It’s true that some salarymen wear the boring and cheap clothes, and have poor hygiene. Yet some really out-do themselves in self-presentation. I love the super saturated blues of the Goyard bag and pin stripe-suit, the complementary tones of hair, tan, and shoes. Why is his tongue sticking out slightly in the above photo?
I love this video showing what happens when seven salarymen dance through NYC. The group Genki Sudo was founded by a former martial arts fighter turned singer and dancer. Via Twitter’s @burritojustice.
As the manager explained to me, Grupo Dandy is more than a male host club. It’s three or four male host clubs! The dandies all had the same fashion: dark, shiny suits, big hair, sort of a cross between salary man and gangsta. I don’t think it’s sufficiently edgy.
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.
I was surprised to discover recently that Pipo kun, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police mascot, comes in many generations. Normally he’s the youthful character with open mouth and clothed only in a belt and shoulder strap (center image). But as I discovered on a rare visit to Roppongi in the evening hours, he can also be seen as a baby with a bottle, a girl, a housewife, a salaryman, grandma and grandpa with a cane. I am not sure how much protection all these characters offer, but I guess they are cute.
I have no idea what makes this underwear how-to display newsworthy, but it appeared on the Asahi newspaper (thanks, hubb, for sending this in). Is there some technical breakthrough that entices suited men to open the fly for you? I particularly like the “helper’s” fancy cuff: an upscale salaryman look.
I love how this otherwise typical salaryman is carrying a drawstring purse, more commonly used with yukatas and kimonos. It’s called a kinchaku (巾着). Even cuter is that his multi-colored purse matches his plaid handkerchief in absorbent towel fabric. His other pocket contains a collection of ballpoint pens. Nerdy, retro, dull, and coordinated!
Last week I was waiting for a friend at the Nakano JR station. He was late, but it didn’t matter. That station is one of my favorite people watching spots. At any time of day or night, there are always people waiting at the North Exit for friends to show up. Nakano has none of the desperate fashion extremes of Shibuya or Harajuku (fueled largely by suburban visitors, no doubt), but always a fun mix of mod, retro, regular and unique styles. I like this young guy’s studied indifference to being watched and photographed. Not sure about the 70s shark skin jacket, but I love the over-sized man-bag and boots. Plus the photo includes a bonus salaryman’s back side.