Japanese subculture is defined by its often outrageous choice of style. In the UK, subculture is most often associated with chavs, emos, etc easily recognisable for their outward appearance, distinctive from what we consider the norm.
In Japan, subculture is traditionally synonymous with fashion, the two often being one and the same. This article will look at some of the most ‘eye-catching’ Japanese trends.
1. The Lolita
Not only is this particular subculture probably amongst the most bizaare, it’s also notable for its apparent display of modesty. Modesty in the most unusual sense. These ‘Lolitas’ dress up like dolls, well victorian style dolls, and are well known in Japan for carrying an umbrella around and dying their hair various shades of pink and blonde.
2. The Gyaru
Gyaru translates to English as ‘gal’. Named for their overtly ‘effeminate’ appearance, Gyaru have developed a reputation for bright displays of colour, wearing very little and dousing themselves in gallons of fake tan. There are plenty of variations on this subculture, including one in particular known as Yamanba, or ‘mountain hag’, in which the adherents design themselves to look as utterly ridiculous as possible.
3. The Yanki
A Japanese twist on the term ‘Yankee’, this group epitomises the definition of white trash in Japan. The group is made up of young men and women who have refused to adhere to traditional Japanese customs and etiquette. They are known for their rudeness, as well as smoking and drinking and dying their hair blonde. Basically, they meet the East Asian definition of a Chav. Although they bear some similarities to the Gyaru in terms of style, the group is notorious in Japan for causing trouble and having children before they’re out of school.
4. Visual Kei
The last and perhaps most frightening subculture on the list is a group known as the ‘Visual Kei’. These guys are fans of Japanese pop music, widely regarded as awful, and have adopted an extreme choice of style befitting their reputation. They most often resemble a heavy metal group, since their hair is often a mix of dark red, black and blue and have a fascination with studs and leather. Much of their style has been incorporated into regular Japanese fashion over the years in the same way various trends have in the UK.