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Japanese clothing otaku...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Nick M, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Nick M

    Nick M Senior member

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    Every so often while discussing clothes on the board, someone posts a link to one or more websites, invariably Japanese, depicting vast wardrobes of bespoke and finely crafted 'trad' clothing. As an example, this one. So my question is, what exactly are these guys doing? Are they collectors? Do they even wear this stuff? Are they educating visitors on the finer points of hand-made shoes and clothes, or are they just showing off? Perhaps it's a cultural thing? You'd never see an American businessman spend so much time on a website... Well, maybe one dedicated to his cars...
     


  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Maybe it's just me, but a lot of Japanese seem to be *really* obsessed when it comes to their hobbies. The intensity of Japanese denim guys and Japanese sneaker pimps, for example, just plain scares me. I saw this one guy's collection, and I honestly thought for a moment that he might do a Silence of the Lambs number on me. "Put this lotion on your feet. Dooooo iiittttttt." I have never before or after seen a sneaker collection organized by maker and then by issue (ore reissue) date and then by color. That put the fear of God in me.
     


  3. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Senior member

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    A fun site. Only had time to peek at a few of the gazillion examples. I loved the French example of how to wear a pocket square--#1, I believe, the one with the deerskin glove in the pocket. I would wonder if the webmaster of the site actually has all these items of apparel or does he simply collect pictures?
     


  4. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    Japanese people tend to latch on one idea and really push it to the limits. I'm somewhat guilty of this myself, but would never envision posting all of my shirts, shoes, etc. for perusal and in-depth analysis. Last time I was in Japan, my uncle was chuckling over a news story: apparently some poor school girl was assaulted on the way home from school by a business man. The express purpose of said assault (she was not injured) was to steal her underwear. weird, very weird [​IMG]
     


  5. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Well I suppose this type of internet site is similar to the sites about fine pens, watches, and cars. Only of course the subject matter is different.

    Anyways I rather enjoyed that site albeit the characters I do not understand. Also what about souliers.net? That also is somewhat creepy to "normal" people perhaps not to us though.

    That news story is somewhat disturbing. Last time I was in Japan there was a plethora of pornographic stores catering to various fetishes, and being blatantly advertised.
     


  6. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    You could actually purchase women's underwear in a vending machine. [​IMG] It's part of my heritage, but I'll NEVER understand japanese culture, even if I lived there for a hundred years.
     


  7. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Senior member

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    Interesting topic.

    Form is very important in Japan. Most novice skiiers or tennis players go to great lengths to see that they have the "proper" clothing to fit the activity in question. The thinking is to be a good {Something}, you must first look like a good {Something} looks.
    This often comes a cross in clothing. When I taught at a public school, most teachers had each student remove their scarves, caps and jackets before they began class, the idea being that you can't learn when you aren't fully decked out in your school uniform. At the judo dojo I attend, after practice and a shower, most of the men put their neckties back on even if only to go home. . . .One said "If I am wearing this kind of shirt, I have to wear a necktie. I am a businessman."

    Most young people who enter a company begin work in April. Usually each March the men's fashion magazines have large spreads on how to tie a necktie, how to co-ordinate your shirt, tie and suit, and how to be polite and stylish businessman. (The company I work for even covers dressing at new employee orientation.) There is a touch of insecurity underlying the whole thing.

    There are many monthly and quarterly magazines here in Japan devoted to "things to buy." Usually they focus on fountain pens or pocket watches, but they also focus on suits or shoes. There are often articles like those in the pages we have seen here. A man will introduce his 100 favorite pair of shoes, or list his most recent pocket watch aquisition.

    I think that most of the folks with pages like the one that you listed are collectors/hobbists, much like the people on this board. People who take pride in understanding the history and craftsmanship of garments, and in aquiring new pieces for their collections.

    Of course, the folks who spend time on the pages are in a distinct minority. I live in downtown Tokyo and work at a large (relatively) cosmopolitan company and people comment on my pocket squares and braces. Rest assured I see my fair share of brown shoes worn with black belts, and white socks worn with double breasted suits.

    I view the webpages as a [email protected] diary. You will find similar pages hosted by Japanese people devoted to movie stars, foreign cars, hot springs, or ramen.


    Bic
     


  8. Enrico

    Enrico Member

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    I just came back from a weekend in Tokyo and have to agree with what is stated above. Japanese indeed tend to take things into extremes. In my opinion this drive originates from their continuing strive to absolute perfection.

    For example, there are a lot of very young (16, 17) European models in Tokyo because the Japanese like perfect, slim and symmetrical faced models. The younger the better, they want them to be as pure as possible.

    And compared with other Asians, Japanese are more daring to be different which, together with the aforementioned strive to perfection, results in a trend setting fashion mania.

    I never saw so much retro clothing shops in one city. They sell everything, from used Puma sneakers to T-shirts from events like "Band Aid 1989" or old skateboard brands (Powell, Vision). This whole 80's skateboard thing is HUGE. I thought the retro hype was over but it seems that there is more to come...

    Cheers

    Rico
     


  9. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Those "things to buy" magazines one sees quite often in Japan, and also places like Hong Kong, and mainland China. Also there are these publications that are called "(insert brand name) Bibles." For example there are Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, Prada, and any other high end comapny one can think of. There are quite thick, high quality, and packed full of colour pictures on every page.

    These books are supposed to be a very comprehensive catalogue of items offered by these designers, and teach one how to spot fakes, the differences, and whatnot.
     


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