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In the News

Metro Tokyo ordinance on sexually explicit manga walks fine line on freedom of speech
The Mainichi Daily News, 12/13/2010
SDP head criticizes Kan's possible dispatch of SDF to Korean Peninsula
The Japan Times, 12/13/2010
2 Japanese local assembly members visit one of Senkaku Islands
Associated Press, 12/13/2010
Why Japan is ready for anything Pyongyang might want to throw at it
Guardian, 03/01/2010
Japan disputes racism allegations at U.N. panel
Kyodo, 02/26/2010

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Fashion

Harajuku Shoot

Lolita fans

I went shooting again in Tokyo’s Harajuku. The rain limited the opportunities somewhat, but I still found some cool people.

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• Wednesday June 17, 2009 • Add Comment

Positive Energy: Comme at 40

Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons is marking its 40th anniversary by bringing out a guerrilla-style, temporary brand called “Black” that epitomizes the style, the inventiveness and the originality of its founder.

Rei Kawakubo created black as the color of fashion’s rebel yell. She might have pronounced later, in her enigmatic way, that “red is the new black” and made that vivid color — checkered or regal — part of her repertoire.

But the Japanese designer did not just put women in black like a flock of crows flying across the brash 1980s. More significantly she, in the words of the innovative fashion retailer Carla Sozzani, “interpreted a change of mind in women and opened up a whole vision of femininity.”

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The New York Times • Wednesday June 10, 2009 • Add Comment

Tokyo 135˚

Tokyo 135˚ Kimono

The Tokyo 135˚ shop is hidden away on the second floor in a small building on a back street of Harajuku, Tokyo’s energetic youth culture district. If you don’t know it is there, you’ll most probably never find it. You’d miss out on Harajuku’s best modern kimono shop.

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• Wednesday December 3, 2008 • Add Comment

Selling Fruits to the World

Shoichi Aoki

Thanks to his book FRUITS (more than 100,000 copies sold worldwide), Shoichi Aoki’s street magazine Fruits is now better known abroad than in Japan itself. The magazine with an almost cult-like following in Japan has been documenting Tokyo street fashion since 1996. I had an exclusive interview with Aoki.

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• Wednesday August 25, 2004 • Add Comment

Real Japanese Fashion

30504-117.jpg

The 1995 earthquake that devastated Kobe and environs destroyed something inside fashion designer Takuya Sawada (1967) as well. “It was an incredible shock. Western-style buildings and even highways came tumbling down. I thought ‘wow, concrete is really brittle’,” says Takuya Sawada. “Everything I believed in was demolished. It shattered something inside me too.” Just as he describes the pain he felt at the time, RINGO Shina’s ‘Odaijini’ (‘Get well soon’) plays in the background. We both laugh at the coincidence.

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• Sunday June 1, 2003 • Add Comment [1]