Colomo, Kanae & Maro (left to right) on the street in Harajuku wearing colorful fashion from Milklim, 6%DOKIDOKI, Qiss Qill, Bunkaya Zakkaten, and Romantic Standard, along with handmade accessories. Full Looks
THE BEGINNINGS OF KAWAII
No, no, you have no idea. It actually IS the beginning of the whole so-called “kawaii culture”. And it started because girls started using mechanical pencils, which provided fine handwriting. After being banished (more precisely, during the 80s), this kind of writing started being used in products like magazines and make-up. And, during this time, icons we usually associate with the whole kawaii industry (like the characters from Sanrio) came to life too.
And what many people don’t realize is that this subculture was born as a way for young girls to express themselves in their own way. And it was also used as something against the adult life and the traditional culture, often seen as dull and boring and oppressive. By embracing cuteness, these young girls (and adult women, after a while) were showing non-conformation with the current standards.
So yep. Kawaii is important, and it all started with cute, simple handwritting a few hearts and cat faces in some girls’ school notebooks <3
NO OK THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!
This is also how the kawaii fashions started! Girls began dressing in cute and off beat styles for themsleves, they were criticized by adult figures telling them “you’ll never find a husband if you dress that way!” to which they began to reply “Good!”
All the japanese subcultures and fashions that evolved out of this became a rebellion to tradition and the starch gender roles and expectations the adults were forcing on the younger generations. As early as the 70s and still to this day you’ll see an emphasis on child-like fashion and themes in more kawaii styles and the dismissal of the male gaze with styles like lolita (a lot of western people assume lolita is somehow sexual due to the name of the fashion, but ask any japanese lolita and they will tell you that men hate the style and find it unattractive which is sometimes a large reason they gravitate towards the style - they can express their femininity and individuality while remaining independent and without the pressure to appeal to men)
Its so so so important to understand the hyper cute and ‘odd’ fashions of Japanese girls carry such a huge message of feminism and reclaiming of their own lives.
so are you telling me that Japan’s punk phase was really the kawaii phase
Japan’s Natural Light Shows Photographed by Takehito Miyatake
Japanese photographer Takehito Miyatake’s photos of magical firefly trails, glowing squid and awe-inspiring volcanic eruptions has recently won him Grand Prize at the 2014 Nikkei National Geographic Photo Awards. Miyatake’s long-exposure photography, which can last anywhere from 15 seconds to 30 minutes, captures what he describes as the “light of Japan.”
However, as it turns out, Miyatake’s profound reverence for the power of nature is rooted not in photography but in waka, a classical form of Japanese poetry.
1. A flight of hime botaru fireflies light up the forest to create a dreamy, fairytale-like spectacle
2. A long-exposure shot of the Showa crater, the most active volcano in Sakurajima, underneath the stars
3.In spring, firefly squid (hotaru ika) rise 2000 feet to the surface of the water and offer a fleeting glimpse of their magical lights
4.Volcanic lightning during the eruption of the Sakurajima volcano
5.Genji botaru fireflies around a small bridge over the Shimanto River (Kochi Prefecture)
6.The Milky Way glittering above the woods with the green lights of fireflies dancing in the foreground.
7. Scores of fishing rafts floating in the Uchino-umi highlighted by the light from the full moon.
8. The moon lights up a waterfall against geometric rock formations
9. A close-up of the red-hot cinders erupting from the Showa crater on Sakurajima
10. Volcanic lightning over the Sakurajima eruption.