Shibuya: eclectic subcultures

    I was fascinated by the diversity I found in a place I deemed homogeneous.  The stereotypical impression I had of the Japanese folks completely altered the minute I stepped in Shibuya, a dense district in Tokyo.  As I was walking through the narrow streets of Shibuya, I came across myriad facets of the Japanese culture: exotic food, eccentric dress, and unique music.  

Speaking of the clothing aspect, I was astonished by the different styles teenagers and young Japanese adopt. Fashionable and classy, some walk proudly boasting their aesthetic touch. Others, opting for the gothic style, rather manifest their individuality through colorful hairstyles and nail polish. 

Simultaneously, the old people still maintain the traditional kimono. Overall, there seems to be a significant generational gap and at the same time creativity is on the rise. It seems that the American media has had a huge impact on the japanese youth. Torn between their own traditions and the American lifestyle, the young Japanese have brought about a culture of their own.

However, the elderly seem not to adhere to the new trends. While waiting for my group friends to buy some souvenir, I was approached by an old Japanese man wearing a nice hat. He asked me whether I spoke Japanese, and I clearly replied “no”. With a limited English, he threw the word “crazy” at me. Confused, I asked him with gestures: ” who is crazy”. To my surprise, he asserted with a large emphasis, while pointing at some Japanese young people :  ” The Japanese young….are CRAZY”.

Advertisements

Manga

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Reading Manga graphic novels seems to an integral part of the daily life of the Japanese individual. To keep themselves entertained on the subway or in the train, Japanese people indulge in reading myriad types of graphic novels ranging from romance and drama to action and race. When we visited future scopes, we were fortuned enough to learn about what the female public is fond of. In fact, the CEO of this company disclosed to us the decline of the romantic-platonnic games among boys, and their rise among young girls. Basically, It seems that most Japanese girls prefer to interact with virtual flawless characters. To be candid, we were introduced to a magnificent world of perfection, with extremely good-looking characters that welcome you with an irresistible voice and good manners. Accustomed to  the Manga comics and cartoons from an early age,  many Japanese end up embracing the characters as part of their reality. Many Japanese girls are living a fairy tales, and the Manga is there to perpetuate such fanacies.

http://www.wired.com/special_multimedia/2007/1511_ff_manga

Wired_1511_mangaamerica