When I arrived at the Jingu-bashi bridge just outside Harajuku JR station there was nobody there. So I walked through the Harajuku shopping district up to the Omote-sando subway station and back. On my return, the area was transformed. There were several groups of the now world famous Harajuku girls and at least as many, if not more, tourists and photographers with cameras at the ready. Point a camera at them and they pose. Ask to be photographed with them and they oblige, and always with a smile.
According to my Lonely Planet guide book, many of them are ijime-ko, or victims of bullying at school. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me as kids can be pretty cruel, but in Japan I’d never have guessed that bullying was a problem. Letalone one sufficient to prompt this kind of reaction. Bullied or not, they were all incredibly polite and friendly, both to each other and the hundreds of tourists asking for photos with them.