Japan is famous for maid (meido), either through a maid cafe or anime depicting maids from wealthy families. How did this passion and taste for girls dressed in French maids’ attire become popular in Japan?
Have you also wondered how the maids’ cafes came about? Why do Japanese people love to see girls dressed in Victorian clothes? In this article, we will do a thorough investigation and find out everything about maids.
The clothes of meido (メイド) are loosely based on that of a typical French maid. These outfits usually consist of a black dress with a white trim, an apron, a lace back, socks and high-heeled shoes. In addition to the costume, the maids behave in a way that lives up to their title, always respecting the will of the master.
Currently maids are used as fanservice in anime and manga. These characters follow the “moe” custom and kawaii desu” and appear to be obedient. They are present in novels, comedies, action and other genres whether to represent social classes, dedication, leadership or a simple moe fanservice.
How did Maid become popular in Japan?
It is believed that maido’s popularity started because of a OVA hentai called Kuronekokan, only at that moment the maido were portrayed as a symbol of subordination. We cannot deny that initially the interest was simply fetish for girls in uniform.
It was thanks to a visual novel called Kara no naka kotori that this tradition of slave maids changed to something cute and common. In the late 1990s, the media soon popularized maids ’uniforms and soon after maids’ cafes emerged across Japan. Maid cosplay also became popular in the 2000s.
Over time several fanart of known characters were made by the authors themselves wearing a meido uniform. Only on the Japanese pixiv and danbooru fanart sites can we find more than 30,000. Soon several works of manga and novel appeared that popularized the term meido like Nekopara and Maid-sama.
The History of Maid Café in Japan
Maid Café or maido kissa [メイド喫茶] emerged in Japan in 2001, with the popularization of anime and manga that feature wealthy families with maids wearing Victorian dresses. The First Maid's Café appeared in Akihabara under the name of Cure Maid Café. Then it became popular and spread across the globe.
The Maido Kissa it is a place where girls dressed as maids or other subjects sell coffees, snacks, mainly omelets, creams and drinks. When entering a Maid Café you will be greeted with a: Okaeri Goshujin-sama (Welcome my Lord), like a boss who has just arrived at your mansion and is received by your servants. In these places people are treated like kings, take pictures with their maids and participate in various games while waiting for your meal to arrive. Despite looking a little perverted, these places are quite childish, innocent and cute.
Another interesting thing is that the Maids will kneel by the table and stir the cream and sugar in the coffee, always with lines like: Nyan Nyan, Moe Moe, Pyun. In addition, some Maid Cafes offer massages, games for prizes, etc.
There are also rules! Most Maid Café charge to take pictures with the maids. They do not allow them to touch or ask for personal data such as a telephone or anything that takes away their privacy. There is a male version called Butler Cafe. In these establishments, attendants are butlers who treat visitors as if they were true princesses.
In Akihabara alone there are hundreds of maid coffee from several different franchises such as Maidream, cure maid, @home and others. In these places various things happen like music shows, games and several moe things.
Some Maid Café dishes
As already mentioned, in these places one of the main menus is the omelettes (Rice omelet - オムライス Omu-raisu ), where Maids themselves draw or write with Ketchup. Other dishes like macaroni and biscuits, all with a moe appearance (cute) Some drinks, ice cream and creams with exotic and colorful appearances, some Maid Café even sell alcoholic beverages like sake.
My experience at Maid Café
I went on maidreamin with a friend I met during the trip with the Japanese online program class. It was quite an experience, only the price was salty, it gave almost 5000 yen, we ordered a complete combo there with the right to free gifts, photo, dessert and dance. I was sad that we paid for the show, and someone else could have paid and we would watch the same way. The only thing that has changed is to choose the song and singer, which hasn't changed much.
The maid who served us was very sweet, and forced us to use rabbit ears ... I hesitated and ended up ordering another dish of kare (curry) instead of the traditional omelette. Unfortunately I found the kare very nauseating, the 2 times I tried it in Japan. As a gift we got a poster folder to put documents. During the photo my disappointment was the maid having written in English instead of Japanese. And I wish I had taken more than one TT photo
Are French maids in Japan real?
I have no doubt that some wealthy businessman will pay his maids to wear French maid clothes in their mansions. Social and uniform classes are something cultural and historical in Japan. In the past, geishas served and entertained the masters wearing their kimono suits and makeup, even without any sexism or abuse of power.
Although many perverts are attracted to meido because of a uniform fetish, those who dedicate themselves to a job like maid cafe or cosplay are not uncomfortable because they represent a French maid. The same thing happens in different subcultures in Japan like lolita and gyaru.
Like geishas, meido sell fantasy and friendship. They talk to customers, provide a social connection for those who have this difficulty. Both are paid to provide social interaction, the difference is that geishas are currently for rich people, while meido can be accessible by anyone. Many women find that dressing in meido becomes sexy and cute.
Some Maid Kissa Sites
Exploring these sites, even if you don't know Japanese, you will find more information such as menus, games, maids, even their personal blog. Some of these sites even contain stores.
Also read some articles of Cafés in Japan:
- Fukuro Cafe - Discover the owls Café
- Meet the Kawaii Monster Cafe in Harajuku
- Neko Cafe - Shall we play with the cats?
Maid Cafés Brasileiros
Unfortunately, Brazil does not have any Fixed Maid coffee. But there are always some at anime events, although not like Japanese Maid Café, some of them are worth mentioning.
- Harunatsu Maido Café
- Maid In Poa Café - Facebook
- Sugar Paws Maido Café
- Moe no Hana Maido Café/CoffeePlay
Videos about Maid Cafes
Of course, the article cannot end without videos, and there are thousands of them. Even if you are not familiar with Japanese, to finish we will leave several videos, showing these maids cafes, so you can understand more, and see how unique and fun it is.
Some curiosities about Maid
- The Soviet (and Russian imperial) school uniform for girls, looks exactly like a stereotyped maid outfit;
- The word meido (冥土) can also mean a kind of underworld, hades and place of the dead;
- There is a band in Japan called Band-Maid where they sing using the French maid costume;
- One of the maid’s iconic phrases is moe moe kyun.