Visual Kei

Am I wearing enough eye make-up?

In Tokyo, there are constant reminders, to the male population, that we could be working much harder to look good. Why are your natural eyebrows still visible, are you wearing enough eye-liner and shade, has your face been covered in pancake make-up and contoured? I often feel overwhelmingly inadequate as I move through public space and am reminded of all that I could be.

Amazing portraits of male hosts

CNNGo has a fun interview with Numata Manabu, a Tokyo photographer who has been creating commercial and artistic images of male hosts for five years. I love these group portraits. Numata-san wants the viewer to see the hosts as individuals, and believes that many are smart and hard-working.

Numata-san also describes a progression in male hosts’ visual style, from old-school enka, to Kimutaku look-alikes, other popular Johnny’s boys, gyaruo and visual-kei. I think the kimono look is extra-festive!



Via San Francisco and the newly opened New People j-Pop complex, I learned a new word for a male fashion style: kodona. It’s short for kodomo otona (child adult), and can be considered the male version of Gothic Lolita. Also called oji-sama (prince), it’s Victorian-inspired and also French 18th and 19th century. Aficionados of Japanese youth fashion will be aware that kodona blurs into Visual Kei.

My favorite aspect of this “outre” fashion is that while gendered male, it is worn by both girls and boys. More photos here.