Tuesday, December 28, 2010

D1 Ichiban! D1 Saikou!

Waking up during the day is quite the difficult for the two of us but we managed to do it. We thought arriving a little late would be ok, but apparently it was just barely ok. There was a HUGE line up outside of Shibuya Duo. Gyaru-o with silver, red or other brightly colored hair and skin tanned as dark as can be in suits were leading people in were commenting how they were worried if everyone can get in.

A little behind us was a little gyaru with dark tanned skin, sandy blond hair styled in kyaba style was looking at ash as if she knew her. A little bit later she came up to talk us and realized that ash and her were friends on mixi. Her name was Yumi a sweet little 15year old girl who is also in one of the circles in Tokyo.

The event was all ages so people from as young as 12/13years old to around 24. It was my first time going to a gyaru-sa event so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I got inside I was admiring everyone’s style. There were so many people with interesting hair colors and quite the variety of styles from super tanned to super pale, from super colorful to black and white. I was envious of some of the girls who had pure white hair down to their lower backs.

The event was set up so there was “dance time” where there’s a dj and music then events.
The first band to come up was Laydent Black? with men knuckle models in it. To my surprise kentarou was quite the good singer. Afterwards there was a 3-4 part segments of a beauty pageant in which the winner won a contract to being a model. Then there as a little talk segment with Kanako where she talked about random things in which I kind of forgotten by now but there was one part where she was talking about random male game characters in a rpg game. The last band to play was PlayZ with Ayumu, Yukihide, Daichi, and one last one whom I cant remember his name. Unfortunately it was all lip sync though it was pretty cute when Ayumu stared to wave a stitch puppet in the air as he “sang”. There was also a fashion show with some random models from egg and popteen showing up such as kanako and romihi. (I’m sorry there were a lot more but I don’t remember their names… I actually don’t read gyaru magazines all too often. )

At the very end our attention was lead to the mural of shibuya 109 made with pet bottle caps. A video was shown while the MC explained an on-going project that all the gyaru-sas of Tokyo where working on. Indeed in the past, gyaru has had quite the bad reputation. Some or rather many normal japanese people may go as far to call the the scum of Japan. The image of gyaru to the normal japanese society is that of a person who has no care for their future and only wants to have fun. It would get as bad as many gyaru and gyaruo were not allowed into particular schools due to how they look no matter how smart or ambitious they are. In turn to counter this image, the D1 project booklet which includes every major gyarusa in Tokyo, had a section where every member took a purikura with a sign with their dreams written on it. Some were very joke like such as “charisma freeter” and “pokemon master” but others were quite serious such as fashion designer, hairdresser, vet etc. The mural of 109 was made from all the gyarusas banding up by cleaning the streets of shibuya on their spare time and sorting the caps by color to make this mural. The video was describing how there was so much litter in shibuya it seemed almost relentless to try to clean it up but they managed to get a few sections cleaned. By doing this project they helped raised money for scholarships for certain schools where being a gyaruo/gyaruo is ok. Kind of ironic how the average Japanese people would typically think its beneath them to clean up their streets and their “scum” of Japan are the people who are environmentally cautious.

Experiencing a real gyaru summit has given me an even clearer picture of what gyaru culture is today and where it possibly can be heading. It doesn’t seem to me to be just a group of youths dressing in a particular fashion; it seems to be something much bigger. It almost feels like to me, gyaru/gyaruo are the leading a somewhat of a youth movement. There are various reasons for me thinking this but I don’t quite feel like re-writing my college essay over again in my blog ^^;

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