Love Is Bind: Six Bizarre Japanese Bound Cellphone Charms

Cell phone charms, cell phone lanyards or "phone straps" as they're called, are immensely popular in Japan where nearly everyone owns a cell phone and mobile phones are festooned with one or more (usually more) phone lanyards. If you look close, you can discern new trends and even lifestyle choices through the phone straps people chose to display.

What to make of these six "Bound Japanese Girl Cell Phone Charms", then? It's not as if such things have never been portrayed in Japanese pop culture before - anything but!

Though they're designed to "hang out", as it were, in public, phone straps have displayed adult-oriented imagery before: the Kewpie Doll charms we featured here a while back are a prime example.

But let's not wonder about the reasons why or the ties that bind... instead, check out the intricately detailed examples of the latter shown off by major mainstream cellphone strap seller Strapya World. They come in Geisha Girl, Nurse, Police Officer, Office Lady, Schoolgirl and "Apron Girl" - a woman wearing nothing but an apron. Not that there's anything wrong with that... er, wait a minute!

The six 1.5-inch tall dolls are actually kinda cute if one puts aside one's personal feelings on the concept of restraining women with ropes. At least their little round faces aren't twisted in terror - on the contrary, with eyes closed and lips pursed they almost seem to be thinking "So you've got me where you want me... whatever will you do??"

Most definitely, these charming charms should find much appeal among certain sectors of the male population. As Strapya sez, "These girls are selected from the most popular female professions among Japanese men. Is it just the Japanese men or do men in general love the women in uniforms?"

And yes, I realize that the dolls are all female and in themselves set back the cause of gender equality by several decades (if not centuries), but hey, we don't make 'em, we just report on 'em. We're also sure that if enough requests are received, a line of complementary Bound Gentlemen is sure to follow... don't hold your breath waiting, though