Fashionable Japanese Kids

22 Jul

Fashionable Japanese Kids: What’s JK, JC, and JS?
21/NOV/2009 on air

School kids from jr. high scholl and even elementary school are now acting like high school girls?

JK…Joshi Kousei (女子高生)= high school girls (age 16-18)
JC…Joshi Chugakusei (女子中学生)= jr.high school girls (age 13-15)
JS…Joshi Shougakusei (女子小学生)= elementary school girls (age 5-12)

Nakako (仲仔)…close friends (This is a coined word only used by elementary and junior high schoolers.)

Don’t ignore these early teenage girls, the 4 fashion magazines that target them sell 700,000 copies in total. There are so many JC who want to be a fashion model to those magazines. They even wear makeup after school.

Even elementary school girls (JS) are so fashionable nowadays they have cute stationery and even makeup tools to carry to the school everyday! Isn’t it too young for the elementary school girls to start having deco nails, skin care, makeup, and modeling just like the adults do?

Let’s look at characteristic of jr. high school girl (JC) models.
Sukuba mori(=putting overloaded toys and accessories on the school bag.)
-Seiare (=arranging school uniform as they like)
They have cute stationeries and makeup goods but they don’t even carry text books. They leave them at school and do not study at home.

Takashita dori (Takeshita street, Harajuku) is one of the most popular places for the jr. high schoolers in Japan to visit for the school trip.
There are many shops on the Takeshita st. that target these kids. They like to wear the same item among close friends, which is called Nakako item or Nakako fashion.

Asahi-chan, a popular JC model who even works as a fashion designer, shares 3 best spots for JC or JS on Takeshita st.
Pink Latte…The most expensive clothes in the store is priced 5000 something yen, which is affordable to JC. (I’m even double JC aged but I still enjoy browsing or shopping at the shop myself!)
ParisKid’s…Cheap kawaii accessories for JC. They can get grownup looking accessory at 315yen.
-Purikuraya P-kan…There is a wonderful Purikura machine that has functions of changing hair colors and eye colors, or adding false lashes and makeup on the photo. With a set of false lashes as a free gift, all these experiences are for only 400yen! There’s no wonder this Purikura has become so popular!!

Sunhoseki‘s price is crazily cheap. It’s originally a jewelry company but they changed their way. 10 female designers design these cheap accessories. One of them spent 9 hours at Harajuku to think of 100 new accessory ideas in a day.

Lovetoxic is an apparel maker targeting teenagers. They use JC (jr. high school girls) as stylist that coordinate for the dummy and reduce the price of their clothes.

JC love charaben or decoben and it’s their moms that make bento for them.
There are many nice tools to help make charaben and decoben.

Takizawa-san, one of the most well-known charaben proficients who’s especially good at decorating boiled egg. She was even featured on the “Face Food Book” published in the U.S.A.
She soaks a boiled egg into Mentsuyu (seasoning soy sauce) with curry powder in, to put a skin color on the egg.
She even tries to express eyelashes by using laver, lips that have lip gloss on by using some ketchup, and to paste laver she uses mayo.

Washizawa-san is not making cakes. Instead of using egg and whip cream, she uses mashed potatoes, because her daughter is atopic. To make it colorful, she mixes it with colorful ingredients such as curry powder, purple colored potato, spinach, or ketchup.

Higure-san is a proficient of portrait bento. She has won the grand prize at the biggest charaben contest in Japan. She usually starts studying the pictures of the model of the portrait 2 weeks ahead of the contest.

Maria-chan is a top JS dokumo (a model to the fashion magazine that was selected from the subscribers of the magazine). She has been to nail salons since she was 2nd grader of elementary school (6 or 7 years old). She wants to be a fashion model.

Mia-chan, 4th grader of elementary school (9 or 10 years old), has been training to dance and sing because she wants to be a singer. Her mom is a single mother who tries to save money by doing Mia’s hair and sharing clothes with her.

JS, JC and Sugawara-san, the popular charaben artist whose charaben blog has over 100,000 page views per day and whose book is selling more than 50,000 copies, are the jury of the small decobento contest held by Tokyo Kawaii TV.

