WOW! It has been years, since I have blogged. I have so many penciled thoughts, that I need to share with you all. Though I can’t really say I haven’t blogged, I mean thats why I love Facebook status!
The lack of information on the internet has created an opportunity for me to create a new approach and way to inform people of a little history on the Ganguro. Most especially the reason as to why most Japanese girls became a Ganguro.
LINK TO MY FLASH CREATION (I have converted this into an avi. file so that there is no problem for everyone to view).
The flash presentation begins with Ayuka a Japanese character that I have created, walking down the hallways at school. As she walks pass dressed inappropriately, two students walk pass her, on imaging herself like Ayuka who is a Ganguro, and the other girl confused as to why Ayuka is acting and dressed in that manner. What I wanted to do in this scene was to depict how Ganguros act in public and the kind of people who judge and admire them.
The Second scene was to show the roots of how Ayuka came to be. You can see in the beginning on the left hand side there are speech bubbles that depict different things that Ayuka was not allowed to do or have, for eg. mobile phone, boots etc. Because it goes against a sensitive and traditional Japanese girl. You will then see Ayuka rebelling and changing her clothes and her skin.
The third scene, is to show how Ganguro culture is a mixture of Hip hop culture as well. Not only for the imitation of the black skin, but also the dress sense and attitude.
I hope you enjoy it!!!
Now here is an opportunity to create my own website that profiles youth culture. I would document how contemporary media such as facebook and youtube have allowed for the globalisation of different cultures. I would also include my own created graphics such as animation, character design and also my own photography. Today’s blog will be short but memorable. I have attached a picture of two non-westerners from America trying to be a Ganguro. Here is the evident spread of the culture. I have also attached humours links of the spread of the culture.
GANGURO IN THE WEST
The girl is of European background and she is teaching people how to look like a Ganguro. I am pretty sure even the Ganguro watch this video for inspiration on their next make up design. What I found was sort of a merge between what we would call an ‘Emo’ in Australia and a Ganguro in Japan. Here is the link
UK teens obsessed with Japanese trend (MUST SEE)!!
Here is another must see video, of how Ganguro style is taking over the Uk. If I had my own magazine, WEST imitation of the Ganguro would always be in the front cover.
Listed below are the three types of contemporary medias I would like to focus on.
1. The Egg Magazine
The magazine ‘EGG’ have said to have had a direct influence on the Ganguro Egg is a style magazine for gyaru fashion, distributed in Japan. It features photos of ganguro girls and synopses about what they like or a popular trend. Egg also usually has photos of the newest fashions, where to buy them, latest hairstyles, cell phones, and make up tips. It also has candid photos of ganguro girls on the streets of Japan
The focus of Egg magazine is largely on teenage girls who seek ways to be sexy and cute in the gyaru style. Images will often feature girls with blonde dyed hair or wigs, overt makeup, nail decorations, and mini-skirts. The look is almost exclusively for teens, with most of the shops catering to the style existing in Shibuya 109 and its surrounding teen-centric shopping district.
I loved their motto ” The platform for creativity” ! To read more, click on the website and read the ‘ About Us’ page.
Click here to visit their website < www.eggmagazine.com/eggMag/noFlash.html>
Facebook is a social networking website that connects friends and future friends from all over the world. Users are able to comment, share picture, share videos and play games with each other. I found a group site, and fan site for the Ganguro on facebook, which was interesting because a lot of the fans are actually non- Japanese who aspire to be a Ganguro. Facebook has revolutionized and help spread the culture globally. As a facebook member, I can join to this group and share information with friends and other members of this group. I have the opportunity to contact Ganguro members and ask questions for my future graphic designs and articles that I would write.
Click here to visit the facebook site < http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2204830560>
The Egg magazine have joined facebook.This means that fans and members are able to share ideas and perceptions about different things like make up and clothing etc. Because the youth of the world are more into reading blogs and reading online materials rather than books, I think the Egg magazines content being available on facebook is a very good idea. Here check it out.
Click here to visit the Wesbite < http://www.facebook.com/pages/Egg-Magazine/36935608228
I was looking through the videos on you tube about Ganguro, and what I found so interesting was, how many Westerners have post under the title Ganguro. Many of the videos consists of them trying to be a Ganguro.
The Formation and History of Ganguro
Ganguro literally means “black-faced” (Miller 2006, pg.30) as I mentioned on my earlier blog. “Ganguro falls into the larger subculture of gyaru (from English “gal”), a slang term used for various groups of young women, usually referring to overly childish or rebellious girls” ( Grey 2009). The culture supposedly peaked in popularity during the late 1990s to the early 2000s (Japanese Lifestyle 2009). It is easy to spot a Ganguro girl in Japan because of their dark tanned faces, covered with stickers, glitters, white eye shadow, false eyelashes, bleached hair, provocative and colorful clothing and high heeled shoes.
Ganguro Gal” look are cell phones covered with purikura stickers, tie-dyed sarongs, mini-skirts, hibiscus flower hairpins, and lots of bracelets, rings and necklaces.
Here are important information that I dug up from different websites that agree and disagree about the formation of the Ganguro.
