What is Ganguro fashion – a Westerners guide to Japanese fashion

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Image left source wikipedia Uploaded by Hekerui

What is Ganguro Fashion

Recently I wrote about Gyaru fashion. Ganguro is a subset of Gyaru and a more exaggerated one at that.

Ganguro fashion arose in the 1990's incredibly in the Shibuya and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo.

Ganguro was apparently kick-started by a teen who wanted to rebel against the traditional pale skin, dark hair and modest dress of the Traditional Japanese woman. Rebelling I suppose against Geisha culture.

The alternative was this extreme fake tan appearance, contrasting eye-make-up (overdoing the highlighter a bit there ladies!) bleached blond hair and Barbie pink style clothing. Is this a rebellion though or is this that youth take on what was going on in the UK at that time? Orange tans were all the rage in the UK back then and to some degree still are. Perhaps to a traditional Japanese youth, we looked like this … this extreme!

Rather scarily meanwhile according to Wikipedia Ganguro fashion has a connection to Japanese folklore of ghosts and demons who are depicted with a similar appearance. Really? Their demons and ghosts were Essex girls??

This is what Wikipedia says on the matter:

“This connection is further underlined by the offshoot style yamanba, named after a mountain witch in Japanese folklore.”

Yamanba fashion meanwhile is a yet more extreme version of the above! Darker tans almost black.

Image source wiki
 alex de carvalho from Miami,
The word and style is believed to originate from ‘Yamauba' who is allegedly a witch of sorts. Image: Yamouba by Hokusai

Re Ganguro – wiki article also says:

Ganguro falls into the larger subculture of gyaru (from English “gal”), a slang term used for various groups of young women, usually referring to overly childish women. 

Researchers in the field of Japanese studies believe that ganguro is a form of revenge against traditional Japanese society due to resentment of neglect, isolation, and constraint of Japanese society. This is their attempt at individuality, self-expression, and freedom, in open defiance of school standards and regulations.”

The above seems obvious to me. This has always been the case for fashion trends that originate on the street. Rebel youth 🙂 And this is exactly how it should be too. No one should dictate how another person should dress..in my opinion.

Ganguro Girls: Totally Harajuku!

The Ganguro trend has allegedly been on a decline since 2000 onwards but its influence still abounds! Some Western ladies have adopted this trend …

What do you think of Ganguro fashion?

Video make-up tutorial here re How to Apply Ganguro Make-Up