Monday, November 2, 2009

Maid non-cafes, part 2 - ears

There is a practice in Japan that's not really found in the U.S. I can't comment on other countries, but I'm willing to bet that this is largely a Japanese phenomenon. And that is of having someone else clean out the wax from your ears by using a long thin wooden stick, kind of like a little shovel. It's called "mimikaki" (mimi = ear, kaki = to scratch or shovel). This practice requires a great deal of trust on the part of the person being groomed, and the person doing the work is demonstrating their fondness for the groomee by doing something that's actually fairly disgusting. Traditionally, the husband places his head in his wife's lap, and then she cleans out his ears (however, a lot of manga artists show the guy just lying on a couch cleaning his own ears out with the stick).

Welcome to the world of "head in the lap ear cleaning". There are a few ear cleaners in Akihabara where the staff is in maid uniforms. Some of these places also offer "reflexology", which is scalp, hand or foot massages. Strictly non-sexual.

Prices vary depending on the shop. Figure about 1000 yen for the ear cleaning as a rough estimate (some places quote 500 yen per ear).

Shops in this category are:

Nagomi-ya
Ramimikaki Yamamoto Ear Cleaning Lovable Retreat

I haven't gotten around to going inside either of these places yet, so I'm just highlighting them here, not reviewing them.

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