It’s not often that Hong Kong pop star Joey Yung gets upstaged by a minor character in a commercial.
But a certain Hideaki Kobayashi managed to steal the limelight — or at least get his fair share of attention.
It’s all happening in a series of TV advertisements for a Hong Kong electrical appliance company.
While Yung is seen in clothing befitting her celebrity image, Kobayashi is dressed in a sailor’s uniform, which gave him the nickname Sailor Fuku Ojisan.
To be fair, Kobayashi is famous in his own right.
In his native Japan, the 53-year-old engineer is instantly recognizable in the streets of Tokyo for dressing as a schoolgirl and occasionally showing up as an old sailor.
But he didn’t become famous until someone posted his antics on social media, turning him into an internet sensation.
Kobayashi’s journey to public acclaim began four years ago when he took part in a promotion for a Japanese ramen shop.
For a free bowl of ramen, participants were asked to come in a schoolgirl uniform.
Kobayashi did and he has since wowed pedestrians on weekends and holidays as Sailor Fuku Ojisan.
Kobayashi’s Hong Kong commercial also features a muscle-bound Australian drag queen named Ladybeard, who also performs as a wrestler and heavy metal singer.
The Australian has appeared in a Gothic maid outfit, in a nurse’s uniform and in a women’s swimsuit — par for the course in his adoptive Tokyo neighborhood that sometimes teems with cosplayers.
Besides Yung, Hong Kong is represented in the commercial by Karl Hui, who has recently published a photo album which shows him as a cross-dressing princess.
And then there’s Chris Liu, a young man said to be a second-generation member of an affluent mainland Chinese family who likes to take photos of himself in provocative poses.
People sometimes wonder if he is showing off his body or his wealth.
Liu is obsessed with his looks, constantly fine-tuning his face to certain specifications.
Once, he posted a photo of himself after receiving another plastic surgery.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on August 5.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
– Contact us at [email protected]