A while back, we told you about Japan’s Knee-High Socks Day. Held on November 28, or 11-28, the date was chosen because of some wrangling of the Japanese language that enables 11 to be pronounced “ii” (Japanese for “good”), and 28 “knee high.”
By the same linguistic basis, though, you could make the case that February 8, or 2-8, is just as fitting as Knee-High Socks Day. Of course this means losing the “11 = good” portion of the equation, but true fans would argue that the adjective is redundant anyway, as knee-high socks are always good.
In celebration of Knee-High Sock Day 2, why not attend the grand opening of a new shop in Tokyo that sells nothing but that particular piece of clothing?
The store, opening in Japan’s anime and video game mecca of Akihabara, is called Zettai Ryoiki. While the phrase literally translates as “absolute zone,” a series of in-jokes and memes has since bestowed upon it the second meaning of the area between a woman’s hemline and the top of her socks. Taking a less is more approach, zettai ryoiki aficionados hold that the narrower this strip of exposed flesh, the better.
▼ In Akihabara, a giant teddy bear wearing a maid costume doesn’t stand out quite as much as it ordinarily should, but it’s still a handy landmark for shoppers searching for the second-floor location of Zettai Ryoiki.
The shop’s managers say that despite the booming popularity of knee-high socks, it’s hard to find a store in Akihabara that regularly carries them. Zettai Ryoiki is set to change that, and pledges to carry more than 100 varieties of knee-high socks starting at 300 yen (US $2.90) a pair, ensuring that absolutely every cosplayer and maid cafe waitress can find the right pair for their absolute zone. The shop isn’t off-limits to male shoppers either, and the staff hopes to also be of service to guys shopping for a present for that special lady in their life with a dislike of bare shins.
If all goes well, Zettai Ryoiki plans to expand into hairbands and other accessories. For the time being, though, the shop is putting all its stock in socks. The official grand opening is February 8, but for those who can’t wait, Zettai Ryoiki will also have a preview opening on February 1. Given the cold snap Japan’s been going through, we suspect even women not into anime-inspired fashion will appreciate the selection of long, warm socks, especially if they happen to be wearing a skirt that day.
Zettai Ryoiki / 絶対領域
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Soto Kanda 3-2-13, Hashitzume Building, 2nd floor
東京都千代田区外神田3-2-13 橋爪ビル 2F
Open weekdays 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., weekdays and holidays 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.