Archive | February, 2010

Chubby Kawaii

28 Feb

Chubby Kawaii
7/NOV/2009 on air

Plump women should enjoy fashion more!!

Anna Umemiya’s semi nude was shocking because she’s got the flab on her belly, neverthelss she’s been a well-known model. Whitney Thompson and Beth Ditto are also well-known as a chubby cute model/singer.

Chubby cuteness is becoming popular these days in Japan, too. Especially middle aged men are likely to find chubby women beautiful. Yamamoto-san, the chief editor to STORY magazine created the word “Motepuyo” 3 years ago, meaning moteru(=popular among men) puyopuyo(=chubby). “Plump women look beautiful!” That’s why Hiraguri-san, a dokumo to the STORY magazine is not as skinny as normal fashion models.

What was so fascinating about Hiraguri-san as to be chosen as a STORY model?
Q.1-What part of her body did Yamamoto-san, the chief editor like most?
A.1-It was the waist without curve. Believe it or not, there are men who like it.

Q.2-What are the 3 major points that men think beautiful for plump women to have?
A.2-butt, upper arm and decollete
But there is a big difference between “puyo” (plump but cute) and “buyo”(fat and ugly). If one tries to keep cuteness or beauty in some ways, it’s a Motepuyo woman. She may have complex and embarrassment against certain part of her body, but when she tries to make it look better, that’s the kind of woman men like. Collarbone under decollete can be observed whether she is fat or not. So it’s good to open this part if she wants to be looked slimmer than she actually is.

Morisanchu (ๆฃฎไธ‰ไธญ) is a Japanese comedian group from 3 plump girls. They are very cute and popular. Everytime they are on TV, they get a flood of inquiries from the audience about their chubby cute fashion. Tanaka-san is a stylist who supports them. She broke 4 basic fashion rules for the chubby girls intentionally.

4 basic rules for the chubby girls to follow so they look better. (in general)
1) The chubby should not wear pastel and primary colors, because that make them look swollen.
2) The chubby should not wear striped or polka-dot pattern, because that make them look wide.
3) The chubby should not wear mini length.
4) The chubby should not wear fluffy garments.

Tanaka-san broke all these basic rules, and that’s what Morisanchu are dressed. She even launched her original brand that is especially designed for the chubby girls who want to enjoy fashion proactively. Kasumi-chan is a sales assistant to the shop. She studies what kind of coordination can make the chubby girls look cuter everyday.

2 chubby girls get advice and they are made over with Forever 21 clothing. We tend to hide ugly parts of our body more and more, but the point is to notice the good parts of our body and emphasize that part.

Japanese market have not paid attention to the chubby customers so far. This results there are no kawaii designed items for them. Now many Japanese companies such as this lingerie brand started to target these people, asking what they want to buy at a development meeting. The chubby users know what they want more than anyone!

Kirin’s opinion:
Compared with the U.S for example, Japanese stores have very limited size ranges. S(36), M(38), and L(40) only at most of the places. I’ve been wondering how the outsized people cope with this. These days there are more size ranges but they are more small sizes, such as XS, XXS or too skinny jeans which I will never even put a leg in!! ๐Ÿ˜„
In Japan I always have to consider myself fat because of too many skinny girls around. I also feel tired of the notion that skinny is the best always. I expect our society to have more values that do not stick to a single absolute way, idea, thought, goal, and etc.
What do you think?

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled “Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.

I'm back from Osaka! (sequel)

26 Feb

Continued from a previous post, I’d like to share more about my short trip to Osaka. ๐Ÿ™‚
Here’s “Mizukake Jizo” filled with moss or alga because it’s watered every time we pray.

Mizukake Jizou4

As we entered the gate…there was a line of people who came to pray.

Mizukake Jizou1

Can you see some green statues? I kinda refrained from taking photos from front of Jizo, as that attitude may look fool against God. It’s only Jizo statue but as a Japanese I somehow feel like showing some respect to it.

Mizukake Jizou2

Nice small alley that connects this small shrine and commercial area filled with drinking places.

Mizukake Jizou3

Speaking of Osaka, it’s also famous for “Owarai geinin” or comedians especially who are good at Manzai style of comedy. Many professional comedians are from Yoshimoto group in Osaka and it’s natural we can find Yoshimoto shop to purchase some popular comedians goods.

