Archive for fashion

bishoujo – japanese for beautiful girl


Bishoujo (literally, “beautiful girl”) is the Japanese term used to refer to pretty girls. Since bi- (derived from bijin, beautiful person) refers to feminine beauty, the meaning is more poignant for bishoujo, unlike the male term, bishounen, which tends to mean male with a more effeminate beauty.

Bishoujo are used in almost all genres of anime, ranging from shoujo to mecha.


ganguro – japanese fashion trend of black make-up


Ganguro, literally “face-black,” is a fashion trend among Japanese girls, an outgrowth of chapatsu hair dyeing. The basic look is bleached-blond hair and a deep tan, produced by tanning beds or makeup. The intent is to produce the tanned, blond California beach girl look or a black woman. Accessories include high platform shoes or boots, purikura photo stickers, and cellular phones.

The Shibuya and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo are the center of ganguro fashion. It goes against the grain of the usual Japanese standard of female beauty, which calls for skin as white as possible. The roots of the trend are said to be in the mid-1990s, starting with a popular tanned Okinawan singer named Amuro Namie and black British fashion model Naomi Campbell.

Some sources say that the “gan” syllable in ganguro is actually from the term “gan-gan”, a vulgar emphasis word somewhat like the British use of “bloody.”

Ganguro taken to the next level is called yamanba. The Gothic lolita style can be seen as a counter-reaction to ganguro style.

gaku-ran ( japanese schoolboys uniform )


The gaku-ran is the uniform for middle school and high school boys in Japan. It is usually worn at an all-boys school, and the color is normally black but some schools have navy.

The top has a standing collar and it button downs from the top to bottom. The pants are straight leg and are one color. Boys usually wear penny loafers or sneakers with this uniform.

cosplay – japanese ” costume play “

naruto cosplay

Cosplay is a Japanese subculture centered around dressing as characters from manga, anime and video games, and, less commonly, live action television shows, movies or Japanese pop music bands.

The term is a Japanese contraction combining the words “costume” and “play” which accurately describes the hobby of having fun by dressing up as one’s favorite characters. Besides dressing up for public events such as anime conventions, it is not unusual for teens in Japan to gather with like-minded friends just to do cosplay.

The main difference between cosplay and costuming in the United States is that in Japan people typically dress up as characters from Japanese animated films (anime), Japanese comics (manga), or Japanese video games, as compared to dressing up as Star Trek characters or in Renaissance-era costumes. The other difference is that most costuming in the United States is centered around particular events such as conventions or festivals.

Cosplay has spread across the world in recent years, joining with costuming at science fiction conventions in North America and Europe.