Ever wondered what Mr. Miyagi would look like dressed as a schoolgirl? No?!? Me neither…Who does that? Anyway, you’ll get to see it anyway, as we take a look at one of Tokyo’s most iconic characters, Hideaki Kobayashi, better known as the “Sailor Suit Old Man” or the weird guy wearing a schoolgirl uniform.
As some of you may know, schoolgirl uniforms are very popular in Japan, but mostly it’s the girls who wear them. One man decided to turn the fashion trend on its head and started wearing the outfit himself, in some of Tokyo’s most crowded places. Hideaki Kobayashi is one of Japan’s most experienced cosplay photographers, meaning he’s been attending anime and video game themed events for over a decade, taking pictures of people dressed as their favorite characters. The flashy dress code must have rubbed off on him at some point, as he started making appearances in his now-famous sailor style school uniform. He was a bizarre sight to behold even at cosplay shows, but Hideaki decided to take it one step further and wear his girly uniform wherever he went. In the Western world, most people would probably be shocked and disgusted at the sight of a hairy old man walking around town in a schoolgirl uniform, but not in Japan. Here, the Sailor Suit Old Man became an internet celebrity, sought out by young girls who wanted to take pictures with him and post them online for everyone to see. He even bragged about being mobbed for photos “like a popular celebrity”, on Facebook.
So what makes a grown man put on a schoolgirl outfit and walk around Tokyo with a big smile on his face? Is it about drawing attention, is it a sexual thing, or is Kobayashi plain crazy? Luckily, Japanese site IT Media tracked down the old guy and asked the question on everyone’s minds, and Kotaku East was kind enough to clarify everything for us curious Western folks. Asked why he puts on the uniform, Hideaki said “That’s a difficult question. It’s not really something I’ve thought too deeply about. Hrm. I guess it’s because sailor suits look good on me?” Japanese girls do seem to go crazy about his “nice legs” but I have to say they don’t really go well with that hairy face. “I want to give society an element of surprise and impact,” he added, “and I want to cheerfully enliven Japan.” Judging by the public reaction to his unusual dress style, I’d say he’d doing a great job so far.
But the “Sailor Suit Old Man” is not the only Japanese male who loves wearing schoolgirl uniforms. Ever heard the timeless classic “Nice Peace”? Iwon’t spoil the surprise for you, but I will say this: it’s been freaking out YouTube users since 2008. I’ve embedded the video at the bottom of this page. Enjoy! Oh, and lets’s not forget Liu Xianping, the Chinese grandpa who became an internet sensation after modelling women’s clothes for his granddaughter and impressing everyone with his slender silhouette.