Yoshimoto shop

Osaka Takoyaki charm was kinda cute! My friend just said, “That’s because you’re from somewhere else. The locals are already bored.” She never enters Yoshimoto souvenir shop, which is just the same as I never visit Tokyo Tower since my childhood. ^ ^;

Osaka Takoyaki charm

Tsuutenkaku tower is a symbol of Osaka. It’s located in Shinsekai, which is a place for men again. There are many many Kushikatsu bars and Japanese chess or “igo” game or several analog types of game places. All these atmosphere just made me feel as if we were back 30-50? years ago. I’m afraid young women wouldn’t like this place. Most of the people were middle-old aged men and tourists.

Shinsekai game center

A fake Billiken-san statue. The genuine one is inside Tsuutenkaku tower, according to what I heard. But we didn’t go inside the tower then.

Biriken san at Shinsekai

Again this area looks…what to say…”vulgar” to be honest. The scenery is messed up with too many individual signs but that even looked delightful to a tourist like me. ๐Ÿ™‚

way to Tsuutenkaku

There was no way we didn’t try the most famous Kushikatsu at the most famous Kushikatsu bar “Daruma“!! As you can see, so many celebs have visited this bar and left autographs that are kept all over the wall above menu.

Daruma Kushikatsu bar

Original Kushikatsu for 105yen. I have no idea why they don’t open a branch bar at…such place like Shimbashi in Tokyo. Shimbashi is also a place for mid-old aged men to hang out for drink.

Original Kushikatsu

“Do not soak the Kushikatsu twice into the sauce!” This is repeatedly warned and is a basic rule that we have to follow. That means, we should not soak the Kushikatsu after we had some bites because the sauce container is to be shared with others. Cabbages were free. Kushikatsu was fine, but I found myself not very fond of this type of place. I’d prefer Tapas or Bar. To be honest, I like western foods and wine more than Japanese foods and sake. :p

1 time sauce

I like Osaka and I wonder how it’d be like if I move to live in there. People are funnier and things are cheaper. The city is very small compared with Tokyo, and so everything is so close and convenient. I could visit grandma more often. But I know I’ll miss Tokyo a lot more! The main purpose of this trip was to see my grandma, but in this public place I just share my Osaka tour with my Osaka friend who kindly spent time with me from 10am to 9pm.

I’ve visited Osaka (only my grandma’s house) so many times since my childhood because it’s a hometown to my father. But it was my first time trip to look around the city like this, thanks to my friend from Osaka. She always says that I am as funny as Osaka people. It sounded so interesting when she said that my skin (outside) is the one from Tokyo but my mind (inside) is totally the one from Osaka! Yeah, that’s possible. ๐Ÿ˜€ I found compatibility in Osaka, while many Tokyo people don’t like it. (Basically there’s a cultural difference between Tokyo and Osaka, and each people do not like others very much.)

I'm back from Osaka!

24 Feb

I’ve been away to Osaka to see my grandma for a couple of days and I came back last night. My father is originally from Osaka, although no Osaka culture or Osaka dialect were shared with me who was brought up in Tokyo area. It’s always fun to hang around non-familiar places whether it’s inside or outside Japan. Again I find I like travelling!!

1st day -with local friend-

Osaka subway

Osaka subway~. If you’ve ever come to Osaka, you remember this. Compared with Tokyo subway, it’s very small and less complicated with less people. But I always felt that the ceilings, because they are not very high, somewhat gave me the feeling of pressure, nevertheless I am very short. I don’t think there should be much difference between the ones in Tokyo. I have no idea where that feeling came from.

Kani Dohraku

Kanidouraku! One of the most popular Doutonbori photo~.

Kuidaore doll

Kuidaore doll was there, even though the Kuidaore restaurant has been closed for a while.

Glico

These are all familiar symbols in Dotonbori. Especially the Kuidaore doll character with red and white bordered outfit is still popular even after Kuidaore restaurant was closed some time ago. I understand that. Osaka people would not want the restaurant go. People still love Kuidaore, and that’s why they keep the character left.

Ootako

My friend took me to the Ootako Takoyaki stand that is famous for its big lump of octopus inside Takoyaki.

Ootako 6 pcs for 300 yen

You don’t know Takoyaki? Here it is. A light snack with small pieces of octopus inside the dumplings with sauce and dried bonito flakes over them. I don’t eat Takoyaki usually because I don’t know what else I should eat it with. Only Takoyaki for meal is too little but with rice or noodle, it looks like too much carbohydrate…

Anyhow this day we had another carbohydrate after Takoyaki, that was Ramen at Kinryu. It was not too oily, not too heavy, and was good with some kimchi.

