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Tokyo fashion: culture and aspects of the pulling power of Japan

Tokyo fashion: culture and aspects of the pulling power of Japan

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The old Japan still appeals to vast numbers of people because of the rich cultural legacy of this unique nation.  This applies to so many factors, from the cradle of high culture in Nara which was then followed by Kyoto and the religious influence of Zen Buddhism,  Kukai, and Nichiren. Other major areas apply to ceramics, martial arts, ukiyo-e, Japanese tea ceremony, the samurai, geisha, kimono, kanzashi, Japanese garden, haiku, kabuki, mysterious world of the ninja, ikebana, bonsai, and a host of other factors. 

Indeed, the uniqueness of Japan is best summed up within the Shinto faith because no other major nation maintained its indigenous faith within just one location. All other major nations throughout the world became swallowed up by Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.  Hinduism of course is the indigenous faith of India but Hindu civilization spread to distant shores, from Afghanistan to Indonesia, before the advent of Islam.

 

In modern times the pulling power of the old world still exists but new themes attract the international community and this applies to the younger generation and all generations.  Therefore, Japanese animation, kawaii culture, fashion, cosplay, maid café, computer games, gadgets, and a host of other areas, is drawing people close to Japan. 

 

Regionally also, Japan is a huge pulling power for music and many American singers and groups have fallen in love with the buzzing fashion of Tokyo and Osaka.  Not only this, but Korean pop (k-pop) music and dramas now understand the power of Japan because more and more k-pop groups and television series from South Korea want a slice of the “Japanese apple pie.”

European fashion companies also desire a slice of the “Japanese apple pie” and this can be seen by the strong showing of profits made in Japan.  The South Korean k-pop scene is now following the same logic and this will only enhance the international reputation of Japan.

Therefore, while the economic base of Japan may be stuttering and the ravages of nature continues to create havoc during this sad year in the land of the rising sun – the soft power still continues to grow despite all these negative upheavals.  Indeed, political leaders in Japan and many internal companies should be doing more to reach out globally because the younger generation in many nations is focused on aspects of modern Japan. 

Fashion wise Tokyo and Osaka are buzzing and not only these cities because Kobe fashion is extremely vibrant and Kobe in its own right is a stunning city and one which is creative.  However, internationally the focus is on Tokyo and Akihabara (anime, gadgets, otaku, and maid café), trendy Shibuya, independent Harajuku, high fashion of Aoyama, Omotesando, Ginza and Roppongi Hills, and the name of Shinjuku, are all internationally well-known.

Osaka also is a huge international market and places like Namba and Umeda are great places for fashion and Namba entertainment district never sleeps.  In truth, Osaka is overlooked too much because the Kansai region is one of the richest regions in the world.  Therefore, Namba fashion and Umeda needs to be sold more and Osaka needs to reach out to the international community because this city is so energetic and contrasts greatly with Tokyo in terms of thinking.

Twenty years ago the younger generation in China and South Korea were largely disenfranchised from Japanese street culture.  This no longer applies and Japan is a hip place to visit and the Chinese tourist market to Japan is growing and developing rapidly.  Therefore, more fashion companies in Japan are focused on developing their image in China and also attracting Chinese tourists.

The best of k-pop in South Korea are also focused on the huge music market in Japan and this is altering the music balance.  Fifty years ago to the last ten years the American music power dominated in Japan and the same applied to the film industry.  However, in recent times more and more young people in Japan are listening to j-pop and k-pop and the domestic film industry is seeing a growing share.

 

Of course American music is still powerful and the same applies to the film industry but companies like Warner Bros. Studios in America are increasing their sights in Japan by also focusing more on Japanese films.  Warner Bros. Studios is a fantastic company in this sense, because they understand that times are changing and the best of both worlds is being provided by this dynamic company.

Therefore, while j-pop and k-pop continues to grow within Japan for the younger generation both music styles are making inroads in other nations like China, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and others within Asia.  It must be remembered that in China, Japan, and South Korea, you have over 1.5 billion people and the growing middle class and upper class in China is leading to new thinking and new energy.

Japan will always attract people because of its rich legacy and Kyoto, Nara, Kamakura, Koyasan, and so many other places, will always attract people because of high culture and the richness of Buddhism in the old world is internationally famous.  The Shinto faith also provides the real uniqueness of Japan and festivals throughout the year keeps this faith within the soul despite Japan being secular on the whole.

