Alive and well, and living in Tokyo ...

Reports from Essien Leroy, Our Man in Tokyo ...
July / August 2000

Day One in Tokyo

Alive and well
and living in Tokyo


Climbing Mount Fuji
or How to kill a weekend

Of crime and Punishment

Tales of Two Cities

Japanese Inventions

Keeping up with the Jones

Essien's Reaction to the Web Site

Out of Body Experience

It all depends

The Girls of Summer

An old Chinese saying

The Girls of Summer
What I've always said about Japan is that, they don't have anything we don't have. But here it's smaller , more compact with more variety. This of course leads me to my favorite subject, Women. Now, I say that the average size for a woman here is about size four. My wife was here for a short time says, these women are all a size negative one. But you know how women with other women. If they are bigger then they, they call them cows, if smaller then they are anorexic. And it's a sliding scale with the speaker in the middle as the point of reference. Can I get a witness!!!!! So back to the subject. Japanese women are about a size four, but when I say, most women are about a size four. this is not a mathematical average, but a mathematical means. That is the majority of women are a size four, but in the group that are not, there are overwhelmingly more size 2s then size 6s. If one was to open a Ladies big and tall or a Lane Bryant in Tokyo you would have to start at about a size 8. Not to say that there are no fat people in Tokyo, but if I were to open a shop specializing in size 1, I would do a brisk business on a side street with no advertisement. On the other hand if I decided to sell only size 10, I would have to sell mail order to all of Japan to make a living. But you can't have women running around asking for a negative two. So to remedy the problem Levis and other American designers have shifted there size scale. An American large is a Japanese XXlarge and they go down from there. That way some woman is not asking for a size XXSmall blouse or shirt. True to Japanese trend, all types exist in Tokyo. From the home girl to the California girl as well as the home grown style of the Shibuya chick, not to be seen anywhere but in Tokyo. The women in their 30s seem to be in Channel Suits, or dress for a garden party all the time. The young girls in their early twenties are always dressed for a freak show. At night the restaurant are packed full of these bon vivant living the life of Reilly, dresses in there Sunday best from Monday till Saturday.

Going shopping on Saturday I am amazed at these women with their Fendi bags and matching Leather accessories riding the train and walking the shopping streets. This lead me to believe that women in Tokyo make an outlandish amount of money because the price of these fashionable leathers in Japan are at least twice that of the US for the same item. Which explains the amount of Japanese tourist that crowd Fendi and Gucci counter in NY and Paris. This has become so alarming that the French leather industry have imposed a limit of how many high price leather bags a tourist is allowed to purchase on one trip and will take down your passport number to make sure you are not causing some kind of Fendi or Louis Vitton shortage in the country. The Japanese in Paris are forever on the lookout for ways to go around their quota. What is surprising is that the Japanese do not make more money then we do. They live in apartment that make an upper eastside one bedroom look the penthouse at Trump Towers, but they wear more Italian designers then Marla Maples. If a Tokyo girl is given the choice between food and a Fendi bag, fashion wins out every time. To sit for dinner in Tokyo at restaurant you can expect to pay at least $30.00 to $50.00 for very cute food and afterwards you feel like topping it off with a BigMac and Fries, super sized. Portions at a Tokyo restaurant is at least one-third less then those of fancy French restaurants. After you finish your meal in Tokyo you don't ask for a doggy bag you ask for the menu so you can order something else. Everything look attractive on you plate but don't expect to get up after dinner and adjust your belt. The Japanese are not fat because of metabolism. They are not fat because they don't eat, plain and simple. What the Japanese call three square meals, Americans call breakfast. But on top of all of this Japanese women have taken to dieting. How is that possible you say? Well it is and they are popping pills by the dozen to do it. But every time you see one of these fashion wraiths you want to call Bob Geldof and star another Live Aid. Good grief Bob, ship some pork rinds to Tokyo please, so we can feed these Shibuya girls. In the mean time I'm planning to open an Osh Kosh B'Gosh so they can have good fitting cloths to wear.

This is my last post, I am officially leaving Tokyo for New York and will be back on the 9th of October so I will see every one at that time. Save some time for a get-together after the 9th. I thank every one for putting up with me the last few month and I hope you found me amusing..