Kinryu Ramen

The atmosphere of the restaurant was…what to say? It was designed for men. What I miss in Osaka is nice cafe or restaurant with good atmosphere. The ramen is only 600 yen with a couple of Chinese-style barbecued pork, free kimchi and steamed rice as much as we want. No wonder men like it!

Interior was a bit odd but fun to explore. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kinryu Ramen inside store

…to be continued to the next post. Stay tuned!

Most popular singers in Japan now (Feb. 2010)

21 Feb

As per the request from Leasy, one of my blog reader, let me sum up the most popular singers in Japan these days. This kind of ranking always changes, and this may differ next month.

No.1 KAT-TUN
“Love Yourself -ๅ›ใŒๅซŒใ„ใชๅ›ใŒๅฅฝใ- (kimi ga kirai na kimi ga suki)”

No.2 Nana Mizuki
“Silent Bible”

No.3 Pornograffitti
“็žณใฎๅฅฅใ‚’ใฎใžใ‹ใ›ใฆ(hitomi no oku wo nozokasete)”

Information source is ORICON. I skip a fad song on purpose. I’ve gotta go now…I’m leaving for Osaka to see my grandma! I’ll share with you my trip to Osaka when I’m back. Your comments or emails maybe read after that. (^ ^)/~~

kawaii items from 100 yen shop

19 Feb

While ago I wrote a post about 100 yen shop, where I was supposed to share these photos but I was forgetting. :p

Cute sponge x 3 set for washing dishes.

cute sponge

Cute picks for bento (lunch box)
These cute animal picks will make your bento look colorful, yummy and cute!

cute picks

Cute sauce containers for bento. If you combine these with above picks…that’ll be cuter! ๐Ÿ˜„

mini container

Hello Kitty clips for big and small plastic bags.
If you are fan of Hello Kitty, you’d love them for only 100yen!

kitty clip

Cute stamps at work?
I don’t know when we will have a chance to use things like this, but 3 kinds of stamp come together for 100yen.

stamp-2

Colorful inks at the bottom also look nice!

stamp-1

These kawaii items are available at DAISO in Japan, and they are for 100yen, of course! (^w^)

Rich Chinese shoppers in Japan

17 Feb

It’s Chinese New Year.
We have imported various elements of Chinese culture to Japan in our long history, but as for Chinese New Year, we don’t have a custom to celebrate it.
However it’s a big chance for the businesses that attract rich Chinese people.
Many Chinese and Taiwanese travel to Japan in this holiday season.

I wonder how it’d be like to shop whatever I want! ๐Ÿ˜„
They bring enough money to shop and play around Tokyo.
They like to stay at a luxurious room @57,000 per night from which Tokyo Tower can be observed close by. They are interested in clothing, cosmetics, electric appliances, and so on.

Their main purpose of visiting Japan is shopping, shopping, and shopping!! Onsen (hot spring), Tokyo Disney Land, skiing, meals follow but shopping is by far the best of all! Especially young people in their 20’s called 80ๅพŒ๏ผˆbaling hou) , who were born after 1980, raised under one-child policy are the most active consumers in China now.

Shiseido at Ginza Mitsukoshi set up their booth and prepare translators and Chinese staff from Shanghai Shiseido. The Chinese customers buy so many that they negotiate if they can have nice freebies instead of haggling to get the price down.

A woman buys 2 x Rolex watches as souvenir! The total cost will be around 800,000 yen (USD8000) Japanese rice cookers are very popular. Unlike Chinese ones, Japanese rice cookers have various settings (eg. soft steamed rice setting for the elder to choose). Each costs over 40,000 yen (USD 400) but Chinese tourists buy 2 or 3 of it at a time including souvenirs.

SWIMMER, cute zakka store

15 Feb

โ˜…cute zakkaโ˜…
SWIMMER
various places in Japan

I know it’s too childish if I say that I still like small goods from SWIMMER. Most of the shoppers at SWIMMER are teens, early 20s, and moms with small kids. But I like SWIMMER since I was a teenager. I used to wear pajamas from SWIMMER and I still carry my makeup bag from it. There always two types of myself inside me. One says she likes something suitable for a big girl, while the other one says she still likes something sweet and kawaii! But I never fails to check out the store whenever I find it in a mall. ๐Ÿ˜„

You can find a SWIMMER store at Laforet Harajuku, too. But actually SWIMMER stores are located at several places in Japan.

Sorry for my poor photos. (>_<;)

swimmer 1
swimmer 3
swimmer 2