In Japan Nanpa (ナンパ) is a form of dating where young men wait on the street and try to pick-up girls as they pass-by. It is a bold and blunt pursuit for buttock-clenchingly polite Japan, and ever so, ever so hopeless most of the time. In the west it would border on sexual harrassment but then again maybe not, I am out of the flirting loop now I`m married. (If indeed I was ever really in it!!!) but it all seems just too unsubtle if you ask me: compliments are excessive and intensions are unhidden, indeed the ultimate hope is the driving force, as anywhere, but surely the girls must want something cleverer; more worthy of their surrender; someone who masks his appetites like a species higher up the food-chain. And yet it must work enough for many men continue to do it especially in the streets of Shibuya where this picture was taken the other night.
Anyway I thought this was a rather good picture of the event in process: lots of energy, mystery (what does she look like besides the sexy hat?) and the positioning of the man`s libidinous smile and hand which are charming for sure and yet perhaps just the wrong side of intimate, certainly for the purposes of an introduction.
That was until my wife, who I had hoped would marvel at my close yet polite capture of a moment of true culture story-telling, went…
“Is that a boy? I thought it was two girls.”
It`s not my fault many young Japanese men dress that way but suddenly I see her point. So what do you think, should I head out and hope to recreate this picture with a more masculine male lead or does it work as it is?