Fashions and Trends of Japan!

Thursday, August 21, 2008 rinachan
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I’m going to discuss several of the most popular fashion trends and lend you a few pictures so you can get the idea!

Kogyaru and Ganguro

To our left, we have two kogyaru. Kogyaru is Japanese slang, where the word gyaru comes from our English word ‘gal’. Kogyaru is a subculture; a lifestyle for these women and many, many others, where they’re usually seen out and about in Shibuya, Tokyo. Mostly, they’re known for spending extreme cash and relying on their parents’ money, as the majority of them are teens and very young adults, maybe in their last year of high school or their first year of college. They dye their hair light and tan, and are Japan’s equal to America’s California valley girl. Kogyaru also have their own set of slang, referred to as ‘kogyaru-go’. They usually wear mini-skirts and platform boots, with tons of make-up and hair usually dyed blonde or brown. Their typical uniform has skirts pinned high and loose socks.

A somewhat popular manga and anime, known as Gals! or Super GALS! Ran Kotobuki features gals in their everyday life. The anime is actually one of my favorites and is in America. Check it out!

Ganguro may seem similar to the kogyaru, but there is a difference. And I’m here to cover that difference. They’re seen in both Shibuya and Ikebukuro, similar to that of kogyaru, but they’re more ‘extreme’ than kogyaru. They usually have a deep tan, with their hair being dyed in shades of orange to blonde, or the high-bleached silver-gray color. Their make-up consists of black ink as eyeliner, with white concealer as both lipstick and eyeshadow. Usually, false eyelashes, plastic facial gems, and pearl powder adds to the average ganguro’s look. Platform shoes, brightly-colored outfits, tie-dye sarongs, mini-skirts, stickers for the face, and tons of jewelry are typical ganguro fashion.

Some researches notice that they’re in direct conflict with typical Japanese beauty ideas and believe that they dress like this to be their own person and get revenge against Japanese society. They’re usually portrayed negatively by Japanese media.

The ganguro have their own fashion magazines – Egg, Cawaii, Popteen, and Ego System have direct influence over the girls.

Para Para

Para Para is a synchronized dance, widely known in Japan. It’s often practiced by kogyaru and ganguro girls. Those who do the dance are typically called ‘paralists’. There’s some sub-Para Para dances, like TechPara and TraPara/ToraPara. TechPara is danced to techno music and TraPara is danced to trance music. Para Para is also widely known, now, outside of Japan.


Inspired by the Rococo period of France and the Victorian era of the UK, lolita fashion is a common fashion upon Japan, which is soon to take over other countries as well. The company, ‘Baby, The Stars Shine Bright’ is one of the most popular companies that focuses on lolita fashion. Lolita fashion came to be in the 1970s, and it is still unknown how the fashion started. Visual kei bands popularized the fashion in the ’90s and now many people, outside of the Kansei region (where the trend started), even dress in it. It became so popular that even department stores began to carry it.

There are different types of lolita fashion, including gothic lolita, comprised of mostly dark clothing; sweet lolita, influenced heavily by shoujo manga and the Rococo period and is usually light and childish; classic lolita, said to be the mature version, which is focused on Baroque and Rocaille; punk lolita, inspired by punk fashions and usually adds plaid to the outfit; and many other types of lolita. There are even male versions of the fashion. The idea of this fashion is to be ‘cute’ and not ‘sexy,’ and so, it has nothing to do with the story behind the novel Lolita – a man becoming sexually obsessed with a twelve-year-old girl. The name of the book simply just took a turn for today’s slang terms.

Many anime and manga have lolita elements in them, and this includes Paradise Kiss, Tsukuyomi – Moon Phase, Chobits, xxxHOLiC, Rozen Maiden, and Godchild. There is also a magazine in which lolita is the main theme. The magazine, Gothic & Lolita Bible, includes fashion tips, sewing patterns, photos, catalog descriptions, decorating ideas, and recipes. The magazine scheduled an English language release in February 2008.

I’ve discussed some of Japan’s most popular trends, and I am now set to be released! Rina-chan is out.


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