Archive | September, 2009

Hair salon models and cool hair dressers

12 Sep

(Hair) Salon-kei Prince

Beni-chan is playing with iStylist Makeover. As many as 300 latest hairstyles on “My Best Hair” a hair style magazine,
are also available on “Hair St“.

What’s Harajuku hair salon style?
Did you know hair dressers working at hair salons in Harajuku are so fashionable? Chokichoki is a fashion magazine especially focusing on hair styles and salon-kei models. (Fahionable outfit and coordination that hair dressers enjoy.) In fact, models are only hair dressers who work at hair salons in Harajuku.

Yuuya Nara, an art director and a creative stylist of SHIMA is a fashion icon. He is not just a hair stylist but is very popular everywhere! He enjoys combination of high-class fashion and cheap outfit. The clothing he once got dressed with are so popular that they are sold for double or triple priced at online auction. He is called Nara-sama, not even Nara-san, as “-sama” is used to show more respect!

His fan is everywhere in Japan, they come to his hair salon only because they want to see him. With Nara-sama in the lead, other hair dressers who work for SHIMA are all fashionable. The company offers extra bonus for clothing to wear when they work. JALOUSE, a French fashion magazine has also once featured Nara-sama.

Hair stylists and salon models are 2 major most important icons that determine whether the hair salon gets popular or not. There are many hair stylists in Harajuku streets who are trying to hunt salon models from common people just walking around. ZEST for example, places a high priority on “Modehan” or model hunting. The employees can get extra bonus or holiday if they can catch good models by hunting.
Why is it so important? Because models are common people, they are free models. Only the skills of how the hair stylist can change a common girl to a model looking girl is the key, and money is not the problem here. Once they did that, more and more new customers will come, attracted by these salon models. More and more job may be offered because the models are cute. The models could be a good advertisements that do not need much money!

1/3 of items of the movie, Confessions Of A Shopaholic were purchased in Japan,
and by Patricia Field. She likes Japanese kawaii things.

There is a Japanese hair stylist Mayumi, who works for Patricia. She came to New York at the age of 23. Patricia liked her wearing lolita clothing then, and then she started working for Patricia at her store. Mayumi’s other customers are musicians, artists, and famous celebrities in NYC.
It’s also she that takes care of Patricia’s pink hair. Mayumi also advises Patricia the latest Shibuya – Harajuku fashion.
She says especially Gyaru fashion (such as in egg, popteen, scawaii, ageha) in Tokyo is interesting. Patricia also likes to read Japanese fashion magazines with Mayumi, and she keeps the pages she liked.

Salon models are getting popular. Salon model cafe has 3/4 waiters or waitresses of salon models. People come to the cafe to eat, shake hands and take photos with salon models. “I thought there’s a business opportunity, as salon models are getting so popular,” says the owner of the cafe.

Suzuki sisters are popular salon models who work for 5 hair salons as cut models. Kimiji is a model to Chokichoki magazine. One of his big fan is a university student who dresses exactly like him. “I just want enjoy fashion now before I start working, because that’s when I have to get dressed with business suit everyday.”

Kirin’s opinion

One time in Shibuya, when I was growing my hair, the hair dresser asked me if I was interested in short hair. I declined this offer. The other time was in Harajuku, I was asked if I liked to change my hair color and try short permed hair. But that was very before I went to my hair salon. So I declined this offer, too. I’d love to be a sample girl if I have a chance, but somehow I am missing the opportunities…:p


Amazing rejuvenation and ageless beauty

9 Sep

Women will want to stay beautiful and young, even if we get aged.
It has been natural for celebrities to remain good looking and beauty because that’s part of their job and that’s what audience expect. Then how about us, common folks? Should we give it up as we get old?


Many Japanese women spend great efforts and good amount of time for their beauty, as well as fashion. I think sometimes that’s too much for me to catch up with, but I do respect these people on the show.

