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Cos-Play: Harajuku girls

JAPAN | Monday, 23 January 2006 | Views [19416] | Comments [3]

Dan-san and the Cos-play Harajuku girls.

Dan-san and the Cos-play Harajuku girls.

(There is a new Lao photo folder).

There is a district of Tokyo called Harajuku, which is famous for many things. There is the majestic Meiji shrine, with it's splendid gardens, which looked all the better for the snow whilst I was there. There are also many architecturally unique buildings that are worth a picture or two, and of course, the people of the area are very friendly, just like the rest of Tokyo.

I visited Harajuku on Sunday (photos in Tokyo folder) with no interest in these things though, for I was on the hunt for the Cos-play Harajuku girls. These are girls who parade themselves in an area by the shrine, wearing strange clothes, stranger hairstyles and make-up. They pose for photographs and genrally try to look aloof and wholly unique. I ended up following the crowd in order to find them. Aparently, Cos-play girls (meaning Costume play), have become famous recently due to attention they have recieved from the singer Gwen Steffani. Aparently she loves all things cos-play. There are songs devoted to them on her new album, and when she does interviews there are usually Harajuku girls floating around nearby (see her and them on the Johnathan Ross show)?

Aparently though, the Harajuku girls got together as a bit of a distinct sub-culture (sociology-based degree kicking in here) due to bullying in school. In order to escape from all the crap they were getting there, they decided to get behind the makeup and pose on the streets for attention. And this is where I came in. We went down there with the cameras, a bit worried that we would look like stereotypical perverts, but in order to do this, we would have had to get past the god-knows how many camera already in front of us, both Japanese and western. After waiting for a bit I managed to get my photo with some Cos-plays, who, it has to be said, despite the freezing weather, were in high spirits. I mean, how dedicated to the cause must you be to be there, every weekend, through the snow and rain just to be gawped at by Gaijin like us?

Tags: Culture



Hey Dan, back in Japan? We're now in Laos about to head to Japan! Probably no time to go to Harajuku on this trip, but it should be a mandatory visit for sheer weirdness. Have you tried the famous pedestrian crossing in Shibuya yet? Or the impossibly hot onsen in Hakone? (If you've the $ there are some places that I regularly visit that are truly unique ...) enjoy Simon

  simon_monk Feb 1, 2006 12:07 AM


Hey Dan, I enjoy reading your blurbs and the photos are great. The one of the guard's baby really struck me... I'm in Boracay and it is truly taking my breath away. You would love this place- white sandy beaches that strecth on forever, hot sun, dense, lush greenery, clear blue water, and 2 for 1 happy hour... Hope you are well in Japan. I am thinking more about Taiwan. Either way, hopefully I'll see you soon. Cheers, ~L~

  Laura Feb 1, 2006 10:50 PM


you look like a seal mate ^^ ... looking good. (= hahas i miss u... come back to sydney. much love... from jenjen

  jenny Apr 10, 2006 9:16 AM

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