Tokyo continues a long tradition of positioning *male* door-bait outside shops, restaurants, and izakayas. This guard outside Omotesando’s gargantuan Ralph Lauren shop built to look like the White House reminds of the incredible capabilities of Japanese to import foreign looks and make it better than the original.
Much “American fashion” in Japan is far better than the original. Not unlike how a Jewish Ralph could become the world’s leading purveyor of WASP costume. Simulations that are more real than the referent reveal a mastery of symbols and performance.
I am left wondering whether inside that perfect surface is an overweight, acne-scarred senior citizen lady. Anything is possible.
I recently learned this odd Japanese phrase: kanban musume (看板娘), which literally means daughter and store sign. I think the modern term is “door bait.” Apparently it’s an Edo or earlier tradition for commercial establishments to place their attractive daughters outside the shop to lure customers.
This male host club uses three over-sized dogs, each with their own portable heater and blanket, to bring in the (mostly) female clients. The husband remarked that he hopes the white dog with a pink bow is male.
A nearby club is surprisingly visible from the sidewalk. Peering inside makes me feel like I am on acid.
Wow. Thanks to a very heterosexual Japanese internet business person on Twitter, I heard about a website (and probably mobile app) that allows you to find restaurants and bars in Tokyo by searching for attractive staff. It’s called Kanaban Danshi for male staff, and Kanban Musume for female staff (Japanese only). Has anyone tried this out?!