Written by Fernando Ramos
Japan Jumble: Some Kinda Harajoke
The Japan Jumble finishes it's brief tumble through the Harajuku area...for now. As talked about before, Harajuku is one of the most infamous wards of Tokyo. If Akihabara's signature color is the red of it's LAOX building and Shinjuku can be best summed up by heartless, industrial grey, then Harajuku is pure rainbow.
A wonderfully clashy, fashionable rainbow. That, like the rest of the city, just seems to be dying down.
I remember walking down Harajuku around autumn last year. It was an ordinary Sunday afternoon and it was like a carnival. Girls dressed in froofy dresses as guys sported crazy mohawks and just outside of the station, scores of amateur metal bands rocking out for the sheer joy of rocking out.
I remember a spontaneous mosh pit formed in Yoyogi Park. I remember seeing a bunch of tattooed wanna-be Greaser punks, complete with ridiculous Fonzy hair-dos, perform a beautiful dance routine. Then get pissed off and literally beating down some old man who was unfortunate enough to touch one of their pristine Harley-Davidson.
Alas, when visiting this past Sunday, I noticed that Harajuku has become...well, the title of this piece already gives you an idea. There's still crazy to been, but it's nowhere near the spectacle it was before.
So, let's take a wistful sigh. Okay, now onto the Jumble:
Besides Yoyogi, Takeshita Street is the thing that comes most to mind when one thinks "Harajuku." Unlike Yoyogi, Takeshita still retains much of it's charm. Every now and again, there will be a different placement of decorative balloons. Here, the cat of riches and good fortune beckons us to it's lair.
Here's another shot of Takeshita, taken on a rainy day, but it gives a better idea of just how narrow and jam-packed this street can get when it gets going.
This gal is far from an uncommon sight. Bright loud colors? Check. Ornate jewelry? Check. Inexplicably terminal case of shyness despite the above? Check and check.
Ah, now this is more like it. A self-proclaimed "New-Half" performer. In case anyone doesn't already know, "New-Half" happens to be Japanese slang for a pre-op transsexual. Dunno about you, but I don't see this young lady passing anytime soon. Ah well, she beams like a beauty all the same. Mind the police car in the background. And the fact that we're not on Takeshita in this picture.
One of these things is not like the others. Can you guess? Can you guess?!
These guys had quite a crowd around them for some reason as they were posing. After taking this photo I asked them if they knew each other. They said that they didn't even know each other's names. That's the way it seems to roll here.
Even the Gimp from Pulp Fiction can find his niche here. Performing Michael Jackson-style dance moves and miming his way into our hearts. No, no, no, right back at you.
So this concludes our unofficial Harajuku Week here at the Japan Jumble. There's a lot to see and do here and I'm going there often so it's doubtful that this will be the last we see of it here.
Feeling blue? Probably not, but in case you are:
Don't act like you're not slightly interested.
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