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society::fashion and fads

moyashi

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Japan is very turbulent when it comes to fashion.

Fads come and go quicker than the wink of an eye.

Currently, fashion is a retro-80's look with the last 2-3 years being early 70's.

Obviously, these fashion trends help the garment and trinket industries.

Many fashions get off due to popular idols like Ayumi Hamazaki and Amuro Namie.

But, why the turbulence?

I wonder if it's not just because that everybody looks alike; as in black hair and dark eyes. Therefore, following the cutting edge fashion they get a chance to be slightly different than those surrounding them.
 

ghettocities

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While I was in Japan I found fashion styles to match areas in which I was currently in at the time, for example i'd be in Shibuya and you'd have the typical Ko-gals and Yomanbas (really tan girls with scary makeup.), then I'd be in Harajuku where there would be a large amount of "Gothic style" following the trail of JROCk groups like Malice-Mizer and such. Though for me to categorize or generalize rather each of these places to have certain types of people would be wrong, for reasons being while i was in Shibuya there was a large Hip-Hop music influence. In my post about the girls from Yokohama asking me if I could breakdance and the incredibly large amount of vinyl/record shops catoring to Hip-hop/Rap music were all over the place. If the clubs wernt playing DNB, Dance and Jungle it was something with Hip-Hop, plus most Japanese guys I had seen in Japan wore baggy/loose-fitting clothes, crooked hats and even (fake) ice sometimes. When I was in Japan my clothes had a lot of Hip-hop music influence. It's still not just Ko-gals / Yomanbas and Hip-hoppers, the last post was right, there is a lot of followship of Idols / Pop singers like Hamasaki Ayumi, because in this day and age, us young people are in this time where we aspire to be the best, even if it means to be someone else. Clothing and Fashion gives us acceptance in a way, it's a sad truth, imagine seeing a homeless person in Shinjuku station, they recieve no sympathy, no respect, but if you gave them a handfull of money, cleaned them up, dressed them in some Ralph Lauren Designer Clothing and a haircut, then they would most likely have more acceptance, more placing in this world. I don't know why, some people have a mindset of "It's not how you look, it's all about the type of person you are." but fashion, looks, popularity is a world-wide trend.

I'm surprised someone wrote this as a topic, it's such a hard topic to discuss, I'd soooooo recommend everyone buying or reading this book which talks about the differences between youth in Japan and America and brings enlightenment and insight to the two cultures. It talks about everything from Fashion to Sex, School to Family-life, great book to shelf.

The Material Child by M. White
https://www.amazon.com (my favorite bookstore)

Ghettocities
geocities.com/ghettocities/
 

moyashi

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Yes, it is a difficult write about since it's very hard to pinpoint fashions and fads in Japan.

I live in Sapporo Japan's marketing resarch center but we're also outside of Tokyo and Osaka therefore at the bottom end of catching and loosing the current fashion of the week. Now, imagine that you look at Tokyo with districts split by some local area sense of taste and things get even harder to discribe.

Definitely reading and studying about such an interesting topic is a plus. I just thought that bringing up such a topic that folks could sound out their own ideas and have a place to ask about things that they've heard, read, and/or have seen.

cheers
 

TomAsInfinity

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Isn't it weird that changing hair colour to be different from the other raven-haired people is practised by so many? I am not sure of the situation all over Japan, but over here any Asian person that dyes his/her hair seems to be choosing brown! Maybe because in the reserved British society those wild colours are a little frowned upon, but I doubt I will go brown if I dye my hair

Ayumi Hamasaki is possibly the biggest J-idol to influence fashion trends. I believe that anything with her face, name or endorsement sells, and well at that. Wasn't it a year or so ago that the youth of Japan fuelled the oversized-sunglasses business just because Hamasaki made an appearance at an awards ceremony donning a pair?

Designer labels are massive amongst the youth too, and it seems totally true that (this was mentioned in another thread I think) that a lot of the kids buying these are from low to middle class working families. Unfortunately, the sad thing is that the pressure to keep up with the dynamic trends leads school girls to turn to prostitution to fuel their habits. A very sad advent in youth sensibilities indeed.

Also, in terms of fashion I had a friend tell me something interesting about boyfriends there. I was told that no Louis Vuitton or Chanel bag would substitute on the exclusivity of a gaikokujin boifurendo [foreign boyfriend], more namely a caucasian boyfriend. Apparently, having one of those is the ultimate fashion accessory. I'm dying to know your thoughts on this, guys! :)
 

ghettocities

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Originally posted by TomAsInfinity

Also, in terms of fashion I had a friend tell me something interesting about boyfriends there. I was told that no Louis Vuitton or Chanel bag would substitute on the exclusivity of a gaikokujin boifurendo [foreign boyfriend], more namely a caucasian boyfriend. Apparently, having one of those is the ultimate fashion accessory. I'm dying to know your thoughts on this, guys! 🙂:

I couldn't agree more to that, it's odd though, i think to myself, why? why would someone idolize americans , worship them in a sense, to be so totally infatuated with them? An answer to this question is obviously not just skin-color but at the same time i really have no idea as to why I or other americans are seen as trophies waiting to be grabbed over there.

When my friends here in the states heard I had to go to Japan they all warned me, "Watch out for the Japanese girls, they just want you to get them pregnant so they can live in the states with you." , I think every person whom i told said something like that, or to that extent, but is that really true? I didn't think so but at the same time I was told "I love you" so much by countless strangers it gives me reason to wonder, why do they?

Since I started to run of the subject and I don't like seeming like i'm speaking of all of the japanese girls in the world in a stereotypical sense i'll go back to fashion.

Thomasasinifinity brought up another good point about Fashion, the whole prostitution trade, the concept of "Enjo Kosai" in which it's now illegal but once was where girls after-class would wait outside of trainstations and men would approach them with money, propositions to go out on dates, have some drinks with the business men and most of the time much more, and with this money they were receiving they could finally afford to buy that 10,000yen shade of designer lipstick that was raved about in the latest magazines and also it was a way to have money without working a part-time job, but at what cost? to sell your body? Japan still seems to be a male dominated society, not to say all of it, but i've heard too much of people whom i know tell me their mother always stayed at home while the father was the one to work, etc. etc., pretty much like america, a loooong time ago, it seems equal-oppurtunity is not going to be a trend in japan for quite some time, as i've studied and read up on girls / women having a harder time finding a job because they much rather have hire a male.

Japan is crowded, Tokyo is a big city and like buried treasure has mounds of dirt convering it's preciousness, it's beauty.

Ghetto Cities Clothing (Tokyo Promo) /
Our Tokyo Video will be online this Friday 6/21/02 1:00pm/pacific
check it out if you like japan or skateboarding,

Photo, Tom Green's Autograph / Josh and Saori - Shibuya 11/27/01
 

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moyashi

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Young girls and divorced women find a gaijin men to very good solutions. Divorced and over 35 women imagine gaijin being more flexible with age and past marital status. While young girls like the image that gaijing portray; blond hair, blue eyes, a big nose, and ladies first. The non-Christmas cake women often see Japanese men as the viable marriage partner.

I'm glad women are finally startig to collect trophies as men would.

I've ran across a few of the "I love you" types and like Josh said in another post, you really have to be careful.

@enjo kosai
Josh summed up [enjo kosai] pretty nicely. Basically like Beat Takeshi said on TV [enjo kosai] is just a pretty word for [baishufu] -- the seller of spriing. This whole bit of high school girls was worked up pretty heavily in the media therefore the police just started to enforce laws that they were slacking on. In Japan, pimps are punishable by law leaving the suppliers and buyers free to go. Of course, their is a statutory Rape law which is basically only used against US military and in this case the [ojisan] uncles. Statutory Rape is technically under 16 and/or having not graduated high school yet.

[enjo kosai] is really the natural extension that branched off from selling "dirty" school uniforms and later the full out "un-washed" panties.

ooops, totaly went off subject.
 

TomAsInfinity

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Wow, no kids should really be wandering in here!

I am not sure about how it's been in Japanese culture, but there does seem to be a big fad around caucasian boyfriends at the moment. I am not totally sure why, but I think the whole skate/punk and hip hop culture has a big part in it (seen those Japanese guys with those authentic dreadlocks?). I asked a few Japanese friends about their views on it and nobody seems to have a clear answer other than they just don't really like Japanese men. It's a really general statement to make, but it's almost like the Japanese women have sensibilities which mirror that of the western man more closely.