Washizawa-san’s fake cake bento beaten Takizawa-san’s deco boiled egg bento and Higure-san’s Mr.Ikki bento.

Kirin’s opinion:
It’s totally free for anyone to do anything, but I basically disagree with JS(elementary school girls) becoming too fashionable.
I think there are a lot more important things for the kids at this age to learn or do than spending time and effort on fashion or shopping. It’s not good to spend too much time to shop kawaii, dress kawaii and do makeup or nails. They are supposed to play with the similar aged kids, learn very basic rules of the society, how to communicate properly with other people, sports, art, music and anything besides school studies that enrich their personal character throughout their life. Of course I’d encourage them to enjoy having something kawaii for fun, but this is way too extreme and I’d even feel it very weird small kids are into makeup and skin care just like adults do.

Also, most of the kids do not work at this age, but the magazines are too stimulating to ignore. They will end up with asking their parents to buy clothes, makeup gadgets, nail goods, and etc. Parents to the elementary school kids should not spend money for such things but for great books or music and opportunities for the kids to learn something such as piano, calligraphy, golf, foreign language, and something that is left to them throughout their life.

What do you think?

Disclaimer: Tokyo Kawaii TV is a TV program owned and broadcasted by NHK Japan, and has nothing to do with this blog.

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled “Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.
***If you want to know the music that was used in the episode, please refer to this page and help yourself to find it by selecting the date when the episode was on air in Japan.

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27 Responses to “Fashionable Japanese Kids”

  1. Emily July 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Wow! Looks like little girls wanting to grow up too soon is an epidemic everywhere! I didn't start wearing make up until I was in my 11th grade year in high school! It's ok to have some kawaii things for fun but I think little girls should read books and build their character and intelligence to benefit their future.

    Cheers for the post 😀

    PS: I have a picture of Pi Chan on my phone with a haircut and show it off to everyone! They think she's so cute!! It cheers me up 😀

    • kirin July 23, 2010 at 1:53 am #

      Thank you for having Pi-chan picture yourself and share it with your friends! 🙂 I'm so happy Pi-chan cheers you up even while she is sleeping here! lol Someone asked me if I was not interested in making her a dog model and I started to think about the opportunity. But it's too many small dogs in Japan and it may not be easy to compete with them. I may check out foreign dog magazines, too. :p

  2. Maria July 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I agree with you that JS is too young to be into fashion or make up. I think my dad would have gotten very angry and mom would have been sad/horrified if I had used make up or tank tops at such a young age. I'm old fashioned so I think that even JC are too young to wear sexy clothes and full face make up. Mascara and tank tops might be ok but not short skirts and such.
    I also think that I'll never have a lot of money in my life so..I'd probably tell my kids that we can't afford to buy expensive stuff for them. That way force them to be into other things than just fashion. Maybe they could learn how to make clothes and cute stuff 🙂

    • kirin July 23, 2010 at 1:58 am #

      Yeah, even JC are too young for makeup.
      Actually I think it's a lot better to try to create something kawaii by themselves, no matter how much money they can afford or not. 😉

    • Mary July 23, 2010 at 4:40 am #

      Yea, I agree too, I think it's too extreme. Spending such amount of money for makeup at a young age like them.

      • kirin July 23, 2010 at 11:54 am #

        Thank you Mary, for joining the conversation. It's like I was not the only one who disagree with this.

  3. exotic_japan July 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    the marketing monster, grrrrrr

  4. Matt Sheffield July 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Thank you for the post.

    If I could add anything it would be to say that this isn't just a problem in Japan, it happens all over the world even if the effects are different. The same things happen in every case: Society says, "if you do this/wear this/listen to this, you will be a grown up" and the implication is that if you don't do those things you are still a 'child'. When I was young being a child was a normal thing I didn't mind being called a child because I was one, but now the word 'child' implies something negative, and pressure is put on children to stop being children too early……etc etc.