Turning back to fashion then this sector is so rich and diverse and each area within major cities like Tokyo and Osaka will have special zones which cater for certain styles. Also, exquisite international companies want a share of the “Japanese apple pie”

In a previous article about fashion I comment that “The beauty of Tokyo is that different areas contrast greatly and you have noticeable changes within fashion styles. Therefore, you will find greater individualism in Harajuku and Shibuya and both areas have a youthful image and are powerhouses.” 

“This contrasts greatly with Ginza and other fashionable areas like Ebisu and Aoyama which cater for young adults and all age ranges, with the emphasis being high income earners or people with wealth. Ginza is awash with international brands and Japanese brands where the focus is on elegance, sophistication and extreme quality.”

“Harajuku and Shibuya are not just about youthful fashion because both areas connect with Omotesando and within each area the mixture of fashion is amazing.  Therefore, you can visit independent companies like 6%DOKIDOKI in Harajuku and within a short distance you will find international and famous Japanese brands.”

“The fusion of fashion companies and the noticeable change within districts or within a short distance; increases the spice and the creativity of fashion in Tokyo.”

 “This all adds to the high energy of fashion in Tokyo and the spirit of companies like 6%DOKIDOKI and Macaronic are a blessing.  Therefore, designers like Sebastian Masuda (6%DOKIDOKI) and Takashi Aoki (Macaronic) have no boundaries and instead their creativity and passion can be felt within the products that they provide”.

Sebastian Masuda

In the past Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo were famous for attracting broad followers and each individual is highly respected within the fashion world. Despite this, the fashion sector in Japan is extremely diverse and no individual designer or brand can dominate because the market is so complex.

The beauty of the fashion sector in Japan is its rich diversity and collectively all the influential designers compliment this aspect of the fashion scene.  Therefore, Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Sebastian Masuda, Yohji Yamamoto, Takashi Aoki, Junya Watanabe, Tsumori Chisato, Yoshie Itabashi, Chiharu Kikuchi, and many other fantastic designers, are collectively creating a major buzz throughout the international fashion industry.

 

It matters not if your favorite company is A Bathing Ape, Comme des Garçons, N. Hoolywood, Grimoire, Samantha Thavasa, 6%DOKIDOKI, SmackyGlam, Diet Butcher Slim Slim, Hiroko Koshino, Rip Van Winkle, H. Naoto, Macaronic, Candy Stipper, or any of the multitudes of quality and imaginative fashion companies in Japan. The most important aspect is the creativity of each individual company and how competing styles help to highlight fashion in Japan.

6%DOKIDOKI and SmackyGlam use amazing creativity and color schemes within their designs and both companies have different thought patterns and client bases.  Yet, this diversity amidst creative fashion is attracting fashion lovers from all over the world.

The brainchild behind 6%DOKIDOKI is Sebastian Masuda and this extremely creative fashion designer and thinker, never remains static because the spirit of fashion and Harajuku run through his veins. He is blessed with excellent staff who enthuse not only kawaii culture and chaotic punk, but who have raw energy and a rare vibrancy and spirit. 

The color schemes and creativity of 6%DOKIDOKI is beyond boundaries and kawaii culture and their free thinking shines out in a world of fashion which can sometimes be constrained.  6%DOKIDOKI is a company which makes Harajuku tick and their fashion and accessories say much more than people could ever imagine.

Another amazing aspect of fashion in Tokyo is that you have so many districts in this city which have their own distinctive vibe. Therefore, while places like Aoyama, Ebisu, Ginza, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ueno, are more well-known and established areas, this is not the entire picture.  This applies to trendy smaller areas of Tokyo like Kichijoji, Daikanyama, Jiyugaoka, Nakano, Naka-Meguro, and Shimo-Kitazawa, because these places highlight the plethora of areas to visit for fashion in Tokyo and this is rare for a major city because the options are enormous and extremely varied.

The image of Japan is changing in the eyes of the younger generation because the new Japan is trendy, creative, and provides rich new trends which have global appeal.  Kawaii culture is no longer stuck in Japan and cosplay, Japanese anime, new gadgets, fashion, computer games, maid café, and other areas are all adding up and leading to new dimensions.

At the same time, the mysterious Japan is still potent and appeals to all generations and this unique factor makes the land of the rising sun so fascinating. For some individuals it is all about kawaii culture and Japanese anime.  However, for others it is about the richness of Nara, Kyoto, Wakayama Castle, Koyasan, Japanese gardens, Buddhism, Japanese ceramics, kabuki, ukiyo-e and other high cultural aspects of Japan.

