Tokyo Damage Report

‘Tokyo Harem Queen’ burlesque show

3/30 tokyo harem queen at club cube 326


tokyo harem queen is both the name of the event, and the name of the main performers. In addition to the T.H.Q., there was some naughty lipsynchers, some naughty dancers, and some naughty-body paint, and (somehow) naughty shit on fire.

in other words, it was like this:

most of the performers seem to be either pro strippers or s/m women, in their 30s.

The common element of all these acts is theatrics, which is a nice way of saying that the music is just an excuse to play dress-up. It’s like all 12 year old slumber party style, with mom out of the house and girls all kind of sorting through her clothes and underwears trying them on and laughing at each other. But, plus adult sexuality on top of that, but adult sexuality minus men’s ideas of what is sexy. Like, it’s what straight women find hot about other straight women: the kind of strip show that strippers WANT to do at work, but their dumb male boss and male clients don’t like it.

Here we have to pause to consider the sad phenomenon of the Arty Stripper. Until today I thought this was an Only In San Francisco type of pest. Basically the arty stripper is a woman who doesn’t want to show off her boobies for money, but is too lazy to get a real job. So to justify taking this line of work (despite being a feminist and etc.) she says, “I’m not a stripper, I am an Artist! I refuse to work a square 9 to 5 job! And stripping pays so much money, I can have most of my time free to practice my art!” . . . so far this is not sad. But it IS sad when people lie to themselves in a very obvious manner. And after like 6 months of not doing any art except smoking meth, the arty stripper starts to see that her excuse is kind of bogus. So she tries to get together some kind of half-assed artworks to make it seem like she has a life. But, in spite of being a “creative, really out-there person” 9 out of 10 times her artwork is. . . stripping! But, not you know, the sexist kind. It’s wacky, nutty crazy stripping! She’s not forcing everyone to witness some kind of self-therapy project, she is Expressing Herself! Anyway, that’s why I was sort of nonplussed to find myself at an Arty Stripper Event.

But actually it turned out ok. Tokyko Harem Queen is, I guess, less pretentious and self-decieving than the San Francisco version. Not sure why. I guess American arty strippers are awkward in the same way as pissed-off graphic designers are: “the stupid client didn’t like my logo and photoshop collage! They said they couldn’t read it!! well FUCK THEM!!! GOD DAMN IT, I will keep on doing this damn design in my OWN time! They can’t stop me! Plus, hahahaha, I will change the client’s name to my design firm’s name!!! that’ll show them!! Plus. It will look good in my portfolio or something. Revenge is sweet!!!!” you look at these design guys and just sigh.

But these women tonight were less like pissed graphic designers, and more like pissed jazz musicians — : Imagine some jazz musicians that had to play “happy birthday” or Kenny G smooth jazz, all day. Then at 2 am, they finally get off work, go to some after-hours bar, hang out with each other and play the kind of jazz that THEY want to play. That’s fun!

But in this case, the rant was more like, “Those stupid johns!! They won’t let me EXPRESS MYSELF at the strip club! They didn’t see the GENIUS of my wearing a panda head and dancing naked covered with ground-up lucky charms! Well, I’ll show THEM!! I’ll do my OWN strip event and invite all my friends!!” kind of thing.

Men are allowed in, but they are basically only there to pay the ridiculous cover charge and thus pay the rent for the live house. In return they can snap some risque photos, but the shows do not cater to them. Clearly the dancers are trying to impress their dancer friends. Which was fun and interesting because guys like me with no sisters, we don’t really get a chance to see what a straight woman’s idea of a hot woman looks like. (answer: it looks like a drag queen in kmart lingere)I guess the drag-queen angle would contradict my “sex minus men’s desires” theory. But on the other hand, both hookers and drag queens are in a good position to see what a fake-out the whole notion of “female beauty” is : how artificial and arbitrary it is. But rather than say, “fuck it, it’s fake,” they figure the fakeness gives them a lot of room to play with it and have fun with it.

