I'm in a maid café having coffee and om-raisu. I just got shiatsu and talked about my memoire and other novels with a young woman also wearing a French maid's uniform.
Japan strikes a very odd balance between the skebey and the ridiculously cute, and it's inexplicably serious and non-exploitative and often not even erotic in the way westerners would think of it.
Much more to be said on this.
Also one sees the "female privilege" factor of just standing around, maybe in a maid's uniform, even without skills or even enthusiasm still guarantees one sure employment and even a good income.
A third of the clients are female, and some have brought their kids, so it's like Disneyland.
It occurs to me that many of these kinds of contemporary Japanese cultural phenomena (many but not all borrowed out of context from foreign cultures) blur across a continuüm between silly, childish, cute and innocent and the profoundly fetishistic and erotic. At the same time the Japanese tend to be self-consciously conservative in many respects.
Point being, this undeconstructed largely alien-derived continuüm of ideological imagery and iconography lends itself to the Japanese integrative political propensity Karel van Wolferen elucidates in "The Enigma of Japanese Power" i.e. the inclusion of everyone into the power structure.
A very unamerican concept. Much more could be written about this.
Oh, god, one of the maid girls is wearing a purse labeled "Lolita girl" (ask me about my translation adventures for the fashion designer press interview).
A word of apology since you probably imagine that I'm embroiled on some kind of dress-up orgy. Nothing could be further from the truth, which is precisely the point.
It further occurs to me that this uniquely Japanese feeling of being (gaily) lost and adrift in this crypto-ideological morass which is nonetheless highly rule-based is the antithesis of the Kafka-esque scenario of "everybody knows what's going on except for you (and we don't care that you don't)" which is replaced by "none of us really knows what's going on and it's fine if you don't either and please join us!" (Japanese love of words such as "club" "system" etc.)
I wonder if any of this would be relevant to your anti-violence theme. The Japanese are very non-violent and also deeply tribal, so perhaps so. My theory is that this kind of crypto-fetishistic polyarchism may be at or near the root of this relationship to non-violence.
I thought of a title you might use on a poem about all this. Let's see if I can remember it. Something like:
Deconstructing Crypto-Fetishism and it's Relation to the Formation of Integrative Polyarchic Power Structures while sitting in a Japanese Lolita French Maid Café
Kind of catchy, no? Kind of rolls off the tongue? Maybe a little simpler would be:
Crypto-Fetishism and Polyarchy
Musings on Crypto-Fetishism and Polyarchy while sitting in a Japanese Lolita Maid Café
The dictionary doesn't know "polyarchism" so I guess that's another neologism I've invented. The closest word might be "anarchy" but that's not at all it.