“Maid cafés (メイドカフェ Meido kafe) are a subcategory of cosplay restaurants found predominantly in Japan. In these cafés, waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants, and treat customers as masters (and mistresses) in a private home, rather than as café patrons. The first permanent maid café, Cure Maid Café, was established in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan in March 2001, but maid cafés are becoming increasingly popular. As they have done so, the increased competition has made them become crazier in order to attract customers.”
‘Irezumi Wo Kita Otoko’ - Nights in Tokyo
Inspired by the stories of Japanese Yakuza, and the photography of Anton Kusters, Tokyo Love-In composed ‘Irezumi Wo Kita Otoko’. The opening bars emulate the cicadas often heard in Tokyo, and yet, to see the cicadas, it is often difficult, even though their presence is known. This parallels the hidden life of the Yakuza, and the reaches of their influence.
In the composition is also heard the tortured sounds of the traditional Japanese Noh flute, an instrument often played by ancient samurai. Later, the piece grows in strength to include a thunderous choir of taiko (Japanese drums).
The visuals by photojournalist, Anton Kusters are part of a photographic journey into the rarely-seen world of the Yakuza. At great risk to himself and his loved ones, Anton made a deal with the Yakuza in order to document them.
For more information on this extraordinary photographic essay, visit:
Photography © Anton Kusters 2010
Music © Tokyo Love-In 2010