Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Japanese "Ganguro"

"Ganguro", (ガングロ) roughly means "black-face", but keep in mind though some frown at it as being a racial insult, it's function is not racial. Anyway, it is a Japanese fashion trend that emerged in the late 1990's mostly in the Shibuya and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo.

The Ganguro fashion comprises of bleached blond hair, deep tans, black and white eyeliners or pastel-like colors, sometimes white lipstick, boots or platform shoes, a lot of accesories such as bracelets, rings, necklaces, glitter or skin gems. Clothing is usually in the style of mini-skirts, sarongs (which is kinda like a modernized toga ^.~), and a lot of flower hair clips.

No one is really sure how this fashion was inspired, some point to a western influence, but it really is unclear. Some even go as far as to say that they were inspired by African-American models or an african anime character, but that's a grave generalization. It could be a possibility, but it's hard to say.

In the Japanese culture the '"ganguro" look is frowned upon because it's deep tan conflicts against the society's ideals on feminine beauty. Ganguro girls are almost always percieved negatively by the media and the community around them. I think it looks really cool, but I don't know if I would put my reputation on the line for just a fad.

How it relates to Anime:

Have you ever seen Peach Girl? Many times in the story Momo, the main character, is referred to as a "Ganguro girl" and she gets highly offended, because her tan and bleached hair is natural from swimming. She constantly has to deal with the image of feminine beauty, but soon finds that the main conflict is coming from within herself.

*laughs* I remember when I was younger and my hair was almost platinum blond and it would turn green in the summers from swimming too much because of the chlorine.

Anyway, that's my little blog about Japanese fashion, I hope you found it enjoyable to read about. <3>

Sources: Wikipedia, and

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At Mar 8, 2007, 9:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Peach Girl. I own the manga series. I've always thought that ganguros were sort of cute. ^_^ I suppose each culture has their own ideal for beauty, and how it percieves people merely on appearances.

At Mar 8, 2007, 5:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG!! It's Rikku from Final Fantasy X!! o.o a scareh thought.

At Mar 11, 2007, 12:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People in america dress like african americans too. Maybe it's a world wide trend.

At Mar 11, 2007, 5:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd think it's more correct to say the trend is more due to embellish and exaggerate the fashion of a Porn Star.


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