What is Harajuku?

If you said it sounds Japanese you would be right.  It is Japanese … a district, a neighborhood in Tokyo.   Ok, so why am I asking you, “What is Harajuku”?  First of all, most of my friends NEVER heard of it? OK, I understand.  Who would be interested in this one district? What makes it different from any other neighborhood?  Well, it’s because it isn’t like any other neighborhood, town or city.  It’s the birthplace of the “Harajuku Girls”.  The youth who developed and created their own style and fashion.  It’s not new.  It started as far back as the 50’s.  Harajuku was the heart of fashion and a new youth subculture that were fascinated about Western style and tradition.  They mixed and mis-matched clothes, shoes, and accessories, including hairstyles.  You could say its a blending … an evolution of something rock, punk, gothic, victorian, contemporary or even an anime style.  A unique subculture.  Harajuku became and is the center of Japan’s “street fashion”.

More recently, Harajuku style was further propelled by American singer, Gwen Stefani.  She included the Harajuku girls in her music video and album, “Love, Angel, Baby, Music”, and even launched a very lucrative line of perfume and cologne products based on this street fashion, calling it “Harajuku Lovers”.

Thanks to technology … computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, TV …  I discovered Harajuku not only as street fashion, but in video games, music, stories.  And there are Harajuku Boys too.  They like to play video games and join the girls in their wild, bizarre clothes, make-up and face painting, multiple colors, graphics, zany hairdos in bright colors with silly barrettes, clip-ons and head bands, and silly jewelry to bedazzle an outfit from head to toe.  Hey, I even joined them too, a few years ago, and became a Harajuku Girl.  Well, just for one night.  Really?  Yes!  I find it amusing!  I find it fun!  I find it creative and artistic!

Here are some pictures of the “street fashion” in Tokyo.  Can you spot me?



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