- “Ganguro, with their screw-you makeup, are not trying to look black, American, or like anything ever seen before” ( Miller 2006, pg.30).
- Ganguro go against the grain of the usual Japanese standard of female beauty, which calls for skin as light as possible, so-called bihaku, (??, literally ‘beautiful whiteness’). The roots of the trend are said to be in the mid-1960s, starting with commercials/advertisements in which actresses emulated the California “beach bunny” look.
- Ganguro have also been linked to an emulation of African American celebrities and were described as such by the Editor of Fruits magazine. The term itself, “Black face”, seems to allude to that.
- Hip hop impact on Japanese youth culture with special reference to the ganguro.
- Ganguro as a new fashion style reflects the global influence of hip hop culture and affects Japanese youth ideology.
- Ganguro is more than a new fashion style among Japanese teenage girls; it is an explicit expression of self- identity of those who attempt to depart from traditional Japanese cultural values and social standards.
- Ganguro as a subculture is in conflict with mainstream Japanese culture, and although this subculture may not spread to the whole Japanese younger generation, it has socio-cultural and ideological significance in Japanese society.
1.Miller R 2006,Beauty up: exploring contemporary Japanese body aesthetics, University of California Press, California.
2. Xuexin L, 2005 ‘Ganguro’Wikipedia, viewed on 5 September 2009 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganguro>
3. Viewed on 5 September 2009 http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/ganguro/
Someone today asked me, why are you so interested in the Ganguro culture? and I paused for a bit and answered. “ Because sometimes I wish I could be as free as them!”. Sometimes I just want to rebel. When I turned 18, four years ago, I taught that my parents could give me the freedom that I deserved. But I guess my expectations were only fueled by watching movies like ‘A walk to remember’, and all the other Filipino movies I watched; that showed me that when you stand up to your parents they will learn to accept that at that age a person is mature and independent. But being a Filipina girl and the eldest girl in the family, the eldest daughter, the elders grandchild, I was not entitled to that freedom. This is how my fascination with the Ganguro girls began. Through contemporary media vehichle such as the internet and blogs, i found out about Ganguros!
The Ganguro girls were not only a product television show such as Baywatch and African American music videos, they are to me a product of rebellion, a way to escape the strict and high expectations of being a Japanese girl. Personally, it is to break away from the strict and outdated expectations of many Asian culture and parents.
In a book written by Paul R. Spickard titled ‘Mixed blood: intermarriage and ethnic identity in twentieth-century America’ he informs the reader of why ‘white skin’ was seen as an imperative characteristic of a high-class Japanese girl.
He stated “the Japanese from very early times liked white skin, which they associated with spiritual refinement and upper class status, and disliked black skin, which they saw as a sign of primitiveness. (Spikard 1991 pg.43)
“ A woman out to have “ a small and well-shaped face, white skin, gentle manner, an innocent, charming and attentive character” (Spikard 1991 pg.43)
Here is a similar comment that a blogger made from the website ‘Ming the Mechanic:Ganguro Girls The NewsLog of Flemming Funch’ on
11 Apr 2006 @ 21:41 by Jessa @18.104.22.168 : Ganguro
“I read an article in a book years ago that said that Ganguro girls paint their faces black or use really dark shades of tanning lotion to challenge the traditional Japanese culture of girls having skin white face.Actually, I read an article about these girls in the Anime Insider magazine. It said that one of the goals for Ganguro (or Manba, or whatever) is to not only capture the California beach girl look, but to also rebel against the ideal Japanese beauty (moonlight-pale skin, long, ebony-black hair, etc.). “
Like the Japanese culture, my parents to this day are very strict on me, jsut because I am a girl. My parents too didn’t like me being outside and getting my skin dark. I was encouraged by parents to use whitening lotion and whitening soap. I feel a strong connection to the Ganguro girls, because I believe that I too am living as a prisoner of my culture. But you would never catch me dressing up and wearing my make up like them!
- Spickard, P.R. 1991 ‘Mixed blood: intermarriage and ethnic identity in twentieth-century America’ University of Wisconsin Press, America.
- 2003, ‘Ming the Mechanic: Ganguro Girls’, The NewsLog of Flemming Funch,Ming, viewed 29 September 2009, <http://ming.tv/flemming2.php/__show_article/_a000010-000633.htm>
This blog is dedicated to the sub culture ‘Ganguro’ of Japan. Ganguro translates as “black faced”.
AREA OF INTEREST: The impacts of limited information on Graphic Designers and Magazine Journalist, this is why I have chosen to do the Ganguro culture as a prime example of the challenges for people to find adequate amount of information on the subject on the internet. However, it does create opportunities for people like me who aspire to be a Graphic Designer to have the ability to create an intersting and new approach to getting information about the Ganguros.
The aim of this blog is to investigate the following:
- The impact of contemporary media such as ‘Egg’ magazine of Japan, Facebook and Youtube.
- How contemporary media has brought the culture to the West.
- The challenges of insufficient information regarding the Ganguro’s for people who are interested in the group.
- History and Formation of the Ganguro