Literally, the Japanese phrase "zettai ryouiki" (絶対領域) means "absolute territory". But for Japanese geeks, it means something else—but something nonetheless absolute. The term refers to the area of exposed flesh between high socks and a hemline.
This is a location that's often fetishized in anime and manga—and soon, it'll be a fetishized for advertising.
The term zettai ryouiki originally appeared in the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion in reference to a barrier called the "AT Field", but its meaning has since changed in Japanese geekdom, now referring to that area of exposed skin.
There is even a scale that "grades" the various levels of zettai ryouiki. For example, thigh-high socks and a skirt score an "A", while ankle socks and a skirt would get the lowest grade, as they are not zettai ryouiki.
Attempting to cash in on this craze, a Japanese marketing firm is launching "zettai ryouiki koukoku" or "absolute territory PR" by putting out helped wanted notices. There are three criteria for prospective thigh flashers: You must be a female; you must be over 18; and you must have over 20 "connections" on your social networking site, whether that's Facebook, Twitter, or Mixi.
Males cannot apply. Sorry, fellas.
It's a one day gig, during which you'll wear a sticker on your thigh, and participants will get paid between ¥1,000 and ¥10,000 (US$13 to $128). You'll need to be photographed in at least two different locations and then upload those photos on a social networking site.
This marketing stunt is clearly a way to drum up publicity (it's working!), and I guess it's better than trying to get women to put stickers on their chest. I guess. There doesn't seem to be a shortage of those willing to partake, either. The marketing company has been overwhelmed with applications and is currently not accepting new ones for the time being.
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