Only the make-up artist fails to be distracted by my presence. Make that boy look pretty!
“Spread eagle,” worn as a three pink tone, muscle t-shirt by a neighborhood lad, is an invitation to a crime. Recently I saw an even more directly inappropriate teen t-shirt message: “Arctic Monkeys, Suck it and See.” This music fan may not have understood the lyrics, but his hair and outfit were asking to be observed.
I still have not discovered what the Japanese word for jailbait is. What is the age of consent, or of propriety? Are the teens somehow complicit? Even looking feels like a crime.
(Photo credit: Katy L)
Shinee (샤이니, pronounced “shiny”) is a Korean boy band that will be making its Japan debut in June, 2011.
There’s always seems to be yet another K-pop boy band whose dancing, fan service, and fashion exceed anything Japan’s Johnny has ever imagined. If it weren’t for the Japanese husband, I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t be studying Korean. Well, in Tokyo, at least we have Shin Okubo to enjoy a bit of Korea without getting on a plane.
Any excuse is a good reason to visit the male host club section of Kabukicho. Of course the real life hosts and want-to-be hosts are the main attractions. I like how those climbing the ranks are on the streets trying to hustle clients, host wanna-bes and anything with a heart beat.
The plentiful club ads are also something to marvel over. I love this ad for Trust and the possible false quote from Ernest Hemingway. What great advice: “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” I will overlook the lack of symmetry between “somebody” and “them.” But generally I find it hard to trust young men who are exchanging booze (and maybe more) for gobs of money.
I am not sure why bad boy x-sumo champion Asashoryu is posing next to Japan’s medal-winning wrestlers. But I like it! It’s funny to see a sumo big boy in a conservative suit, and the wrestlers outfits are revealing. I love combinations of unrelated masculinity. More is definitely better ^^
Hakoho helps Asashoryu to his feet after defeating him. Hakoho went on to to win the Kyushu sumo tournament. The hubb found this image, which suggest that “good guy” and “bad boy” rivals might also share some big love after all.
Kabukicho is now full of ads for this new (?) host club called Smappa!, which seems a blatant rip-off of SMAP, the boy band now entering middle-age. The Smappa ad for Shun-kun above hilariously promises 夜のロハス, night-time lohas.
Lohas means Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, and applies to a 30 something female demographic. What has made hairspray and men’s make-up sustainable? I think actually, like the club name, it is a blatant attempt to connect with larger pop culture themes (like a bad porn title that mimics a Hollywood blockbuster).
From their incredibly complete Smappa! website, I have borrowed these staff images. Scroll to the bottom to see their onsen/ryoukan holiday. These boys are well-documented. Check their Smappa website for more!
At a large suburban festival, we saw *three* booths involving boy bands. My favorite was the one above which involved a rifle shooting game, with the boy band images as either prizes or encouragements. This older guy looks ready to teach the kids how to shoot to kill. The guy running the game was kind of an ikemen, with his fried hair piled into a glitter sequin watch cap.
Below two booths sold boy band imagery. Interestingly, in Japan, there is no equivalent girl band objects. I guess Japanese (male loving) women are just lucky in that respect. I also suspect that the imagery objectifying women is perhaps too dirty to be shown in public at a festival.
And still more. Plus there was a Korean store full of Korean bands and idols.