Pre-fame videos of pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu reveal she once looked like an ordinary teenager

So let’s say you’re a high school girl growing up in Tokyo, the undisputed mecca of fashion and pop music in Japan. You want to break into the industry, but what can you do to make yourself stand out from all the other teens with the same ambitions, especially if you’ve got a fairly pedestrian name like Kiriko Takemura?

Simple: you slip on an outfit that’s as colorful as it is outlandish, adopt the stage name Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and bask in the adoration of fans both in Japan and abroad.

Of course, this didn’t happen overnight. Kyary’s success is the result of several years spent developing her persona and image, as we can see in a pair of pre-fame videos showing her as a high-schooler still at the midpoint of her path to stardom.

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Intergenerational fashion show celebrates the beauty of ages

Grandchildren’s Day (Mago no Hi) was on 20 October this year, and is a date when grandparents may officially shower gifts upon their children’s children. However, you can’t have grandkids without grandparents, so a unique fashion event was held two days prior, bringing together models from both these generations, and aimed to celebrate and bring out the beauty in their relationship.

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Foreign visitors pick the 20 coolest places in Japan

The users of travel website Trip Advisor recently ranked Japan’s best free sightseeing spots. Of course, if you’re visiting Japan from abroad and in a position to spring for airfare, odds are you’re not so strapped for cash you can’t afford to spend a little bit to enjoy yourself, since you came all the way here.

With that in mind, the site has now compiled the 20 coolest places in Japan, as chosen by overseas visitors, regardless of whether or not they charge admission.

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Keep warm and confuse your cat this winter with this wearable feline blanket

We’re so jealous of cats. They get virtually all of the attention on the Internet, they’re allowed to lounge around convenience stores day and night like they own the place, drinking cat wine, and generally being doted on.

Finally, though, Japan’s obsession with cats and cat paraphernalia is making it possible for us to become the cat. Behold, the hooded cat blanket from online retailer Felissimo.

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High-fashion photos of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure characters featured at Shisedo event

Currently underway at the new Shisedo Ginza Building in Tokyo is the Japan Original Beauty event which features a live talk with beauty professional Tadashi Harada. Harada, who works with Shisedo as one of their “Top Beauty Specialists” was the genius behind a series of portraits with models depicting characters from Hirohiko Araki’s manga masterpiece JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

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New denim hot pants for men the talk of Japan, make us feel mildly ill

What you see before you, dear reader, is a pair of original “Super Gokusen” denim hot pants from Japan-based online underwear retailer Shirohato. While we’re sure few of you, internet savvy and worldly-wise as you are, would ever be shocked to see a young lady wearing a pair of these tiny pants while, say, soaping up a sports car in one of your Dad’s old Playboys, or standing alongside a product in a cheesy ad on TV, we very much doubt that many would have dreamed that these undies are, in fact, meant to be worn by men.

Take a big, deep breath and click the link for more.

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Autumn style: Hair and cargo netting together at last!

Tired of the same old hairstyles? Twin tails just not rocking your socks any more? Well how about hairdo that could also be used as a weapon or a means of catching your next meal?

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Japanese fashion model proposes violent punishment for people who smoke while walking

Japan has a number of etiquette rules that might not be readily apparent to people from overseas, such removing your shoes before entering the locker room at the gym, or not wiping your face with the towel you’re given upon being seated in a restaurant.

Recently fashion model Nanao updated her blog with a post expounding the problem with another Japanese societal no-no: smoking while walking.

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Fashion takes a tip from the dog park, leaves Japanese Tweeters baffled

Fashion can be…confusing at times. Especially for those of us whose wardrobe consists of a black T-shirt and a white T-shirt, in case a fancy event comes up.

But there’s no denying that fashion, as an art form, takes its inspiration from the world around us. While not every design will become a permanent fixture or even necessarily work really well, we have to respect the creativity and thought that goes into making fashionable clothes. Though maybe this particular concept should have stayed on the drawing board…or in the dog park!

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Foreigners in Japan must grow accustomed to distinctive Japanese designs

When raised within relatively homogenous culture like Japan, one rarely ever considers how their everyday surroundings might seem strange to someone from another country. And I don’t just mean the historical landmarks and traditional clothing. I’m talking about items encountered in everyday life like home toilets, product packaging and cell phones. Japan’s culture has shaped the designs of these various places and products in ways that most Japanese people would never think to realize are different from their foreign counterparts.

Hoping to shine light on a few of those surprising little differences, My Navi News recently conducted a survey asking 20 foreigners living in Japan which things they considered to be of a “totally different design” when comparing Japan to their home country. Here’s what a handful of the respondents had to say.

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Fashion for the young at heart! A different take on what it means to get older in Japan

We’ve no doubt all seen some horrendous fashion crimes out on the streets before now, perpetrated by people of all ages, but older people in particular seem to get a bad rap when it comes to dressing themselves for the times, with endless jokes made about things like mom jeans, grannie panties and middle-aged men in sandals and socks.