There is a TV program “Majo tachi no 22 ji (魔女たちの22時)“= 22:00 (10pm) of witches. Oh, they are not talking about witch hunting. There are amazing 50 over aged Japanese women who look like 30 something, and the number is increasing! It is as if they spelled themselves to rejuvenate. That’s where “witch” is from. You may think they had botox injections or cosmetic surgery, but no, they didn’t. They have become how they are by natural ways, without spending much money. This means we can be like them?!

The show is a little bit vulgar but funny, which is not exactly suited with my blog culture, but hope you enjoy it. 🙂

This is a sample video from Youtube, and this woman enlarged the breasts from A size to H from 35-year-old up until now. She still keeps doing the exercise everyday to maintain chest muscles and to move extra fat from upper arms to the breasts, from belly to the breasts. It’s unbelievable, but that’s the way she changed herself. It doesn’t take much time, or any cost, but only small effort and image training everyday is the key. (I know it’s not easy to keep motivation…)How old do you think this woman is? She is 60. (@_@!!)

Another one. When she was 49 y.o, she lied to her boyfriend that she was 34, and he didn’t doubt it until he finally found it when they got married. (It’s a problem that most of Japanese men like younger aged women, almost without exceptions! x_x ) Anyway, She looks that young! She is now 51 years old.

*Disclaimer: The photo is quoted from MSN Japan

I don’t think age matters any longer now that people can stay like this with everyday efforts and strong will. Money is not also a big problem here. I admire their passion, strong will and consistent efforts to keep beauty and youth. On the other hand I appreciate age-appropriateness, too.

What do you think? How the things are in your country?
I just want to stay kawaii in any ways even if I get old. :p

popular names and unique names in Japan

7 Sep

Japanese first names use to be easier to read from Kanji, because they were true to the Kanji given to the names. We could pronounce them correctly when we just read the Kanji given to the names.

But how about today?
Let’s take a look at most popular names in 2008.
*Disclaimer: The chart is quoted from this page of Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company.

I can see these names were not familiar when I was a kid. When I was a child, most of the names for girl were supposed to end with -ko, such as “Akiko” “Yuuko” “Minako” “Noriko” “Yukiko” “Ayako”… but nowadays -ko is not popular at all.
In Spanish speaking countries, sometimes -ko ending Japanese girl’s names sound weird because they look like boy’s. They’d ask why Akiko instead of Akika? Yuuko instead of Yuuka, since ending -a means feminine noun while -o ending means masculine noun.

To be honest, when I just look at the above chart, there are some that I cannot 100% sure for how to pronounce from the given Kanji.
I could guess, but I am not for sure. Japanese names have become more complicated in reading from Kanji, but they have become easier to be pronounced. Look at the next chart for Katakana pronunciation.

*Disclaimer: The chart is quoted from this page of Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company.

If you can read Katakana, you’ll see how they are to be sounded. Just in case for those who don’t read Katakana, I can tell you as below.
For boy, from top 1-10, Yuuto, Haruto, Yuuki, Souta, Kouki, Haruki, Riku, Yuuta, Hiroto, Syouta. For girl, from top 1-10, Yui, Miyu, Mei, Mio, Yuna, Hina, Aoi, Rio, Momoka, Sakura, Honoka, Yuuna. Hummm, some of them sound like foreign names…(@_@)
Personally I like these names a lot better than the familiar names from my childhood that ends with -ko. As for boy’s names I can see they are much different from my childhood, too. But you may prefer more Japanese-like names?

Now how about dog’s names? I named my dog “Pino” (or call her Pi-chan), which is not familiar at all, then what’s popular in Japan? Let’s take a look at the next chart from Anicom Insurance Inc. From left to right, total (mixed analytics), boy’s and girl’s.
*Disclaimer: The chart is quoted from this page of Anicom Insurance Inc.

