Plucked from obscurity, Yutaro set out on his path in the hallowed fashion streets of Harajuku as a "shop staff." Rising among those ranks, he became a style idol, thanks to his gender-bending sense discovered amongst old insecurities. What was it that broke him out of his "hikikomori" (shut-in) spell, setting him free to break the rules as he saw fit? And find out exactly what it means to be the most famous "shop staff" of Harajuku!
Hi, I'm Yutaro.
I'm a retail shop staff, actor, and I also model.
Thanks for having me.
Check out these 5 frames of love for me and you.
Being sales staff at a second-hand clothing store.
That's where I got my start.
Another one is what I do the most these days: Acting.
I've played roles with unique characteristics, like a bleach-blonde dancer,
and a cross-dressing boy.
Another keyword is: "Followers."
They're so important to me.
Today I'm on set, to shoot a TV show I host.
I do my own styling, and then I'm always
doing some new hair and makeup to match it.
Wow! These sneakers are cool!
It's a TV show about easy fashion DIYs.
Our aim is to show that boys
can make "cute" things, too.
Yutaro is perfect for the role.
Customize your shoes and show
off your personality! Everyone, try it out!
Today, I'd like to show you
a special place where I work.
Here we are.
I've been working here forever.
The clothes are colorful
and meant for all genders.
It's all mostly oversized.
This shop opened about six years ago.
Around then, the media went into a frenzy saying,
"Check out this boy, he looks like a pretty girl!"
Then I went viral. The talent agency
I'm in found out about me this way.
Meet the most popular of all the shop staff idols! It's Yutaro!
In Japan, shop staff are fashion idols!
More and more of them are going beyond their job title and becoming bonafide celebrities.
-This is the manager, Muyua.
-Hi, I'm Muyua.
And this one next to him is...
Hi, I'm Shinji.
-You came all the way from Osaka, didn't you?
-Yep, all the way from Osaka.
Is it OK for me to be like this on the show?
-It's fine. This is an international show.
-Ok, that's a relief.
Before, I was just a customer
who used to come all the time.
I'm short and I felt insecure about it.
Nothing seemed to look good on me.
Yutaro then introduced me to "oversized" clothing.
With his outfits, he shows that boys
can dress up in their own "cute" way.
I'm so happy I can work here with Yutaro, my idol.
Are you Yutaro?!
OMG, I'm so nervous.
-You just happened to be in the neighborhood?
-Yeah, just by chance.
-Where are you from?
-From Aichi Prefecture.
Which colors do you prefer?
Warm or cold shades?
-Mostly warm colored.
I don't know what to do,
because now my hair is a cold color.
Think of it as your chance to wear things
that match your hair now, which you couldn't do before.
How about this fleece top?
It's totally cute & retro.
Do you wear shirts or blouses?
I don't really wear blouses... but I wanna try.
I bet blouses look super nice on you.
They'll go with anything.
How should I style a blouse?
For example, wear it with a sweater
but let the collar out.
-That's cute. I've always wanted something like this.
-Enjoy this one.
-I'll wear it a lot!
I've wanted some clothes like this for a while,
but I didn't have the courage to try them.
Yutaro patiently helped me
discover this new side of me.
I have low self-esteem, but through
Yutaro I've come to love fashion.
I feel more confident
when I put on my favorite clothes.
I'm really happy today.
I was just a customer once.
So, I know how great it feels to get
a special outfit picked out by the staff.
People leave with a bigger smile than
when they came in.
Sometimes they'll wear what they
bought back into the store.
It's a lot of fun for me,
and I'm so grateful for this job.
A concentration of my whole being.
I love myself, whether wearing a skirt or pants.
I'll be happy if even one more person learns
how freeing fashion is, through my experience.
We're here in my second hometown,
Osaka's America-mura (American Village).
Apparently, in the 70s, they started importing second-hand
clothes and records from the West Coast.
That's why it's called "American Village."
Is this second-hand as well?
Yep, it is.
