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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Japanese Fashion: Legs and Tattoos

Shibuya Station, Tokyo秋のファション:足と入れ墨

On a recent trip to Tokyo, I wandered around Shinjuku, Daikanyama, and the Harajuku/Omotesando areas and was struck by many things.

One surprise for someone coming up from Kyoto was the number of tattoos, especially on women. In Kansai, tattoos are still a bit rare. Mobsters, of course, and the occasional college student or artist have tattoos.

In Tokyo, however, tattoos were everywhere.

And on all parts of the body.

We saw countless tattoos high up on the thigh just barely visible under a skirt or hot pants, just next to cleavage, on the back of the neck, the side of the ankle, the shoulder blade, etc.

The woman with the Mickey Mouse tattoo--it's real--on her calf was waiting for a train at Shibuya Station. Her exposed shoulders featured elaborate dragons.

One sign that tattoos may even be a bit passe was that we spied a woman, in her late 20s, who had the telltale scars on her left arm of tattoo removal. She was feeding a baby in an Italian coffee shop.

Another, more attractive, surprise were leggings.

Women of all ages sported all sorts of leggings.

Leggings, OmotesandoThe women pictured at left was in her early- to mid-40s, very attractive, and made quite an impression with her brilliantly colored and patterned leggings. She is strolling along Omotesando on a recent Saturday.

Few if any openly stared at her as she paraded along the tree-lined street thronged with tourists and locals.

The clack-clack of her heels punctuated the colors as they shifted along her legs while she walked.

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