Akamoji-kei vs Aomoji-kei: The rise of Harajuku

Today, I wanted to introduce the concept of Akamoji-kei and Aomoji-kei. Now you may ask, what the heck is that? It is a concept that not many people outside of Japan know of. Based on research and my own understanding, I hope to give you a greater understanding these concepts. This is a two-part piece so I’ll be doing the currently popular Aomoji-kei.

Aomoji-kei (literally: Blue-letter style) is a fashion subculture that is influenced by the trends in Harajuku. It is a casual yet girl fashion. However it also prides itself as being radical and creative. It is opposite to the conservative and elegant akamoji kei. As such, it appeals to women rather than men. The term was coined by Asobi System’s Yusuke Nakagawa. Rather than Shibuya which influences the notorious gyaru-kei, Aomoji-kei sticks close to Harajuku. The differences in the reader models can be seen between the two styles. Gyaru models tend to brimming with energy and always show a smiling face. While Aomoji-kei models tend to show off their duck lips and look expressionless.

So in simpler terms, Aomoji-kei is more about dressing the way you want as opposed to what society thinks looks good. It’s about moving against the mainstream trends rather than with it. People who are part of this subculture tend to switch between many styles. So girl into dolly-kei might wear fairy-kei the next day. It’s all about self-expression. It become popular in 2011 with the rise of representative model Kyary Pamyu Pamyu who made her major singing debut.

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