 

Obviously many individuals will enjoy both worlds and feel relaxed within the rich traditional culture of Japan and the changing aspects of the new nation which is constantly evolving because of new trends.

Therefore, the pulling power of Japan will continue to grow and k-pop groups and other international music styles will continue to focus on the “Japanese apple pie.” The same applies to the magnificent and stylish fashion scene because of amazing designers who focus on creativity and innovation.

Overall, Tokyo is amazing for fashion and cosplay, anime, maid café, kawaii culture, and a plethora of other trends, is leading to such a rich and vibrant culture.

http://www.dokidoki6.com/ 

http://www.smackyglam.com/

http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/tokyo/harajuku_fashion.htm (Harajuku – Tokyo)

http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/shopping_5160.html  (Namba – Osaka) 

http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/tokyo/shibuya.htm (Shibuya – Tokyo)

http://candystripper.net/

http://www.macaronic.jp/

http://tokyofashion.com/

http://shibuyafashion.metrocity.nl/

http://www.photopassjapan.com/tokyo_-_shibuya/

http://www.warnerbros.co.jp/main/homepage/homepage.html (in Japanese)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Japan

 

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Japanese Fashion: buzzing with spirit and energy in Tokyo

Japanese Fashion: buzzing with spirit and energy in Tokyo

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

6%DOKIDOKI highlight the sheer vibrancy of Tokyo fashion

Japanese street fashion is extremely diverse and no single style could ever corner the market and within areas of Tokyo and Osaka, and other major cities, you will have areas which appeal to certain styles. Japan is also a huge market for exquisite global fashion and major companies vie alongside Japanese companies and individual outlets for a slice of the huge market.

The beauty of Tokyo is that different areas contrast greatly and you have noticeable changes within fashion styles. Therefore, you will find greater individualism in Harajuku and Shibuya and both areas have a youthful image and are powerhouses. 

This contrasts greatly with Ginza and other fashionable areas like Ebisu and Aoyama which cater for young adults and all age ranges, with the emphasis being high income earners or people with wealth. Ginza is awash with international brands and Japanese brands where the focus is on elegance, sophistication and extreme quality.

Obviously the price mechanism caters for the rich.  However, being Japan, then many Japanese ladies and men who may have less disposable income, will also save in order to buy luxury brands.

Harajuku and Shibuya are not just about youthful fashion because both areas connect with Omotesando and within each area the mixture of fashion is amazing.  Therefore, you can visit independent companies like 6%DOKIDOKI in Harajuku and within a short distance you will find international and famous Japanese brands.

The fusion of fashion companies and the noticeable change within districts or within a short distance; increases the spice and the creativity of fashion in Tokyo.

This all adds to the high energy of fashion in Tokyo and the spirit of companies like 6%DOKIDOKI and Macaronic are a blessing.  Therefore, designers like Sebastian Masuda (6%DOKIDOKI) and Takashi Aoki (Macaronic) have no boundaries and instead their creativity and passion can be felt within the products that they provide.

Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto provided a strong image for Japanese fashion and their energy was noticeable in the 1980s and onwards.  However, the nature of fashion in Tokyo and throughout Japan is changeable and no single designer can express the exuberant fashion which is part and parcel of major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Instead, the real beauty of Japanese fashion is the collective because Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Sebastian Masuda, Takashi Aoki, Junya Watanabe, Tsumori Chisato, Yoshie Itabashi, Chiharu Kikuchi, and many others; collectively add their own individual style and thinking.

It matters not if one fashion designer is hugely famous or not because fashion is not static and different fashion styles will cater for different markets.  Also, the raw energy of designers like Sebastian Masuda and Takashi Aoki merge their free thinking within the unique style of Harajuku.

Sebastian Masuda – 6%DOKIDOKI

6%DOKIDOKI is international in thinking and this company relates strongly with their clients in Harajuku and throughout the world.  The color schemes and designs of 6%DOKIDOKI and Macaronic sums up the creative nature of both companies. 

Fashion also means many things. This applies to a sense of belonging within certain fashion trends, mainstream, individualism, street credibility amongst the hip-hop inspired youth, and so forth.

Irrespective if your favorite fashion company is Comme des Garçons, A Bathing Ape, Uniqlo, 6%DOKIDOKI, SmackyGlam, Candy Stipper, Macaronic, or a multitude of other companies; the importance is that however large or small; or irrespective of stature or design style; each and every company enhances the spirit of Tokyo and Japanese fashion.

If fashion is high on your agenda then Tokyo and Osaka cater for fashion in abundance and the streets of Harajuku in Tokyo and Namba in Osaka are buzzing because of creativity and difference. 

