Here is a new way to torture your pets: Get this crazy kitty wig to style up your cat (or dog). No longer you need to see the same old hair on your pet every day — these colorful hairpieces come in many exciting colors and glamorous styles so you can finally give your feline companion the look that matches your outfit of the day. Seen at Donki Hote in Setagaya-ku.
It is a fact of life that many people are unhappy with the way they look. But women here in Japan are under an enormous pressure to look beautiful, cute and perfect to find a desirable partner. Thanks to a different body image many women (and men) have no problem with using what Westerners would consider extreme measures — strong whitening of the skin, cosmetic surgery, wearing special contact lenses every day to make the iris look bigger and colorful, using lots of make-up to display perfect skin, and so on. Of course most of these measures are rather expensive, so there are also tons of products for the less affluent that promise much but use rather suspicious methods. One of my favorites is the CoCo nose re-shaper (“Beautiful New Look of Nose”):
Be a Cleopatra’s nose
Indispensable for your beautiful nose
You wouldn’t miss a chance
Apparently a Cleopatra’s nose is a large and straight nose that seems to be highly desirable for Japanese females. Just put that clothes pin-like clam on your nose and watch TV and the impossible might happen — or probably not. Anyway, as this product is rather widespread and available in pretty much every drugstore, I guess that some people are really buying it and that “being a Cleopatra’s nose” is the goal of quite a few Japanese ladies…
Another highlight of bizarre Japanese beauty products is Noble’s “Slim Mouth Piece”. This simple little gadget is supposed to help Japanese women “For getting a tight and slim face.” (キュッとした小顔をめざす) Use this device 2-3 minutes every day and it will turn your large, lusting Asian mouth into a boring, thin Westerner’s, enabling you to smile crazily from one ear to the other. But as with the nose clip I have my doubts that this device will give you anything but sore facial muscles — the underlying aesthetic issue is caused by bone structure and not something that can be affected by simple plastic toys.
Best of all is that many of these products feature Western models — as if these stereotypical “dumb blondes” are either highly regarded role models for Japanese females, or that their look was archieved by using these products — as if Westerners look like that only because they are avid fans of DIY plastic surgery…
The Nippori neighborhood close to the Nippori Station (serviced by the Yamanote JR line) is the place to go if you want very cheap, fashionable clothing Tokyo’s teenagers wear. Crammed stores like Pop Girl and Heiwadō (ヘイワ堂) are much cheaper than similar shops in Shibuya and Harajuku, and their outfits are just as weird and crazy as well. On top of it all these stores have a huge amount of stuff with strange Engrish that we all love so much.
I could spend hours photographing the weird and wonderful stuff that the toy store Kiddy Land on Omote-sandō in Harajuku offers. For now I just snapped a picture of “useful socks” that were on display, and only because the spelling mistake caught my eye.
This is actually a carrying case for a compact digicam. The younger reader probably don’t know that it is styled after the design of a classic twin-lens reflex camera. As I noticed before, vintage film cameras make cool fashion items and this camera case seen in Kiddy Land is no exception. The Japanese still have a love for analog photography, even it is just as a retro accessory to hide a modern digital camera in.
Just a quick snapshot of two mannequins I saw at the Gain Select Shop in Shibuya. They wear rather laid back and comfortable Japanese street fashion including a t-shirt with a very sleepy Hello Kitty clone. The gray shirt depicts Peko-chan (ペコちゃん), the mascot of Fujiya’s Milky candy, with the superimposed text “Less than 3 seconds are allright”.
The soccer world cup 2010 looms and the current offerings in canine fashion reflect this. The popular Pet Paradise dogwear store on the Takeshita-dōri in Harajuku has the full uniform of the Japanese national soccer team for sale, including a curly “Samurai Blue” wig and a matching jersey. So if you need to dress up your dog before watching the games or going to public viewing events, this is the place where you get this essential apparel.
The Japanese people love picture-taking and have still an ingrained love for vintage cameras. Not only can you see lot of people shooting manual cameras in the streets, classic cameras are also cool enough as accessories. This metal pendant of a Nikon FM2 SLR was seen in a shop in Shimo-Kitazawa, available for ¥479.