News Akiba Performers Dwindle after Public Pressure
posted on 2008-05-07 12:16 EDT
The Yomiuri Shimbun paper notes (in Japanese or in English) that street performers have all but disappeared from Tokyo's Akihabara otaku shopping district after April's arrest of a female performer and much publicized volunteer patrols. Street performers used to congregate on Sundays and holidays, when the "Akiba" district shuts its main street to vehicular traffic. Similar to how western Tokyo's Harajuku district became a hot spot for musicians and gothic lolita cosplayers during the holidays over a decade ago, Akihabara attracted Haruhi dancers and starlets such as Halko Momoi and Shoko Nakagawa. However, a female performer was arrested on April 27 for exposing her underwear on the previous weekend, and about 120 government officials and volunteers began patrolling the streets to curb street performances.