The stunning color schemes of SmackyGlam and 6%DOKIDOKI are a million miles apart and this applies to thinking and client base.  However, the thinking behind the designs is done with utmost care and imagination and this vibrancy and difference is leading to such energy in Tokyo.

6%DOKIDOKI and the Mighty Harajuku Project

Japan is a Mecca for fashion and Tokyo is awash with creativity and style. The same also applies to Osaka which is also very energetic and this certainly applies to places like Namba.  Therefore, this sector will remain vibrant because of the diverse nature of Tokyo and Osaka and it is this diversity which is making the fashion scene tick.

http://www.dokidoki6.com/

http://www.smackyglam.com/

http://candystripper.net/

http://www.macaronic.jp/

http://tokyofashion.com/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2011 in Japan

 

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6%DOKIDOKI bringing a slice of Harajuku to North America

6%DOKIDOKI bringing a slice of Harajuku to North America

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Sebastian Masuda and 6%DOKIDOKI

The “Harajuku Kawaii Experience” recently visited North America after 6%DOKIDOKI showed the passion and creativity of Harajuku.  This followed on from last year when 6%DOKIDOKI visited America and Europe. 

6%DOKIDOKI is a very vibrant fashion company and if you want to understand the underbelly of Harajuku which makes this place tick; then this company is a must. 

The “kawaii culture” in Tokyo goes back several decades but of course you have many modifications and changes.  6%DOKIDOKI is part of the ongoing vibrancy of the “kawaii culture” and this company clearly thinks on its feet.

The creative nature of its fashion is truly unique and this applies to the amazing color schemes of their products and how they keep on moving forward and challenging new barriers.

However, 6%DOKIDOKI is not only a fashion company because their founder, Sebastian Masuda, and all people who are involved in this company; have a genuine interest in their client base and they care deeply about Harajuku.

The recent tour by 6%DOKIDOKI took them to America and Canada but after recent events in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami; then this was more than just a fashion statement.

After all, many media outlets painted a distinctively gloomy picture of Tokyo and while shock and bewilderment did take hold on March 11 and the following weeks in Tokyo; it was also true that many people were pulling together in order to help northeast Japan where the real tragedy unfolded.

True to the vibrancy and genuine care of 6%DOKIDOKI the founder, Sebastian Masuda, came up with the MIGHTY HARAJUKU PROJECT.

In my article called Mighty Harajuku Project: fashion sector responds to the devastating earthquake, I stated that “…the fashion conscious in Harajuku have organized the “Mighty Harajuku Project” which is aimed at generating capital in order to help the people of Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and other areas hit by the recent tragedy which engulfed the north-eastern Tohoku region.” 

“The “Mighty Harajuku Project” is the brainchild of Sebastian Masuda who is the founder of 6%Dokidoki.  Sebastian Masuda cares deeply about Harajuku and 6%Dokidoki provides an abundance of brightly colored accessories and like Harajuku itself the company is vibrant and individualistic.”

Therefore, while 6%DOKIDOKI is primarily a fashion company with zest, individuality, creativity and a genuine buzz about the products created.  This company is also concerned about the bigger picture during times of crisis and it is rare for a company to connect with its client base like they do in Harajuku.

6%DOKIDOKI, just like Tokyo, is vibrant and energetic and the latest tour clearly showed the pulling power of Harajuku and Tokyo itself.

This applies to the amazing fashion scene in Tokyo where the choice is fantastic and the quality on offer is of the highest.

Once more 6%DOKIDOKI is showing its international spirit and this company is revered by many individuals all over the world.

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/?eid=508    (personal blog)

http://www.dokidoki6.com/   (Please visit this fashion website)

http://www.japanforum.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2  (Harajuku fashion)

http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Japan

 

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Tokyo: radiation scare seems distant and Mighty Harajuku Project

Tokyo: radiation scare seems distant and Mighty Harajuku Project 

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ladies in Ikebukuro shopping -  Modern Tokyo Times image
Ladies in Ikebukuro shopping – Modern Tokyo Times image

The devastating earthquake which unleashed the potent tsunami is still an ongoing nightmare for hundreds of thousands of residents who reside in shelters in northeast Japan.  Added to this, is the ongoing pain and suffering because whole communities have been destroyed and the loss of life was huge. 

At the same time, the nuclear dimension remains a major problem for people in Fukushima and areas which are close to this prefecture.  Therefore, the exclusion zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and areas within range are still ghost towns and the future looks bleak.

