Kawaii from Shanghai
Japanese fashion magazines are the source of kawaii culture. Chinese version of Japanese “Ray” magazine is the most widely read in the world. It’s released over one million copies already. It’s based on China. 80,000 people gathered from all over China to compete for the position of a cover girl to this magazine at the contest. Tokyo Kawaii TV negotiated with the authority of the contest and was told that they welcome Japanese models to join the contest.
How is street snap in Shanghai? There are young Chinese people who love Japanese culture and dress like Japanese people in Tokyo. A department store that opened 2004 in Shanghai has over 30 Japanese brand shops. Fashionable Chinese girls like to shop there to receive Japanese-styled high quality service at shopping. Nowadays as many as 9 Japanese fashion magazines are published in China, which are translated into Chinese.
“I can learn fashion and makeup from these magazines.” “Unlike western fashion magazines, the size of the clothes on Japanese magazines is suitable for us too.” These are the comments from the Chinese readers.
Chinese version of Ray magazine is translated from original Japanese version, added some unique posts from China and is available at stores in China 3 weeks after the Japanese version of Ray is released in Japan. It was 15 years ago they entered into licensing agreements. At first, Chinese version was thin and simple. Within 15 years, it’s 3 times thicker than the first stage thanks to increasing sponsors!
While Chinese Ray issues over 1 million copies, original Japanese Ray does 200,000 copies only.
Yuan-san is a Chinese reporter who shoots snaps on the street in Harajuku. He does this for Chinese fashion magazine. Since he came over to Japan, he has been updating Japanese trends thru his website for 22 years for Chinese people in the world. There are about 380,000 Chinese people from China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and all over the world. Since tourist visa has been open for Chinese individuals in July 2009, there are more and more Chinese tourists coming to Japan today. Japanese products such as Kadokeshi or nose mask are so hot in China.
He also thought the LED hand mirror would be well-received in China. Today he is busy writing the articles about hot Japanese trends for his customers in Taiwan and Beijing.
Bunka Gakuen is the oldest fashion school in Japan that has turned out top designers such as Yohji Yamamoto or Hiroko Koshino. Nowadays international students from China have increased. There are more than 100 Chinese students enrolled at the school today. Shu-san is good at making stage costumes from the image of the fusion of European classic music and Japanese visual-kei music bands. She lives in an apartment in Gothic tasted interior and she likes Gackt and Mana-sama. It was 4.5 years ago she visited Japan for the first time to see the live concert of Mana-sama. She was so much inspired by the stage costumes worn at the concert and she thought she wanted to make them by herself. “I want to make costumes from the image I sensed from my favorite music” says Shu-san. She makes all the clothes she wears daily. Her dream is to connect Japan and China through stage costumes and clothes.
Tokyo Kawaii TV decided to select Japanese models for the candidates of the cover girl to the Chinese Ray magazine.
In fact, there are some Japanese people who succeeded in promoting in China. In the Chinese version of LEON magazine for example, you can find Komatsu-san, a 31-year-old Japanese guy. He has succeeded in Chinese show business industry and he speaks good Chinese. 3 years ago, he was acting as a side character at some small-scaled afternoon dramas in Japan, but his carrier was not something he was able to be proud of. When he heard the opportunity for the audition that was held by a TV station in China, he thought he had to challenge it and if he failed, he would have to give up show business industry. He left Japan, joined the audition and was selected one of the top 20 good looking guys at the audition. Since then Chinese people supported him to make him popular.
In Hong Kong, Kuranari-san, a Japanese woman has become very popular through a major TV program. She used to be a dokumo to a Japanese fashion magazine and her carrier in Japan was limited to some image videos. She taught herself both English and Chinese, and especially she enjoys learning Chinese from singing karaoke.
I respect Yuan-san. I just wonder how it’s like to be to keep running this blog for over 20 years…and I still act like kawaii 50s, 60s, and 70s who recommend kawaii artificial tooth and reading glasses! That’s kinda cute though…lol I can be a kawaii old lady, haha!
But it’ll be so cool if I can receive writing jobs thru this blog like him. :p
It’s always so interesting how Japanese fashion is liked by the people from many different places on the globe.
BTW, I think it’s a good idea to learn foreign language from singing! I wonder why these Japanese fashion magazines are not translated into English first of all. That could’ve been possible before Chinese version… :p
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.