‘When my whole body is covered with the euphoric sensation of lycra, I feel immersed in a sublime sense of tranquillity. Something we felt before we were born, still inside our mother’s womb.’

Rawen, Office worker/ interviewed by Erina Suto

A zentai -short for zenshen taitsu, meaning ‘full-body tights’, is a spandex suit that covers the whole body from head to toe, including the face. It is unclear how and when the passion for wearing tight lycra developed into the Zentai subculture that became popular in Japan today. Over the past years, people wearing lycra started to connect and gather at social events and clubs, and even at organized walks around Tokyo. Zentai practitioners are students, office workers, and other professionals, and their reason for wearing the body suits are the most diverse. To many a spandex costume, by erasing personal and social identity and granting anonymity, can ease the pressure to conform to the strict rules that are well acknowledged in Japanese society.

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