Last Updated: October 11, 2022

Weird Japanese Fashion

The Japanese are renowned for taking things to the extreme, and there is no better arena than fashion to do this.

In this post we are going to explore some of the weirdest Japanese fashion examples we can find.

Gothic Lolita Fashion

Porcelain doll or fashion trend?

Popular on Japanese television and computer games, the mass-marketed Gothic Lolita style is most prevalent on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka. Drawing influence from Rococo, Victorian and Edwardian fashions, teenage girls take to the streets dressed like porcelain dolls.

Gothic Lolita Harajuku Tokyo

Photo: A Japanese girl dresses in Gothic Lolita fashion in Harajuku, Tokyo.

By combining the aesthetics of gothic fashion with the innocence of Lolita fashion the Gothic Lolita is born. A Gothic and Lolita Bible can be purchased in many Japanese books and comic stores to ensure perfection in creating this look.

black lolita photo harajuku tokyo

Photo: A Japanese girl dresses in Black Lolita or Kuro Loli fashion.

Frilly knee-length skirts trimmed with lace and ribbons, ruffled blouses, over-the-knee socks, and Mary Janes help to achieve this demure style. Completed with curled hair beneath miniature top hats and parasols, handbags or backpacks shaped like coffins or crucifixes, and stuffed animals donned in black leather or attire to match their owners.

Top it off with pale skin, a smile, and polite mannerisms and you’ve got a Gothic Lolita.

Ganguro Fashion

wo Japanese Ganguro girls rebel against traditional ideas of feminine beauty.

Photo: Two Japanese Ganguro girls rebel against traditional ideas of feminine beauty.

Bleach blonde hair, fake eyelashes, brightly-colored mini skirts, and copious amounts of bracelets, rings, and necklaces. No, we aren’t in Hollywood, we’re in Japan, and it’s the Ganguro fashion.

Peaking in popularity in Tokyo in 2000, young girls in their teens and 20’s attempt to escape the constraint of Japanese society with heavy black eyeliner, white lipstick, facial gems, and platform shoes.

In attempts to achieve individuality and self-expression young girls sport deep tans to contradict the traditional ideal of feminine beauty.

Photo: Yamanba girls take Ganguro fashion to the extreme.

Photo: Yamanba girls take Ganguro fashion to the extreme.

Often seen strolling down the center street, extremists in this fashion trend deck their delicate frames out with darker tans, metallic and glittery adhesives around the eyes, brightly colored contacts and plastic-dayglo clothing, and decorative stuffed animals.

These practitioners are called Yamanbas or Manbas, which means ‘mountain hag’ in Japanese. Men who follow this trend are called Center Guys.

Kegadoru Bandage Fashion

They look as if they are seriously injured, but they’re not. These women aren’t seeking medical attention, they are dressed in this way to attract men with this fetish style known as Kegadoru, which translates to ‘Injured Idols’.

Young Japanese girls seductively cover their bodies in bandages, with head-wraps and eye patches on the streets of Akihabara where they regularly receive compliments from men about how cute they look. White bandages represent virginity and chastity while black bandages represent wickedness.

Black Lolita photo © kalandrakas under CC license.
Gothic Lolita photo © Chris 73 under CC license.
Photo of Ganguro Girls © secretagentmoof under CC license.
Photo of Yamanba Girls © rayn sybold under CC license.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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