Also, this event has a lot in common with other events in japan : the bodicon fad of the early 90s, the goth loli shows, and the female hip-hop-dancing show too! Modern Japan has a whole history of events where straight women go to act all sexy and sort of parade around in front of each other for hours, but with no intention of getting a boyfriend or even a hook-up. The only thing that sets TOKYO HAREM QUEEN apart from the other ones (bodicon, loli, hip-hop dance. etc) was that the participants seemed more self-aware of what they were doing.

But I don’t want to sound like some asshole “gender theory” college person. This is just my opinion, and I have more questions than answers.

For instance , why are most of the performers in their lat 20s/early 30s? are they semi-retired strippers who kind of nostalgic for dancing in public? Or what?

And, is this larger “women-posing-for-women-events” thing a japan-only phenomenon, or what?

People from non-japan countries, help me out here.

anyway, here is some purty pitchers for you.



the lady on the left was the best, though — all Delinquent Bo Peep style, with the cigarette dangling, and the bloomers with no skirt. her dancing was dope too –arms dangling as if paralyzed while the hips jerked like she was a marionette being manipulated by a drunk.


most of the costumes were like the lady at right —

and most of the guys were like the strange man on the left- which is why I didn’t take more pictures!

i didn’t want to be the "creepy camera guy", nor did i want to give the women bigger egos than they already had.

out of the many costumes, though, the best was Cyndi Lauper! she just smacked everyone.


the crowd:

fire performance:


this performance:


that performance:


the emcee:

a live show by a band called spikys.



the dancer on the left is Ms. Koganezaki, of whom more later.



spikys’ main site is here– but their myspace

site includes their band bio, of which I will only include a short excerpt:

Spikys Sexy performance Mechanical gimmick Eccentric and destroyed love song. Kitschy Meca rockin’ is shot by the anti. A pair restructured from rock and roll scene in 2999 Spikys. Though a digital beat is assumed to be a subject It differs from so-called driving system music. MECA BILLY, MECA ROCKIN’, MECA RASTA , and 2980’S POP It of the element was originally united. The ultra sound of the metagalaxy astonishment is thrown. It is a miracle guest player in the show. SLAPPIN’ WOODBASS、C It is Ki however and ..acute angle of a preeminent taste.. Srappim’pray is fired at random. In addition, With SEXY DANCE&CHORUS "Woman whom top of Japan Gold suits" That CHIHIRO KOGANEZAKI It blooms all over doubtfully. A digital, analog illicit sexual relations stage is exactly developed. MALI is acting even by the PIANO solo. Classics were made a radical. A high-speed piano of angry waves Coming S tile of ..angry waves.. ..earliness.. Tama Wicked strongest angel in all truth in Eurasia. The distortion is put on love and the desire. Cotocoting was cooked in space. Meca rockin’ show that sleeping child also dances. Two of Japan Meca rockin’ boundary No.1. SPIKYS!!!!!!!

this goes on for 10,000 glorious words, making it worthwhile even if you have to listen to their music which starts playing as soon as you open the page.

basically they had a $12 Casio keyboard playing beats, and some rockabilly guys doing guitars, while the singer made whooping noises. as with all the music tonight, it is just a pretext for costumes and theatrics.

chihiro koganezaki is the dancer for Spikys. she also did a solo performance tonight, stripping down to a g-string and painting her self gold, and then squirting gold paint out of a banana-shaped squirtgun at this awesome masochist nerd buisnessman guy. all the while "goldfinger" and "man with the golden gun" were playing. the cd kept skipping the entire time, but she didn’t pitch a fit, which i thought was amazing. anyway, here is her main site. i thought that her gold paint show was just a kind of retro-burlesque campy thing. But it turns out she is seriously obsessed with gold in particular, and something called "color therapy" in general. go visit her site to learn how wearing the right colors is spiritually healing.

she also does a medical fetish party in tokyo, so if wearing green pants doesn’t heal you, you can pay $80 for her to administer some enemas and poke you with needles before an adoring crowd.

there was also a band of sexy spy ladies that did lip-synch songs about femme fatales.

And a really horrible rock band, as well as some tiny, round, butch lady that came out in a full black suit with a whiplike ponytail, looking like a lesbian KID FROST. her popping and locking put all the other dancers to shame.

my friend’s photo is here.


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