    The magazines then, are a perfect example of this. Even if they don't explicitly state it the implication is that "If you don't dress like this, you're still a child" and when societies start forcing children to become adults, those children miss out on development and skills that will be far more important in later life than simply your appearence.

    There is much discussion about this on the internet and in academic circles so I know I've not said anything new (I've only paraphrased the main arguments) but I guess my point is that it is important we remember these magazines are not the cause of the problems but they 'pour fuel on the fire' and don't help the situation.

    Still, interesting reading 😀

    • kirin July 23, 2010 at 2:10 am #

      Thank you for sharing your knowledge. It sounds like kids are under pressure against being childish. 😦 While adults are trying to make money from this niche. It's a problem. That's why there are a lot more childish adults nowadays who lack in common sense and courtesy. They are more likely to get upset so easily and commit the crime and even kill baby, animal, people without thinking much.

      I have been wondering why nowadays people are low quality. In Japan, people used to be so nice each other but look what happens today. Convenience store burglary by 20s, for example, is like everyday news in Japan. I mean it. (T_T)

      Thank you for your comment!

  5. Cath July 23, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    Just read through your translation. I'm disturbed and hope that the larger society will put a stop to this instead. But thanks for sharing… I feel it's really important for me to know, so that my husband and I can be praying for your country. *hugs*

    • kirin July 23, 2010 at 11:56 am #

      How nice…I'm not religious but how much my heart is warmed whenever you say you pray for someone else. It's so beautiful and I like that. Thank you ❤ *hugs* 🙂

  6. Tinny July 25, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    While I am not happy that young kids start wearing makeup and overly sexy clothing, I have to say that all this looks still very innocent to me. At least it is only clothes and makeup and not drinking and smoking which were the things that "made you a grown up" when I was a teenager…

    And the other side of the clothes and makeup is that the adult who sees a 10-year-old in lipstick and a tank top as a sexual being/object needs to do some serious thinking about their own attitudes.

    Every time this phenomenon is discussed, especially the part about children dressing like adults, I am reminded of the fact that children dressing unlike adults is actually the newer thing. Up until the 1940's at least, there was no separate fashion for teens, they wore adult clothing, maybe just in different colours. If we go further back, all children (at least in Europe) wore miniature versions of adult clothing… Even the fashion history really does seem to go around in a cycle.

  7. marron July 25, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    well this is awkward. I am technically considered a JC then? I do agree on the JS being a little strange tho.

  8. Sharon July 26, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    i feel that parents (housewives) are really treating their children way too good…in some ways it is positive but could be pampering children too much..
    and children shouldnt worry about skincare/ facial etc unless they have really bad skin….cause children have the best skin ever. putting too much products might irritate the skin too…i used alot of masks that didnt suit my skin in the past and had breakout that took ages to recover.
    also i feel that its really cool that mothers spend too much time on making cute bentos for their children, which makes me jealous, cause there is no bento tradition here in singapore & well, if i want to have one i will have to make it myself…which i find it tedious to do that amount of work&time in order to just have a cute bento and you cant keep that thing it will be gone when you finish it !!!

    ah and that puricura machine is WOW, seriously. its so cool.

    my real feelings? i am super jealous of all those stuffs you can have in japan.

    • kirin July 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

      I totally agree with that children have the best skin ever!
      ^_^ It's interesting though to hear that these things we have in Japan made you jealous. Are they so good to you? To me, bento is tiresome. I would never be a mom who cooks bento for kids, even if I had kids. It's nothing but a headache if I had to make bento like that every morning…besides all the other kind of works.

      • Sharon July 28, 2010 at 5:11 am #

        haha yes, i wish that i am a citizen there %$#@! and japan is really cool, but school bullying seems serious in there.
        i ll sometimes hop onto http://justbento.com/ for some cool ideas !(:

      • kirin July 29, 2010 at 1:31 am #

        That looks like a great website for those who love to make nice bento! Thanks for sharing~~Maybe I should put the link to the Japanese foods page for anyone else to see. 🙂

  9. kyyxarrrg July 31, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    lo unico que no entiendo de la moda japonesa son los dientes yaeba 😄 y uno aquí haciendo lo posible
    por tenerlos derechos 😄

    • kirin July 31, 2010 at 1:58 am #

      Los dientes yaeba estan no la moda japonesas. Tenemos yaeba naturalmente desde que eramos nonos.
      Lo siento si no comprendo o escribo este comentario correctamente. Mi espanol es muy fundamental. ^ ^;

      Muchas gracias.

