|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Gals sell soles to give platform-shoe trend the boot 2001,04,24
Friday 5/4 by Ryann Connell
Two years ago, young Japanese girls would just about sell their sole, er, soul to get their feet into platform shoes.
Thick shoes that elevated the wearer dozens of centimeters off the ground became all the rage as girls competed to see whose shoes could lift them further into the stratosphere.
In fact, so harsh was the competition, falls from women clad in the chunky footwear resulted in deaths.
But, Friday (5/4) says, girls have given platform shoes the boot.
It seems the "geekish" boots have gone the way of the dyed-hair, gaudily made-up girls who wore them but are now rarely seen on the streets of Harajuku and Shibuya.
But, the men's weekly says, the demise of the boots sparked Minute Japan, a shoe repair franchise, into action.
According to Friday, for a fairly hefty fee of 4,000 yen a shoe, it will reduce the size of the bottom of a platform shoe to that of regular footwear.
And Minute Japan is getting so much business it may one day have to shoe, sorry, shoo potential customers away.
"From about the start of this year we began to get a large number of inquiries from girls who wanted to know if we could thin out their platforms," a Minute Japan spokesman says.
"So we decided to offer the service permanently from February."
And it seems that despite the heavy bill they have to foot for the service, young women aren't going through much sole-searching to use it because it's still far cheaper than forking out money for a new pair.
"I never wanted to wear those boots again and thought I'd never be able to," says a 16-year-old Osaka girl who's just had her platforms flattened.
"I can wear these boots again. I'm really, like, happy, ya know."
Despite the success of the business, Friday worries that with even teen-age girls choosing to have footwear fixed instead of buying new items, it could prove to be a heavy boot in the butt for the Japanese economy.
April 24, 2001