The creators of the Japanese fashion blog L’idéal, however, decided that it was time to take a stand and right the wrongs unintentionally done to the country’s elderly. Showcasing some of the coolest and most beautifully dressed older Japanese women we’ve ever seen, L’idéal challenges stereotypes and hopes to change our outlook on this estranged generation.

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Meet the dry cleaner they call “god”

There’s a so much talk over the level of customer service in Japan that you’d expect the locals to become desensitized to it before long. But every once in a while, a business raises the bar so much that even Japanese people can’t believe it.

One such business can be found in the posh Azabu-Juban area of Tokyo: a dry cleaner called Rejouir that is the one place that will take a paint-stained Hermes coat when no one else would dare try. One after another, customers including boutiques and other cleaners walk away satisfied. To those people, Rejouir’s president Takeshi Furuta is often referred to as “Kami” (god).

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Lingerie manufacturer reveals size of Japan’s breasts, we reveal how to talk about them

So let’s talk about breasts. From a statistical and linguistic standpoint, of course.

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Posted by Is Japan Cool?

I’m dreaming of Kitty: One fashion designer’s love of Japan’s most famous feline

Romi Mizukami, a fashion designer for popular Japanese clothing brand BEAMS, is without a doubt one of Japan’s biggest Hello Kitty fans, or rather “Kittylers.” Her home is a veritable shrine to the little kitty that could, with blacks, whites, and reds as far as the eye can see, and for the past few years she has slowly incorporated the uniquely kawaii Hello Kitty style into not just her design work but her very own wardrobe.

Come on in and meet the real-life Kitty-chan!

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The three most unattractive women’s hairstyles (according to Japanese men)

There’s nothing worse than a bad haircut, especially if you are a girl. If you dare to cut your hair short and the results are more Miley Cyrus than Emma Watson, it’s going to be a rough couple of months of hat wearing. But what happens when you step out of the salon feeling amazing, only to find that your boyfriend hates your new ‘do? If you’re living in Japan, get your notepads ready! According to a survey conducted by Niconico News, the following are the top three least attractive haircuts for women, as chosen by men in Japan.

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Japan and the rise of the male parasol: They’re not just for Lolitas anymore!

Foreigners visiting Japan for the first time might be taken aback by how widespread the use of umbrellas is. Sure, during rain storms umbrellas make sense, but even during pleasantly sunny days you’re likely to see enough women putting up parasols to make you think the Bauhaus were in town.

Even this is understandable as “the Land of the Rising Sun” is not just another pretty name. In the middle of summer the often cloudless skies leave us at the mercy of the sun’s unrelenting rays. Combined with a lack of trees in many urban areas there’s simply no escape. And with pale skin traditionally considered to be a sign of beauty and elegance, it’s no wonder so many women still carry a parasol, but it would seem that the heat is getting so bad these days that men, too, are bit by bit turning to a once exclusively feminine accessory for relief and protection.

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Japanese women weigh in on whether or not guys should wear shorts

While there are several clever techniques for staying cool during Japan’s sticky summer, you really can’t overlook the simple tactic of just wearing less clothing. Going shirtless is one option, but unfortunately that pretty much restricts your entertainment options to swimming, boxing, and the two-for-one choice of shark fighting.

On the other hand, shorts and a shirt provide much more social leeway. As with all choices men make, though, it’s imperative to consider the question, “Will women think I look good?” A recent survey asked women to give their opinions on guys showing some leg.

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Sailor Pluto muscles in on Sailor Moon’s slice of the high-end anime accessory market

Producers of the upcoming reboot of classic anime franchise Sailor Moon have been frustratingly tight-lipped with fans. Originally set to premier this summer, its premiere has now been pushed back to winter, and to date, not a single piece of art from the new series has been released.

Merchandising giant Bandai, on the other hand, has been putting out a steady string of new goodies for Sailor Moon fans as part of the series’ 20th anniversary. New Sailor Moon-themed accessories were released in June and July, and the company has now made it three months in a row with two new necklaces plus a new pair of earrings that went on sale this month.

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Giant robot design from Mobile Suit Gundam transformed into the manliest of man bags

One of the first major adjustments I had to make after moving to Japan was making a habit of carrying a bag with me whenever I go out. Having grown up in L.A., it took me a while to overcome the notion that bags were strictly for students and people with a double set of X chromosomes, but eventually I saw the light. If you live in an urban area of Japan, you’re reliant on public transportation. Without a car and a trunk to haul stuff in, a bag is really the only way to carry anything you can’t fit in your pocket but don’t want to hold in your hand all day.

Of course, my resistance might have broken down a lot quicker if I’d known about the upcoming man bag that makes you look like a giant robot.

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Hello Kitty goods so cute you can stick ’em in your eyez!

According to people who know these kinds of things, Hello Kitty is so cute that it wouldn’t even hurt if she fell into your eye.

We’re not entirely sure where reality ends and metaphor begins with that sentence, but Fall in Eyez, a color contact lenses company, has decided to find out with their new Hello Kitty contact lenses!

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