Western fashion has been widely appreciated and consumed in Tokyo for decades, but since the mid-1990s Japanese youth have been playing a crucial role in forming their own unique fashion communities and producing creative styles which have had a major impact on fashion globally.
Geographically and stylistically defined, subcultures such as Lolita in Harajuku, Gyaru and Gyaru-o in Shibuya, Age-jo in Shinjuku, and Mori Girl in Kouenji, reflect the affiliation and identities of their members, and have often blurred the boundary between professionals and amateurs for models, photographers, merchandisers and designers.
Based on insightful ethnographic fieldwork in Tokyo, Fashioning Japanese Subcultures is the first theoretical and analytical study on Japan's contemporary youth subcultures and their stylistic expressions. It is essential reading for students, scholars and anyone interested in fashion, sociology and subcultures.
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About the Author
Yuniya Kawamura is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York. She is the author of The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion (Berg, 2004), Fashion-ology (Berg, 2005), and Doing Research in Fashion and Dress (Berg, 2011).
Table of Contents
List of Plates and Tables ix
1 Understanding Subcultural Studies: Dick Hebdige Revisited 7
2 Placing Tokyo on the Fashion Map: From Catwalk to Street Style 21
3 Japanese Youth in a Changing Society 33
II Geographically and Stylistically Defined Japanese Subcultures
4 Shibuya: The Youth in Outspoken. Rebellion 51
5 Harajuku: The Youth in Silent Rebellion 65
6 Akihabara and Ikebukuro: Playing with Costume as Entertainment 76
7 Shinjuku: Girls of the Nightlife Using Beauty and Youth as Weapons 85
8 Kouenji and Other Fashion Districts: From Secondhand Clothes Lovers to Fast Fashion Followers 93
9 Individual and Institutional Networks within a Subcultural System: Efforts to Validate and Valorize New Tastes in Fashion 99
III The Power of the Youth: Trickle-Up/Bubble-Up Theory Revisited
10 The Deprofessionalization of Fashion 119
11 The Globalization of Japanese Subcultures and Fashion: Future Possibilities and Limitations 126
Conclusion: The Future of Japanese Subcultures 136
References and Further Reading 155