-It's from America.
It's so interesting because the colors of the clothes
from the 70s and 80s are totally different, even though they're the same brand.
I'll definitely wear it for a shoot. Thanks a lot.
When I'm in Osaka, I get flashbacks
of when I used to live there.
It's where I was set free.
I was born and raised in Hiroshima City.
I didn't have a positive experience with
school, and eventually I stopped going.
In 2011, Yutaro stopped attending junior high.
I had to wear uniforms in elementary and in junior high.
Boys and girls each had their own uniforms.
Then, our bangs couldn't hide
our eyes or our ears.
And girls couldn't wear ponytails, and so on.
I always wondered, "The teachers can wear
whatever they want, so why can't we?"
98.6% of Japanese public junior high schools require uniforms
(2017, via the Japan Fair Trade Commission) In June 2021, the Ministry of Education requested a reconsideration of “unreasonable” school regulations.
It destroys your individuality.
It sounds extreme, but it's true.
I want people to cherish and
value their individuality.
I became "hikikomori" (a shut-in)
and I was afraid of going outside.
I wanted to be as invisible as possible.
I grew my bangs so I could hide my
eyes and covered my face with masks.
My mom said, "Just do what you want."
It was a tough love, but it saved me.
Still, I felt my behavior might
be a problem for my parents.
I wanted to be independent as soon as possible.
I had to leave Hiroshima.
Osaka was where I felt the freest,
so that's where I went.
I used to work in the Osaka branch
of my current shop.
Here it is!
I'm back home!
It's been a while.
I was 15 when I first came in here,
and it was love at first sight.
I knew I had to work here.
He's the owner, Rozacchi.
How's it going.
He's like my big brother.
And he's my fashion guru.
I first met you when I was 15, right?
You were 15 or 16.
I didn't see you as "cute" or "sweet" then.
Yeah, I was quite shy.
You wore black head-to-toe,
and always with a face mask.
Gosh, those were some fun days, though.
The first thing I bought here was a sweatshirt
with red and navy stripes on it for $42.
My journey with second-hand clothing began there.
The sales staff at the time told me,
"This looks good on you."
I felt excitement for the first time
in my entire life.
It was a light at the end of the tunnel.
At that time, I saw everyone I first met as an enemy.
But the people at the shop welcomed me.
I watched them, how they gave people hope.
I wanted to do that, too.
And then you went through a transition.
Yeah, I started to wear brighter colors
and hanging out with people.
You had a twinkle about you.
I wanted to raise you up.
And see you reach your potential.
I went to your parents' house in Hiroshima and I said, "I'll take him with me."
-Like such a weirdo.
-And it wasn't planned.
Yutaro lived with the shop owner Rozacchi from age 15 to 20.
From there, he built up a career at the shop.
The shop is my home.
It made me who I am. And who "Yutaro" is.
I felt I had a place to belong.
As “Genderless” fashion and makeup burst on the scene,
Yutaro started show business at age 18.
Hi, I'm Yutaro. I model, act and I'm a shop staff, too.
Thanks for having me.
What's a shop staff?
I sell clothes in Harajuku at
a kawaii & colorful second-hand shop.
Ask me anything about fashion!
I was so excited for you.
I even followed you to
the first recording, didn't I?
But people ask me all the time
why I still sell clothes.
They say, "You don't need to work anymore,"
or "Why don't you quit?"
The answer is simple: I have no reason to quit.
It's an important part of my past.
I want to remember my past.
And with "Shop Staff" in my business title,
it shows how passionate I am.
I don't want to quit,
and I won't for the rest of my life.
As a shop owner, that's incredibly touching.
Even though you're on to the next stage, you don't forget where you came from.
I'm so happy.
Figuring out what you really love.
When I discovered what I really loved,
it led me to where I belonged.
Stay true to your choices and decisions.
And you'll learn to love yourself.
He isn't a boy nor a girl, he's simply "Yutaro."
I'm so happy that I have you as my brother.