The initial shock of the earthquake and tsunami could be felt clearly in Tokyo and many people were in a daze and confused.  After all, the powerful tremors on March 11 in Tokyo were severe and the capital city was hit by power failures and other structural problems.

Television images of the tsunami in northeastern Japan were shocking and while the tsunami was not a threat to Tokyo the psychological impact was enormous.  Also, many Tokyo residents will have strong family connections with this part of Japan because many Japanese individuals move to Tokyo from all over Japan.

Then after several days it became apparent that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was in a serious crisis.  This unleashed the best and worse about journalism because some reports were realistic however others were scaremongering and this all added to the confusion.

Tens of thousands of foreign nationals began to flee Tokyo and other areas of Japan and many Japanese individuals also felt uneasy.  However, for the vast majority of people in Tokyo they were staying and while the atmosphere felt eerie at times during the initial period; the overwhelming majority of people just knuckled down and focused on daily problems.

Many embassies were closed and some companies sent their international staff to other areas of Japan or sent them home.  This led to further strains on the economy because many media outlets were blowing up the crisis in Tokyo. However, in truth, most Tokyoites were counting their blessings because it was clear that the real crisis belonged to northeastern Japan.

The radiation scare did cause alarm bells for some people in the first few weeks and parents of babies and young children seemed particularly worried.  Therefore, you had a brief spell when bottled water was in vogue because of radiation fears but this fear is now in decline for the majority of Tokyoites.

The crisis in Tokyo witnessed greater community bonds and individuals responded in kind.  For example Sebastian Masuda, the founder of 6%Dokidoki, used the potency of his fashion company and began the “Mighty Harajuku Project.”

In my article called Mighty Harajuku Project: fashion sector responds to the devastating earthquake, I comment that “Sebastian Masuda was shocked by the events which engulfed the north-eastern-Tohoku region on March 11 and which continue to beset the region.  This applies to the huge loss of life, the ongoing homeless problem, whole communities being destroyed, thousands of bodies being washed up along the coast, and the ongoing nuclear cloud hanging over Fukushima and creating a major radiation problem.”

“In Harajuku the creativity of this place which Sebastian Masuda genuinely cares about also uniquely provides its own distinctive community.  Irrespective if this applies to locals, people who often visit Harajuku because of the buzz it creates or to workers who commute to Harajuku.”

“Therefore, Sebastian Masuda focused on all the positives and energy of Harajuku and came up with the “Mighty Harajuku Project.”  The purpose of this project is to help the disadvantaged who have suffered so much since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11; and to give encouragement and support to people who utilize the energy and environment of Harajuku because so many people are still bewildered by recent events.”

The “Mighty Harajuku Project” was bigger than it could be imagined because it united youths and young adults who are fashion conscious in trendy Harajuku and built bridges with people from other communities.  Also, the “Mighty Harajuku Project” was telling the world that Tokyo may be in shock however the “heart was still ticking” and this applies to the spirit of Harajuku and other areas of Tokyo.

It now appears that Tokyo is returning to normal albeit with minor problems from time to time; for example train related problems or stores closing a tad early.

However, these minor problems do not compare with the real problem areas and it will take a long time for parts of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima to recover and other areas which were hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

Also, the nightmare for people close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will continue and many sectors like the fisheries will face an uphill struggle to survive.

Now Tokyo must play its role in putting Japan back on its feet because while you have many powerful cities like Osaka and Nagoya; it is apparent that Tokyo is the engine of Japan and international companies and tourists flock to this city for different factors.

The Kansai region is potent and powerful but in the eyes of the international community the image of Tokyo is strong.

Therefore, it should be known that by the middle of April the vibrancy of Tokyo is gradually building up and many embassies have returned.  It is hoped that this will be followed by an economic upturn in the following few months because enormous strains are being put on the economy.

The spirit of the “Mighty Harajuku Project” was based on compassion, hope, and a sense that the future will be reshaped by new creativity. 

It is hoped that politicians in Japan will overcome their petty bickering and back stabbing and that the international community will flock back to Tokyo and Japan.         

