Telegraph – Japan’s fashion rebels embrace tradition

Japan’s teenage girls have returned to Earth after a decade lost in a bizarre fashion universe all their own.

Their scary-looking Ganguro, or black faces, whose deep orangey tans were offset by white lipstick, are now sighted as rarely as the yetis they were said to resemble.

Their white, baggy leggings held up by glue have been replaced by navy, knee-length socks. Atsuzoko boots, with platform soles of up to nine inches, are also gone.

Hair, once dyed unlikely shades of blonde, is now only tinted auburn or even left its natural black.

The strange fashions favoured by teenage girls have long been fertile territory for observers of sartorial trends and the country’s self-image. …

“A few years ago it was unthinkable that teenage girls would become interested in yukata and black hair,” said one journalist.

“For a while, Japanese of other generations viewed high school girls with some alarm. Even a lot of teenage boys thought them odd. Now, it seems they are rejoining society.”

The long-held fascination of Japanese men with the extreme fashions of youth seems to have been replaced by an appreciation of such traditional beauties as the actors Hitomi Kuroki and Mayumi Wakamura.