Interview with Erina
Erina, or Sakana chan as she likes to be called, was born and raised in Japan but has lived in Vietnam for over one year now. After moving there she noticed that people in Vietnam were interested in areas like anime, manga, cosplay and other areas of Japanese culture but really were not familiar with them. She decided to create Vietmoe, a maid cafe located in Ho Chi Minh City to help spread her personal style and love of Japanese culture.
Vietmoe is a fusion of Akihabara and Vietnamese styles. It blends the best of Harajuku fashion and Akihabara and merges it with Vietnamese pop culture.
It is a pleasure to meet you. Where in Japan were you born and what made you move to Vietnam?
★I was born in Yokohama City, Kanagawa, Japan and I moved to the city of Fujisawa, Kanagawa when I was 19. I went to live with my grandmother, grandfather, and aunt. I came to Vietnam when I was 22 in August of 2011.
What did you think of it when you first arrived in Vietnam? Was it a cultural shock for you?
★Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam was very hot. I thought of it as a burning hell. Actually, I came for a visit for the first time in April, 2011 before deciding to live in Vietnam. Apparently, that was the hottest time in Vietnam. The temperature was near 40℃ (104F)！!
April is spring in Japan. Nature becomes the most abundant, life is all around, there are many beautiful flowers, but the temperature only gets to about 20 ℃ (68F) in Japan Even then I thought my body would melt and my brain would vaporize ！！！！！（；^ω^）(；´Д｀):(；ﾞﾟ’ωﾟ’):（；^ω^）(； ･`д･´)
However, I love Vietnamese food and I the Vietnamese people appreciate the natural beauty of women and I wanted to teach them about fashion, make-up, manners and gestures of the kawaii (or cute) girls of Japan.
Is there a large Japanese population in Ho Chi Minh city?
★The largest groups of Japanese live in Le Thanh Ton. There are Japanese restaurants as well as cafes and bars. There is also a Thai food shop I can recommended.＾＾＾＊I also love Thai food！My Maid Cafe, Viet moe, is not in Le Thanh Ton. The Address is 203 Nguyen Van Thu street, Dakao Ward , District 1 (floor 3) ❤ because the target audience is not Japanese. It is the young people of Vietnam！
How did you first come up with the idea of starting a Maid Cafe? What did people think when you first told them your idea?
★I think that Japanese animation, culture, cosplay, fashion, music, and idols were not known well in Vietnam. It would not be known there except for me! However there was a big problem. I was immature. When it came to management and ways of doing business, financial, and legal.
Then I met someone with the same ideas as I did who helped me. I am very grateful to him. I hope people will appreciate my Maid Cafe and learn about another culture and it will be a great success.
Tell us a little about Vietmoe and the activities and food you have there.
OKAERI NASAIMASE GOSHUJINNSAMA (๑θωθ๑)（Thank you for coming back to the house, sir. Is the superlative of the word respect.）
★Maid cafe encompasses the concept that the Cafe becomes the customer’s house.
All customer are to be treated as the master of the house and the maid staff is like a cartoon. Actions are exaggerated as is the willingness to serve. People called this situation Moe！Moe means Cute! Lovely! Passionate! Sexy! Impressed! Love! It is the word used by Japanese Otaku.
It is a place to play games with the maids. A place where you can experience culture and learn about anime, read anime magazines, view figures and eat Japanese food.
Let ‘s be together Moe Moe~~kyu~~nnn ヾ(◍’౪`◍)ﾉﾞ♥*
★All menus are cooked by our cute maid staff ♥（Plenty of love for you ♥ (ﾉ´∀｀*)）
The main drinks are Oreo shakes, tea, coffee, alcohol (after 17:00) Japanese beer, rice wine etc. The main food is Japanese food.
❤ OEKAKI OMURAISU（Rice covered with fried egg, on it, we draw a picture on it with ketchup!)
❤ OBENTOU（Content is different every day and is decided by the staff. It is a Homemade box lunch: ONIGIRI (rice balls) octopus, sausage, omelet, etc. ★)
❤ Hot cakes, chocolate, pocky, Oreo, and Japanese sweets^^*
And we also play games !
❤ MoeMoe jyanken !（Rock-paper-scissors is aclassic game at maid cafe) No photo ! but soooooooooooooo cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute !
❤ Moe TRUMP ＆ OEKAKI (Drawing)
How many people are on your staff and can you tell us about some of them?
★ There are 16 people on staff but the cafe staff is four people. The number of customers that can enter is 24 to 30 people at a time. It is a small hideaway Cafe about 20 square meters.
Wata is always funny when under pressure！She likes Japanese idols, singers and anime^^
Every day there is a special cosplay. You can come to the cosplay！
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★Her name is Thanh ^^^* http://www.facebook.com/tran.jita
She has worked at the cafe the longest. She is small and cute＊❤（ｗ）❤＊
She is always fun and has a cute smile ！╮ (๑θωθ๑). ╭She want to become a bartender in the future.