  10. japgirl:) August 8, 2010 at 4:10 am #

    i totally agree w/ you Kirin but i think clothes are ok but makeup is a total no no for me 😡
    middle school might be ok but elementary!!! In America its normal but somehow seeing short innocent japanese wear makeup might disgust me

  11. Maki-chan ^^ December 31, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    I have a few questions? I'm going to Tokyo soon in the summer with my dad and little sister and we were (me and my little sister) wondering if the majority of girls my age wear make-up? She's 14, I'm 15 (16 in September)? I only know tyhe basics of Japanese so I couldn't really understand all of what they were saying :(. We live in the UK (but are 100% Japanese :D) so make-up is the norm. Thanks ^^

    • kirin January 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

      When they go to school, I don't think they are allowed to wear makeup. But weekends or after school, I think some of them do. It really depends. Sorry, I don't really know because I have not paid much attention to the kids of such age. ^ ^;
      Well, if you go to a drug store in Tokyo, there are many cheap kawaii cosmetics. So why don't you buy some in Tokyo and wear the makeup like Japanese girls of your age do? There are also many nice fashion magazines that show how to makeup in detail. It's not too late to prepare things after you arrive in Tokyo. It's not a shame or anything even if you wear no makeup. Enjoy Tokyo! 😀

  12. May July 1, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    Wow this is sorta old for me to post this lol but I just had to post this ^^ I also disagree with elementary school kids wearing make-up and clothes for adults I mean kids can only ever be kids once and they can never have this same experience ever again. I mean at that age I would be waking up to watch my favorite cartoons, hang out with friends, or play video games lol ^^ I saw a show in Tyra that studies show that parents who spoiled their kids so much with make-up, clothes, accessories, and nails that their setting a very bad example for kids. Their basically saying that they get love through their looks and usually when those kids grow up they have a very low self-esteem. Well thats all lol I know a lot for a pretty old article ^^ See ya!

    • kirin July 2, 2011 at 11:54 am #

      Thank you May for your comment.
      I don't mind any comments to a new post or an old post. ^ ^
      I try to answer any comments as much as I can.
      Also, sometimes comments given to old posts bring me a chance to visit my old posts and remember I wrote such a post before. ^ ^;;

  13. mell August 10, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    i think it should be okay with js to where makeup and clothe. in some places i think its bad like how there are perverts and such but isnt it okay for them to want to look like a teenager? i remember being little and wanting to look like a teenager, i think its nice that the chidren are wearing makeup and clothe like that, maybe their future dreams are to be a model so their parents support them? well im juist to much of an optimistic person 🙂

    ps, thankyou kirin for posting these videos(: i enjoy watching them!! please update more!! ^^)
    thankyou
    mell

    • kirin August 10, 2011 at 7:32 am #

      I think balance is the key. It's OK to dress cute but too much of it and ignoring other important things is not good. Childhood is the stage when we can absorb many things whether good or bad so deeply and quickly. That's why I think it's necessary for the parents to give balanced education to the kids so they can have many kind of seeds that may flower when they grow up.

  14. Amanda January 29, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Wow seeing a lot of opinions here. I think in middle school you should be allowed to wear makeup maybe when you all are parents then you can decide what your child can and can not wear, but you really have no right to say other peoples children are "growing up too fast and overly sexual." It just seems stupid what if another parent said to you "Why dont you let your daughter wear makeup what a terrible parent you are!" You'd flip out right? So isn't it hypocritical?! At the age of eleven and twelve you are already in middle school you really shouldnt force your own beliefs on others. "I'd just like my barbies and playing with my friends." Well thats YOU not other teenagers. Think again back then you were probably the exact same.

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