gatenki

Well dressed and well equipped construction worker

gatenki_construction_nakano

Some of the sexiest and best dressed men in Japan are the construction workers. Seen in Nakano.

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More construction workers

One-piece wonders. Love the jump suit tucked into rubber boots. And the purse-shaped handbag casually slung over the shoulder. I swoon just remembering this apparition.

The only way to improve this look would be the adorable “dirty labor” white boots worn by butchers, ramen shop cooks, cleaning crews, and the like.

On Yamate Dori between Nakano and Shibuya under an elevated freeway.

Construction worker fashion

Yesterday was the 3 month anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster. No better time than now to look closely again at one of my favorite Japanese male fashions: gatenki (ガテんキ). As J-son noticed immediately on his first visit, gatenki combine making-stuff masculinity with super baggy pants that are vaguely Yoji Yamamoto in styling.

On weekdays I escape the tedium of rote learning for a balcony break overlooking a construction site for a 20-some story office building. It’s fun to watch the cranes, steel, and heavy equipment, but even more sublime when my break time coincides with theirs.

I feel safer and intrigued by daily sightings of these ninja-like male fashion icons.

Worker fashion is so hot!

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!