Otaku USA Magazine
CNN Profiles Crossplaying Tokyo Guy

Remember a few weeks ago when CNN sent Otaku USA readers into a froth by completely misrepresenting manga and its readership as child pornographers?

Well, they’re not done with “weird Japan” stories, apparently. This time they’ve done a profile of one Hideaki Kobayashi, a 51-year old who walks the streets of Shibuya and Harajuku dressed in a school girl uniform.

Kobayashi, known online as GrowHair, is a patent-holder and computer engineer who started going out in his sailor suit about three years ago and has been attracting attention ever since, becoming a kind of social media icon in Japan. He’s also been invited to lecture at Waseda Juku, a prep school in Tokyo.

CNN’s profile isn’t nearly as vitriol-inducing as the last one, thankfully, though it falls back on the old “Japan is very traditional and conservative” line while also acknowledging Kobayashi is not only generally accepted on the street, but that Japan has a long history of crossdressing.

Anyway, what do you think? Inspiration to Japan’s children? Menace to society? Or just a quirky old guy in the world’s biggest city? Your call.

Source: CNN
GrowHair official site

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.