1. japanese subculture #3

    It’s been awhile since I’ve posted another bizarre Japanese subculture. This one is strange, no doubt. And this isn’t a joke…we saw many a Lolita strolling the streets of Japan while we were there.

    Japanese Subculture #3 - Lolita

    Lolita’s are very different from their gyaruo friends, whom I posted about previously and who cake on the makeup and bare as much skin as legally possible. Lolita’s, on the other hand, are a bit more modest in their approach.

    These girls wear petticoats, bonnets, high-collared dresses, and carry fluffy parasols. There are all kinds of lolita’s, each with their own variation on the theme.

    via Cracked.com

    And these aren’t just outfits they wear to special clubs or garden parties. You can see grown women in these full Victorian doll costumes on trains, in book stores and wolfing down cheeseburgers at McDonald’s.

    Why, you may ask? It has something to do with the rejection of male-created beauty standards and sexualized dress. Yes. In Japan, to express their rejection of oppressive cultural stereotypes and proclaim their independence, women dress like creepy school girls from 200 years ago. That sounds about right.


  2. #lolita #subculture #weird #photos #fashion #cracked.com

  3. japanese subculture #2

    Their skin is immensely tan. They wear flashy, expensive clothes, unreasonable amounts of cologne and earn their living getting drinks with older women. Their hair is unnaturally blonde and the hair style of choice among them is something descended from Rod Stewart. They are…


    Apparently not all the Gyaruo are chic and stylish, though, only the successful ones. There are some rough-looking Gyaruo out there as well.

    Thanks, Wikipedia:

    Gyaruo (which can be written as ギャル男, ギャルオ, ギャル汚 in Japanese) are a sub-group of modern Japanese youth culture. They are the male equivalent of the gyaru. The o suffix that is added to the word, is one reading of the Chinese character for male (男). Recently, the Chinese character for ‘dirty’ in Japanese (汚), which also has the same reading, is often used by gyaru and gyaru-o in a light hearted way, poking fun at themselves because of the reputation that their subculture has gained within society due to their dark skin, hairstyles and often grittish, rough style of clothing that they wear. Gyaruo are characterised by their deep tans, dyed hair, party lifestyle and a liking for all different types of trance music including para-para dancing music, Eurobeat.

    From Cracked.com:

    And what do they do for these women? Nothing; except sit with them, drink with them and slip them a romantic line every once and a while. That’s it. And since they were smart enough to figure out a way to make money drinking and talking to women in bars, they set off a trend among young Japanese men.


    Don’t know if you caught this on that recent Tommy Lee Jones post I made, but in one of the videos you see tons of these dudes jumping around and singing in a "host bar" and their pictures (and numbers) are up on the wall. Tommy Lee Jones plays the part of a loser Gyaruo.

  4. #gyaruo #rod stewart #subculture #youth culture #tanning #blonde hair #cracked.com #tommy lee jones #Tommy Lee Jones #video #commercial #host bar

  5. japanese subculture #1

    Subcultures wouldn’t be subcultures if they weren’t a bit…inaccessible. Here’s the first post in a series to give you a taste of some of the undercurrents (past & present) in Japanese society.

    Subculture #1 - Dekotora

    This group of folks loves to dress up their cars, in the spirit of Pimp My Ride, but with a tad more Vegas-esque/Transformers vibe. This movement to make one’s semi-truck look like a slot-machine-on-wheels began in the 70’s and apparently it’s still rolling today (no pun intended).

    he looks comfy…


    I guess it’s popular enough these days to get a Wii video game made about it.



    70’s clip that makes you anxious to see if the Road Warrior, Johnny Cash, or afro’s & bellbottoms will appear throughout it.

  6. #Dekotora #subculture #trucks #Road Warrior #Johnny Cash #afro #bellbottom #1970s #Wii #Pimp My Ride #Transformers #Las Vegas #semi-truck #society #culture

  7. thebeatmotors


    Apparently, The Beat Motors are an up-and-coming band in Tokyo right now. Their sound is very Jet/The Strokes-esque.  Check ‘em out…you be the judge.

    Hope these music-related posts give you some insight into the younger generation of Japanese people and how different their worldviews and lifestyles are from the traditional, older generations. A lot of the stereotypes of Japanese people and their customs are rapidly changing. 

    Here’s a link to a Japan Times article back in May that commented on the three major subculture movements in Japan that have changed the face and values of mainstream Japanese culture.

    An excerpt:


    The formative culture of a country is its subculture. Mainstream culture is about the present; subculture creates the future. In Japan, there have been three seminal subcultures since the end of World War II in 1945.

    The first was the politically radical one of the immediate postwar period. This postwar subculture was bohemian and decadent, given its impetus by writers such as Osamu Dazai and Ango Sakaguchi

    The second subculture movement sprang up in the 1960s, thanks to the underground theater of playwrights including Shuji Terayama and Juro Kara, and filmmakers such as Nagisa Oshima. There was a robust iconoclastic power to this movement, which at times — as in Oshima’s films in that decade — turned ideological, reinforcing the anti- establishment political trends of the day.

    The third subculture, which has become mainstream and is flowing with full force today, appeared in the 1980s. It wasn’t prodding, oppositional and subversive like its predecessors. Rather it was freaky, fashionable and fun — part of what was known in the ’80s as the fuiringu jidai, or “feeling era.” Its “don’t think about it, just do it” message was embraced by a young generation sick and tired of over-serious conceptual polemics, lead-weight angst and rat-race drudgery.


  8. #Osamu Dazai #Ango Sakaguchi #Nagisa Oshima #culture #younger generation #The Beat Motors #video #music #Japanese #worldview #lifestyle #stereotypes #subculture #mainstream #Japan Times #fun #rock music #Jet #The Strokes