Again, if you can read Katakana, you know how they’d sound. For boys, Choco, Maron, Sora, Leo, Kotarou, Leon, Kukkii, Kuu, Riku, Koko. For girls, Momo, Choco, Hana, Koko, Sakura, Maron, Nana, Rin, Moko, Miruku. …They are pretty similar between boys and girls, and some names can even used for human.
How did you like that? It might be interesting to name Japanese ones to your baby or to your dog if you really look for something unique.

I'm back from Sydney!

4 Sep
sydney-opera-house I’m back from my short trip to Sydney. It was only 3 nights in Sydney and 2 nights on the flights. (It’s that short because it was only USD400 deal.) But this trip meant me something.

It was November, 1999 that I was in Sydney last time. I entered Australia with working holiday visa 10 years ago from now. At that time I was busy looking for a room to live in. Accommodation and rooms for share were full of people who tried to spend millennium in Sydney. I made a call day after day to ask any vacancy of the room for share, and visited one by one to have an interview with the advertiser or the owner of the room. Even after I found a room to live in, I started working and I rarely had any chances to hang around the places like tourists would visit.

This time I visited the places like the Rocks, Opera House, Darling Harbour, Brue Mountains National Park, Bondi beach and nice restaurants for dinner. That was something I couldn’t do 10 years ago. Now I wonder why I didn’t try to enjoy my life in Sydney at all then. I had a lot better and more wonderful experiences since I left Sydney, because I changed my purpose of working holiday from “working” to “holiday” when I left Sydney. From Melbourne to Perth, to Darwin, to Cairns, I kept travelling. And this experience has become something unforgettable in my life, and maybe that’s why Australia is one of the countries I feel like living. I think I’m in love with this country!

But Sydney, only Sydney had left me a sort of bitter memory until this trip. Without such a tempting deal, as only USD400 for everything, I’d never thought of visiting back Sydney again. Because I’d prefer Perth or Melbourne a lot. But thanks to this great offer, my bitter experiences at Sydney have gone and is replaced by happy ones!

It was really strange but I felt as if I were back in 10 years ago. It was like I came back to the time I left Sydney 10 years ago. I felt as if I’d been living there, and will be living there. I could sense that some buildings have changed, but I could walk the city without a map. My phone card from last time expired and oversized for current system as well as the prepaid mobile phone. People all said, “wow, it’s from 10 year ago?” It was funny like a movie, as if I made a time slip from 10 years ago.


One more surprise. Thanks to this blog, I had no difficulties in English while I stayed there. In Japan, life can be spent almost 100% in Japanese. That means, if we don’t try to make the situation particularly surrounded by English speaking environment, we are forgetting it day by day. But as I keep this blog in English, my days in Sydney was sort of extension from this blog.

I have however found difference from 10 years ago. Prices rose. Things could be more expensive than they are in Japan. I’m not talking about the weakness of Yen, as it’s still better than some time ago. Prices on menu and price tags look apparently different from what I saw in 10 years ago.

One more thing. People. I wonder if there were so many Asian people last time. Many of the people I talked to at the restaurants, hotels, stores, and streets were Asian. (They maybe Asian-looking Aussie, though) I guess they now have more immigrants and international students or workers.

Time had soon come that I had to go back to Japan. I didn’t want to leave Sydney. It used to be a place of NO LUCK to me, but now, I think I loved the city! People were really kind and nice. There were many places to rest in the city, which is what we miss in Tokyo. Tokyo is full of people, buildings, signs and ads. I’d even feel as if I lived in rubbish or garbage and noise.

There was no extra time for me to look for something kawaii out there, but speaking of kawaii, Tokyo would be far better! I have come back to the reality of busy Tokyo life, but I may think back the slow and relaxed Australian cities when I’m messed up with jam-packed life in Tokyo.

Travelling really means something to me. It gives me some new perspectives that I can never attain from a daily life in Tokyo.
I definitely have been too busy and too realistic. I was the one who was too jam-packed!! (LOL)
How about you? Did travelling give you insightful questions to yourself and you realize something from them?