Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Harajuku, part 2: more Harajuku girls

Group of friends

The girls come from all reaches of the city, as well as from the prefectures that encircle the city. Most of them look perfectly ordinary during the week. They wear their uniforms, be they for school or work. Their makeup doesn't stand out.

Nor can they afford to let it do so. There's an old Japanese proverb: the nail that sticks out gets pounded down. In other words, conform or be ostracized.

Granted, it's been changing a lot in recent years. Major celebreties from athletes like Ichiro with his spiky hair and goatee to Prime Minister Koizumi with his lion-like mane of salt-and-pepper hair have pushed the envelope of what is acceptable in everyday Japan.

However, by and large, these are exceptions. The rules are still very much written in stone. No earrings for men. No facial piercings for anyone. And certainly no tattoos. Dark suits. White shirts. Boring ties. 70/30 parted hairstyles. Conformity.

So when Sunday comes around, those who are young enough to get away with it--or wish they were--flock down to Harajuku to inject their lives with colour and flair. And those who can't do it themselves come instead to recapture their youth vicariously through those who still can.


At 12:54 a.m., Blogger Robin Freeman said...

I love your narration.
It's so fun knowing that everyday I get a glimpse into Japan.
Thanks again for that!


At 7:17 p.m., Anonymous Diya said...

it is a funny life showing picture, i like this shot,

At 7:32 p.m., Blogger micki said...

I think it's a good balance between the traditional and the modern. Hopefully things won't change too fast.


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