————————————❤—————❤————-❤——–❤——-❤—❤ ❤ ❤*。:*＊：*
★Her name is HANA !
She is OTAKU maid staff !!!!! She is a good Cosplayer！She loves Japanese !!!!
She sings many Japanese anime songs ! and UP → http://soundcloud.com/hana-masami
Please listen ＾＾＊ very very cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu te ！！！！！！
I love all maid staff !!!! Unique and cute ！
You are also a fashion designer who works under the name, Erina. Can you tell us a little about your work?
★ My job is to total Purodjusu myself. I live life for fun and that is all that is required to do my job.＾＾＾
❤ I produce all of Vietmoe ‘s costumes.
❤ Official site: http://kuro-kami.info/
First, please look at the gallery, there are items in Japanese on the left side. It is a portfolio. The clothes, fashion and accessories are all made by me. These are my view of the world. Sometimes I create graphics, character & print design.（Internet shopping is not yet current. Select shops in Japan are selling the item.）
How would you describe your personal style?
★ Pure girl, bewitching, transience, lust, ambiguity, also any feelings at that moment. I want to stop time forever at the moment when the world is the most beautiful.
In order to express personality, adding to the above elements, I would add a little eroticism, grotesque, kitsch, nonsense, aesthetic：Not just cute. Girl is hot and sour sweet and bitter.
Did you go to school for fashion or business or are you self taught?
★ After attending high school I went into a dressmaking school in Tokyo because I loved painting, drawing and crafts from an early age but I didn’t know how to make clothes. When I started going to school I had bad grades. At precisely the same time I was abused by my father-in-law. He use violence to my mother. As a result, I proceed to divorce my parents. I received a scholarship, went to school and met a teacher that I really respected. I made a lot of good friends there and was very inspired and as a result, I graduated with honors. My student life sparked all of this and now I am living my dream.
Aside from fashion designing you are also a graphic designer. I have seen some of your drawings. What are some of your favorites and can you tell us about them?
★ Thank you * I am not a professional graphic designer but I originally loved to draw. I like to use Photoshop and Illustrator but it is still difficult for me. I still need to study. I am interested in spatial design, product design, film and photo art. I also want to do voice overs and making music tracks. hehehe c( ・ω・)っ You can see some of my work here:
I understand you also DJ. What type of music do you play and what types of events do you do?
★ Of course I use Japanese songs^^
Almost all the songs I use are made by my friends.
Main genres are Anime and game,Chiptune, dubstep, Idol songs. Subgenre Hardcore, Electronica and Rock！ (๑θωθ๑) ╭ I will make My theme song of the future together with friends.^^*
Do you cosplay as well? What are your favorite characters to cosplay?
★ If you mean cosplay in the sense that you dress to mimic an anime character then I do not Cosplay. However, I make up my own characters. In that sense I have always been a Cosplayer!
Tell us more about yourself. What are some of the things you like to do when you are not working?
★ I love going to bars, clubs and events. I love fun, good food, tasty drinks, great music and meeting friends! When I’m home I want to watch anime and chat with friends and internet broadcast：http://com.nicovideo.jp/community/co1609307
★ If I can take a long break, I am going to travel abroad. Actually, I go on a business trip to Thailand in August for two weeks.＾＾＊ I’m looking for a select shop to handle products in Asian countries. If you are interested contact me!
Where can we find out more about you and your work?
✩べと✩もえViet moe (Beto moe)203 Nguyen Van Thu street , Dakao ward , district 1 (floor 3)
★ Web: http://kuro-kami.info/
★ Facebook http://www.facebook.com/yokusou.gyo
★Blog: http://ameblo.jp/moemoe-sakanachan（I’m sorry, only in Japanese)
✩はやとちり（HAYATOTIRI) My friend’s shop is most unusual shop in Japan but this brand doesn’t have official website yet ! Only this…. http://keita.trio4.nobody.jp/shop/13_hayatochiri.html
★ Cafe and beer Queen in Vietnam HMC. Japanese Owner is also Good DJ ^^^* and I play DJ *
★Ala mezon in Vietnam HMC – French Owner
They have a monthly event JAPAN NITE .
＊My friends projects ….
You can find the real-time Fashion in Japan.
There are not cosplay, fashionable young people are common in Japan. I think , In Japan there has been too much aging design and culture. Also I hope to take Japanese culture overseas. I have not given up on doing business in Japan of course＾＾＾
Through the Internet Culture, you can learn about Japanese culture.
Netlabel：Maltine records !!!!!
My friends !!!!! and I love all of their activities.
And we will work together to create a culture that is even more fun.
Thank you so much *w*