2013 August 10 Saturday
Japanese Lolitas: Fashion Subcultures

Okay, what do you think of the girl fashions of Japan? Ama (Sweet) Lolita, Gothic Lolita, Punk Lolita (I like it), Classic Lolita, Wa (Japanese) Lolita, grotesque Guro Lolita, and masculine girl (at least by Japanese standards) Ouji or Prince Lolita. Ouji on a really feminine girl would be attractive.

I like that the Japanese have a fully industrialized society and yet are still so different than Westerners in interesting ways. Can you think of any attractive subcultures which American girls are creating?

Neither Cos Play (costumes from fiction) nor Visual Kei hold much appeal. Though Cos Play encompasses such a potentially range of fictional characters that the appeal depends heavily on who the girl tries to look like. Mori Girls dress in a supposedly earthy style (I guess by Japanese standards) but which is fortunately feminine while only Ganguro is really unattractive and Kogal is so simple it depends on the attractiveness of the girl.

A web site, japanesestreets.com, shows lots of fashion disasters rather like hel-looks.com does for Helsinki Finland. But you can find some gems. Minori has created a pretty alluring look. Kurebayashi achieves a weird little girl look. So does Shioka. Erina does something which looks like it goes way beyond Versailles. Or am I underestimating the quality of clothing worn by Marie Antoinette? I like Honda's cute get-up.

Japan's incredibly low rate of crime (e.g. a murder rate of 0.4 per 100,000) enables a very highly urbanized population to live in close quarters. The Japanese have attributes which allow for very highly civilized and industrialized cities. In safe environments subcultures can flourish.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 August 10 12:27 AM 

Abelard Lindsey said at August 10, 2013 8:41 PM:

So, you like the kawaii-ko-chans, do you?

I lived among them for 9 years. It get old fast.

Jack Ash said at August 11, 2013 2:48 AM:

I've lived in Tokyo for 18 years. I love the place as it's very safe, the people are polite and the food is great.

In truth there are less strange costumes around than they used to be. Even in Harajuku, once the center for crazy teenage fashions, I see very few women dressed in the odd styles mentioned above.

I think it's partly because there is less money around. When I first came there was a lot more conspicuous consumption and brand name goods were very popular. Rising house and stock prices made many people feel incredibly rich and they spent freely which affected the whole country.

Nowadays people dress more simply. Japanese quality control has been married with cheap Asian manufacturing and there is a lot of inexpensive simple clothing around. Uniqlo shops are very popular.

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