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/?eid=508    (personal blog)

http://www.dokidoki6.com/   (Please visit this fashion website)

http://tokyofashion.com/6dokidoki-mighty-harajuku-project-2011-world-tour/  – Please visit this website about the Mighty Harajuku Project.

http://www.japanforum.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2  (Harajuku fashion)

http://moderntokyotimes.com  (please visit)

 
 
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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Japan

 

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Mighty Harajuku Project: fashion sector responds to the devastating earthquake

Mighty Harajuku Project: fashion sector responds to the devastating earthquake

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times  

Harajuku 
Harajuku

The usual image of all major cities in the centre will see major dividing lines and Tokyo is no different. Therefore, in Tokyo you will have places like Edogawabashi where you have stunning parks and Chinzan-so is a place where the Japanese garden comes alive and old statues to the various Shinto gods can be found.

Alternatively, Harajuku is famous for fashion and even within Harajuku you will have notable brands and highly expensive fashion shops in the Omotesando Hills area.  However, you can also find many fashion outlets which cater for individualistic styles, which flow with current fashion trends amongst the younger generation, highly experimental, and you will find many smaller exquisite fashion shops throughout Harajuku and the Omotesando backstreets area.

It may appear that the streetwise fashion youngsters are very distant from the wider society where conformity often dominates. Or if you see an individualistic young lady or boy who are dressed in a very striking way then it may appear that these individuals are obsessed by fashion and that they have little in common with the usual salary man in Tokyo.

Also, the streets of fashion in Tokyo may appear to be miles away from the rural areas of Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi.  However, if you scratch under the surface then the vast majority of citizens in Tokyo, irrespective of age or fashion sense, are deeply shocked and saddened by the recent earthquake, tsunami, and the nuclear crisis hanging over Fukushima.

Therefore, the fashion conscious in Harajuku have organized the “Mighty Harajuku Project” which is aimed at generating capital in order to help the people of Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and other areas hit by the recent tragedy which engulfed the north-eastern Tohoku region.

The “Mighty Harajuku Project” is the brainchild of Sebastian Masuda who is the founder of 6%Dokidoki.  Sebastian Masuda cares deeply about Harajuku and 6%Dokidoki provides an abundance of brightly colored accessories and like Harajuku itself the company is vibrant and individualistic.

Sebastian Masuda was shocked by the events which engulfed the north-eastern-Tohoku region on March 11 and which continue to beset the region.  This applies to the huge loss of life, the ongoing homeless problem, whole communities being destroyed, thousands of bodies being washed up along the coast, and the ongoing nuclear cloud hanging over Fukushima and creating a major radiation problem.

In Harajuku the creativity of this place which Sebastian Masuda genuinely cares about also uniquely provides its own distinctive community.  Irrespective if this applies to locals, people who often visit Harajuku because of the buzz it creates or to workers who commute to Harajuku.

Therefore, Sebastian Masuda focused on all the positives and energy of Harajuku and came up with the “Mighty Harajuku Project.”  The purpose of this project is to help the disadvantaged who have suffered so much since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11; and to give encouragement and support to people who utilize the energy and environment of Harajuku because so many people are still bewildered by recent events.

At first the staff of 6%Dokidoki, customers and others all chipped in and gave donations but this was just the initial stage. After this, Sebastian Masuda wanted to provide a positivity about Harajuku despite the recent worries and concerns and then to let other areas throughout Tokyo and Japan know that Harajuku is baring up and focused on the future – despite understanding the dire nature of events in Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi and the radiation fear which is felt by many.

Also, Sebastian Masuda wanted to reach out to the youth of Tokyo and to assure the younger generation that Harajuku was a haven amidst all the chaos, sorrow, anguish, and sense of foreboding.

This image of positivity which is based on care and support was also important to show the world because Harajuku is famous for fashion and an economic recovery is needed in order to help people who have suffered so much.

The “Mighty Harajuku Project” also shows you the heart of the younger generation and that fashion companies have a serious side which desire to reach out in times of need. 

Therefore, this project is helping people who need assistance in order to overcome so much tragedy and at the same time it is creating positivity within Tokyo and Japan.

Also, it is important that the outside world knows that Japan is not only ticking but it is fighting back against adversity.  Recently, tourist numbers are down and some business companies have pulled out of Tokyo in the short-term. 

However, it is vital that the economy of Japan is supported and the energy of the “Mighty Harajuku Project” is a way of showing everybody that Tokyo is ticking and churning out fresh ideas.

At the same time, the people of Harajuku want to show their compassion and sense of solidarity because they know that you have so much pain and sorrow in places which were hit by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis.

                                                                                                                                                                       

n.com/mighty-harajuku-project/        

http://sebastianz.jugem.jp/?eid=508   (personal blog)

http://www.dokidoki6.com/   (Please visit this fashion website)

http://www.japanforum.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=2  (Harajuku fashion)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://www.moderntokyotimes.com

 

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