Why then don’t they have the opposite? Where’s the hot guys in waiter uniforms crouching by the female customers’ side? Fair is fair.”
Typically confused feminist argument. The reason why there are no or less equivalents with males serving is that women are not (as) willing to pay for such service. It’s an opportunity for women to make comparatively easy money (I assume maids get payed somewhat better than normal wairtresses) that men don’t have. No oppression of woman here, in fact the opposite. If a woman doesn’t want to be a maid waitress she shouldn’t apply for the job. Women in the first place have to learn to take responsibility for their decisions instead of whining, and feminists urgently have to learn to treat other women as grown-up beings that are able to make decisions in their own interest. If these girls enjoy serving it becomes not wrong just because bigoted feminists think it is wrong.
I allways stop by my favorite maid cafe when shopping in Akihabara. The food is excellent and the coffee is good. I have also, noticed that half of the customers are Japanese women. Seems to me that everyone is happy.
Not that anyone is going to read this, but…
Is it more sexist for a woman to act like a maid for her own pay and amusement as well as the customer’s (who are as likely to be women as men), or for bikini-clad idiots to dance next to ugly rappers? Now, neither one bothers me overmuch, but let’s think through this before assuming that;
“Oh! She’s acting more polite and sweet than regular waitresses! She’s wearing an elaborate maid outfit instead of a tight black shirt and skirt! Shock! Horror! This isn’t the women I’m used to, so obviously if I like it I’m sexist!” Forgive the… baseness of my comment, but really, people. If you’re going to complain, do it to the Pussy Cat Dolls before moving onto Malice Mizer.