I think it is mainly a "looks" thing because I have seen many instances where a (please pardon the term) "complete loser" ends up marrying a J-idol-alike. Makes me cringe, especially if they're hella-rich. But, if you have more to offer like you're a good singer/dancer, you have a great sense of fashion or you can pick girls up with your little finger (a total skill in itself), then you will more than likely have the girls all over you. Funny too, because most of my "westernised" Japanese friends are quite disgusted by what the girls in Japan do and are not too impressed with their over-excitability either. Hmmm.

I do really wonder if the western boyfriend thing is a phase. I've not seen it so popular till now and as we all know about Japan, its youth tend to move along in trends. Next month it might be Brazilian boyfriends that are all the rage, etc. The Japanese youth, especially the girls are really excitable, and with the World Cup, I think the fascination on boyfriends is more on the English than the Americans.

Also, I heard about the vending machines for *ahem* 2nd hand underwear *cough cough* in Shinjuku. I could barely believe it because I had only read about these, shrugging them off as being mythical. Seems you can get anything from vending machinese now anyway. Hmmm, you never know when you might crave a 3 litre jug of whiskey :)

Brings me back to the "I love you" types. I hear this is very very common! Does anyone know how often and soon a boyfriend and
girlfriend will say "aishiteru [I love you]" to each other? I know in the west (I can speak for the US and UK) that it really takes a lot to say it, since it is usually only uttered when one truly means it, but what is the case in Japan? Or do they say "I love you" often but keep another phrase back for when they truly mean it? Just curious as to if this practiced with similar restraint in Japan. Anyone?
 

ghettocities

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Originally posted by TomAsInfinity
Wow, no kids should really be wandering in here!
Brings me back to the "I love you" types. I hear this is very very common! Does anyone know how often and soon a boyfriend and
girlfriend will say "aishiteru [I love you]" to each other? I know in the west (I can speak for the US and UK) that it really takes a lot to say it, since it is usually only uttered when one truly means it, but what is the case in Japan? Or do they say "I love you" often but keep another phrase back for when they truly mean it? Just curious as to if this practiced with similar restraint in Japan. Anyone?

I think in every country there is going to be people whom it takes time to build up the words because to them it has meaning, though in the situation in which a japanese girl meets a foreigner and in her eyes it's something out of a dream, a type of person they have always thought of being with or anything like that then they will most likely use "I love you" in a sort of frantic way due to the fact they don't want to wait any longer for "that special someone" , it dosen't just apply in japan but while i was over there i was told it way too much, even sometimes on regular dates.

I remember times in the past here in america where i'd meet a girl and it seemed as if she was soooo perfect (at the time) , as if my first impression of her made any imperfection seem perfect, it felt as if i've never felt such strong feelings for that type of person, and of course in a frantic way I would throw around "I love you" as if it was a "hello" when it had been too short of a time to even know her well enough to use it for it's true meaning.

I don't think there are other types of love, but possibly a degree in which it's said, there is more degree of meaning when it's spoken with true feelings, though, at a time in which you meet someone and a week into your dating you tell that person you love them that is just as strong, so i feel there is no really low degree of the word itself, even at the end of letters, it shows that you care for the person, even if they are still friends.

Love is something i'll probably never understand, like any emotion it just happens and when you feel anything close to what you would assume love to feel like then it changes you.

Three days until my Japan footage is online, though lately my site has been having to be turned off for awhile due to large amounts of traffic, if anyone wants to see it when the site is down then just add me to your MSN buddies, cya.

Josh / Ghetto Cities Clothing (Tokyo Promo)
 

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den4

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I think there's a great behind-the-scenes marketing firm or firms that artificially create trends to brain wash people into buying into the latest fads, since the changes appear more like channel switching for limited attention spans than anything I've seen anywhere else in the world, and it might be something created by the digital information age, but the turbulence mentioned does appear artificial (or more artificial than regular marketing schemes in other countries), since the trends change far too quickly to be natural...and the folks appear to be going with the latest changes like it was going out of style....and probably is...literally... :D

but people are funny... :D
 

ghettocities

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my style during my recent trip to tokyo

here is a link to some photos of my trip to tokyo, i'll post more photos soon, i just takes me awhile to scan them 🙂:

-ghettociti

geocities.com/ghettocities/tokyophotos.html
 

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samuraitora

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one thing I think of when it comes to japan is rotating fashion. that is one of the things that draws me to japan, constant change and yet a strong feeling of tradition too.
 
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