Friday, September 3, 2010

Some Japanese whack for you

It's one of the key sights of a Japanese summer: women shading their fair skin from the fierce sun with a parasol. However, there has been an emergence of a new fashion trend, the male parasol-user (日傘男子, higasa danshi).

This news might not surprise everyone, especially considering how metrosexual Japanese men sometimes are, and what a record-breaking scorcher of a summer it's been. Perhaps the most infamous famous example are the soushokudanshi (草食男子; literally, herbivore boy), who value shopping and preening over dates and sex. Certainly these fellas would want to protect themselves against UV rays.

Department stores actually stock parasols especially for male consumers now, with simple designs ideal to match with jeans, t-shirts or suits. J-Cast reports that Isetan have broadened their range of male parasols from five types last year to twelve in 2010.

One specialist store in Osaka established in the Meiji period has sold over a thousand male parasols so far this year and stock some rather fancy designs! The majority of customers have been businessmen in their twenties, thirties and forties, says Sankei. Hankyu have also been selling many more parasols than in previous years — more and more men are concerned about getting heat stroke while out and about.

There also seems to be some history of this, with samurai and others certainly using higasa, including even in snowy regions to keep dry. (JapanTrends)

Another crack photo I came across from the same website.

And this random video that I got off YouTube.


  1. All I have to say is...... Is fair skin THAT important to Japanese?

    It make sense if its a very hot and sunny day but I'm not sure if this will catch on.

  2. If fair skin wasn't that important to them, there wouldn't be all those
    Japanese whitening products out there! But then there are also tanning salons and such, so...

    It's common to see Chinese and Japanese women carrying umbrellas when it's hot. I'm not so sure about the men, though. But I've seen some older Singaporean "uncles" carry umbrellas during their afternoon walks. XD


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