I’ve long been interested in Japanese culture and one aspect of it called Harajuku, which takes its name from the Tokyo neighborhood that is ground-zero for teen culture and for dressing up in a costume-like mash-up of styles based on pop culture, anime characters, musicians, storybook characters, and others.
Harajuku is fun. It’s dress-up for young adults and a display of world culture as seen through the prism of young Japanese people. Imagine, then, my delight upon seeing Harajuku girls, right in San Francisco’s Union Square, where I had taken my daughter to do some back-to-school shopping. I talked to these young women, and they said they were from the Bay Area. Harajuku is apparently quite alive far from its main district.
Following are some other sights from our shopping day in Union Square. Window display:
Street signs and mixed architecture styles, in this old neighborhood:
And racks of clothes that begged the question, “What year is this?”, as we browsed through Forever 21 (Forever 41, anyone?) while Soft Cell kept repeating on the store’s soundtrack.
Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman