Japan for the Uninvited

Japanese culture from a bemused foreign perspective


The ganguro look intentionally flies in the face of conventional Japanese aesthetics.

Inspired by tanned Okinawan singer Namie Amuro and British model Naomi Campbell, this slightly disturbing fashion exploded onto Tokyo’s streets in the mid-90s.

“Yamanba” (referring to a mythical Japanese mountain ogress) is the next step – adding white make-up and blue contact lenses in a grotesque imitation of Western women.

Although there are claims that the ganguro trend has died out, it’s influence is still clear on Japan’s streets.

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