Is that safe cycling?
Alas, dear readers, this is my final Seijin no Hi photo. Perhaps the culmination of all the other photos. For reasons not made clear to this foreigner, the joyous 20 year olds are posing with one of them in the air with his legs spread wide. A particularly fetching boy seems to be reaching his hand towards legs-spread-wide’s groin.
I can only imagine how much more fun happened after they got drunker. There’s something practically Muslim about how almost all Japanese socializing is same sex. I love it!
Soon there was a horde of hot young 20 year olds combining traditional dress with big fried hair and excess testosterone. It didn’t take long for them to start falling all over each other, lit cigarettes in hand. I hope that they needed to pose for me, as much as I enjoyed their antics. I especially like how you can see inside the fallen boy’s skirt, I mean, “hakama” (袴).
This photo series is indebted to the chubby guy with the pink kimono who noticed my not subtle lurking and photographing. He called his friends for a huge yankii group pose on this important day that celebrates youths’ new ability to drink, smoke, get married, and other fun stuff.
Check out Danny Choo’s website for professional photos and more attention on the ladies. I focused strictly on the urban yankii male. It’s easy to be sex-specific in Japan because so many adults and teens socialize almost entirely with members of the same sex.
My first observation is that only the most bad-ass men are wearing kimonos, hakama, and haori. Many of their peers are wearing cheap suits, and spending all their vanity on their glorious hair: dyed, permed, back-combed, gelled, sprayed, and sculpted. Basically a junior salaryman look with extra attention on hair and eyebrows.
The next posts will focus more on rough-housing, misplaced energy, and male intimacy.
Construction workers in Japan (called gatenki) wear the most fashionable work clothes. Often paired with two- toed shoes, they wear these huge balloon pants. My friend J-son thinks they are very Yoji Yamamoto. Many also have colored and fried hair, few eyebrows, and what seems to be copious tattoos. I like how they interact with each other and the city: aloof from outsiders, intimate with one another. I wonder how many are gay.
Spotting gatenki taking a break or walking through the city always cheers me up!
Japanese love rainbows! I made this rice bowl for the husband’s sister, and gave it the rainbow treatment because I heard she likes them.
Except perhaps for small town Christian children in the lost part of Amerika, every Amerikan associates rainbows with gays. Not in Japan. Just like men’s plucked eybrows, back-combed hair, outre fashion, and overall vanity, rainbows are not marked as other, different, or marginal.
Why do Japanese love rainbows?
Here’s the backside of the rice bowl.
This is one of my first pottery wheel ceramics. The only reason it looks mostly symmetrical is that my teacher/father-in-law helped me a lot!
One of my absolute favorite Japanese blogs is Love Hotel Japan, which is one filthy story after the next about a Swedish young woman who enjoys lots of Japanese men and tells!
This week she reveals more details than most people would need to know about her new gyaruo boyfriend: a guy who wears heavy foundation & eyebrow pencil, spends an hour and a half flat-ironing his hair, and enjoys wearing pink Panther undies, blowing bubbles inside the love hotel room, and using pink egg vibrators on himself.
The detail is stunning and over-the-top. As a bonus, she provides a link to a gyaruo blog (not her boyfriend’s).