He's called the "Sailor Suit Old Man." And he's called that for good reason, too. Whenever you see Hideaki Kobayashi on the weekend, he's dressed as a Japanese schoolgirl.
Recently, Japanese sites and Twitter users in Tokyo have spotted an old guy dressed in a sailor style school uniform—a truly unusual sight to behold. People were amused. People were baffled. What the hell was going on?!
Japanese site IT Media met Kobayashi and asked him the question on everyone's mind: Why do you dress like a Japanese schoolgirl?
"That's a difficult question," said Kobayashi. "It's not really something I've thought too deeply about. Hrm. I guess it's because sailor suits look good on me?"
Japan, of course, has had a long obsession with schoolgirl outfits, which has manifested itself in multiple ways over the decades.
A few years back, however, Kobayashi started wearing schoolgirl outfits at a well-known art and design event. That eventually turned into Kobayashi wearing the threads out in public. And that turned him into an internet sensation.
Whenever he's in his schoolgirl gear, Kobayashi is surrounded by people—often, real schoolgirls—who want to get their photos snapped with him. He recently wrote on Facebook how he's mobbed for photos, in his own words, "like a popular celebrity".
With his rising internet fame, Kobayashi joined a new idol group called Chaos de Japon, which he is also producing and photographing.
Also known as "GrowHair", Kobayashi is a long time cosplay photographer. He's been taking cosplay pics for well over a decade. And this latest turn is a mesh of both his hobbies (cosplay and photography).
As odd as an old man in a schoolgirl uniform is, Kobayashi seems like an interesting, albeit unusual, individual. Heck, here's what his old GeoCities cosplay website says in English:
This site is basically link free. Use the address http://www.geocities.jp/layerphotos/ I would, however, appreciate it if you notified me what kind of hilarious person would like to have a link to this site.
His site also has other humorous comments like, "Wanna see more of my photos? Really? Are you sure? OK, then. It's your choice. I wouldn't be responsible. Click the button below!"
There is also a refreshing sense of levity to recent schoolgirl shtick, too. That's the whole point, it seems. This is supposed to be fun.
"I want to give society an element of surprise and impact," Kobayashi told IT Media, "and I want to cheerfully enliven Japan." And Kobayashi seems to be doing just that, one sailor suit at a time.
実はアイドルグループの一員だった！ 話題沸騰中の「セーラー服おじさん」に会ってきた [IT Media]
(Top photo: GrowHair)
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