Light taste

A full immersion into Japanese Style!

Neo Nippon” Saki Asamiya by Matt Irwin for Vogue Japan April 2013


多重曝光的日本 by Stephanie Jung

Stephanie Jung, is from Schifferstadt, a small town in  South-West Germany, but she spends a lot of time in Berlin during the year. In 2010 she finished her studies in Visual Communications, where she discovered her passion for experimental photography. Since then she is working as a freelance photographer, focussing on her personal projects. She loves to travel all over the world, especially to big cities, to capture the vibrant and hectic mood of a place. But her work is not just about citylife, it’s about time and caducity, about capturing special moments getting lost in time. 

Watanabe Mayu 渡边麻友

Watanabe Mayu 渡边麻友



Nobuyoshi Araki

Araki was born in Tokyo, studied photography during his college years and then went to work at the advertising agency Dentsu, where he met his future wife, the essayist Yōko Araki (荒木陽子). After they were married, Araki published a book of pictures of his wife taken during their honeymoon titled Sentimental Journey. She died in 1990. Pictures taken during her last days were published in a book titled Winter Journey.

Having published over 350 books by 2005, and still more every year, Araki is considered one of the most prolific artists alive or dead in Japan and around the world. Many of his photographs are erotic; some have been called pornographic. Among his photography books are Sentimental Journey (1971, but later reissued), Tokyo Lucky Hole (1985), and Shino.[vague]

He also contributed photography to the Sunrise anime series Brain Powerd.[citation needed]

In 1981, Araki directed High School Girl Fake Diary (女高生偽日記 Jokōsei nise nikki), a Roman Porno film for Nikkatsu studio. The film proved to be a disappointment both to Araki’s fans, and to fans of the pink film genre.

The Icelandic musician Björk is an admirer of Araki’s work, and served as one of his models. At her request he photographed the cover and inner sleeve pages of her 1997 remix album, Telegram. More recently, he has photographed pop singer Lady Gaga. Araki’s life and work were the subject of Travis Klose’s 2005 documentary film Arakimentari.

His works are held in numerous museum collections including the Tate and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

  • JAPANESE COMICS 鉄コン筋クリート

Tekkonkinkreet (鉄コン筋クリート Tekkonkinkurīto), a child’s mispronunciation of “Tekkin Konkurito” (steel reinforced concrete) is a three-volume seinen manga series by Taiyō Matsumoto, which was originally serialized from 1993 to 1994 in Shogakukan’s Big Comic Spirits and first published in English as Tekkonkinkreet: Black & White. It was adapted into a 2006 feature-length Japanese anime film of the same name, directed by Michael Arias and animated by Studio 4°C. The film Tekkonkinkreet premiered in Japan on December 23, 2006.

The story takes place in the fictional city of Takaramachi (Treasure Town) and centers on a pair of orphaned street kids – the tough, canny Kuro (Black) and the childish, innocent Shiro (White), together known as the Cats – as they deal with yakuza attempting to take over Treasure Town.

  • Japanese street fashion  神奈川的浪 | 一浪接一浪

Each of us wanted to show the other up… In the first place, the script was almost never ready when I had to design the poster. Satoh [Satoh Makoto, director of Theater Center 68-71] would be writing like crazy, and I’d be at the silk screener’s running off the poster. We’d be racing to see who’d finish first. That’s what I mean by showing each other up. I’d get these really abstract demands: “I want a poster like a rising sun,” Satoh would say. “What do you mean ‘rising sun’?” I’d ask. “You know, something that really jumps out at you—wham!—like that.” He’d really get me going, that guy. Anyway, I’d say to myself, “All right, you SOB, I’ll give you a rising sun!” and I’d whip up this design and take it to him while he was still writing and shove it in his face, like “Take that!” There’d be instances when I didn’t know what the play was about or when they’d change the title on me at the last minute. There were cases in other troupes where the designer would complain that the title of the play was boring and force the playwright to change it to one he liked better. There were lots of incidents like that. It was all possible because we designers were completely integrated into the troupes. We knew what they were trying to do and we tried to communicate it in a larger sense than just advertising a particular play.

—Designer Koga Hirano, quoted in Angura: Posters of the Japanese Avant-Garde

(Princeton Architectural Press, 1999, out-of-print)

Previously: Kiyoshi Awazu


Lart direction + design by ASYL / 2013    cover design by ASYL / hair design & make up by YUKIMARU Hidetaka / styling by MACHINO Izumi /photo by ISOBE   Akiko / 2013

  • FASHION Tokyo Summer Madness or:How I learned to stop wearing a shi
  • FASHION Yayoi Kusama×LV
  • FASHION  Yayoi Kusama Official Site×LV
  • Japanese street fashion

Japan began to emulate Western fashion during the middle of the 19th century. By the beginning of the 21st century, this emulation has formed street fashion, a fashion style in which the wearer customizes outfits by adopting a mixture of current and traditional trends. Such clothes are generally home-made with the use of material purchased at stores.

At present, there are many styles of dress in Japan, created from a mix of both local and foreign labels. Some of these styles are extreme and avant-garde, similar to the haute couture seen on European catwalks. The rise and fall of many of these trends has been chronicled by Shoichi Aoki since 1997 in the fashion magazine FRUiTS, which is a notable magazine for the promotion of street fashion in Japan.

More recently[when?], Japanese hip-hop, which has long been present among underground Tokyo’s club scene, has influenced the mainstream fashion industry. The popularity of the music is so influential that Tokyo’s youth are imitating their favorite hip hop stars from the way they dress with over-sized clothes to tanned skin. The idea of darkening one’s skin to more closely resemble an American hip-hop star or ethnic group may seem like a fad, but this subculture, the black facers, do not particularly set themselves apart from many other sub cultures that have emerged as a result of hip hop.

  • photographer  osamu yokonami

Osamu Yokonami was born in Kyoto. He graduated from Visual Arts College in Osaka and worked in Bunka Publishing Breau.

After that, Osama became an independent photographer and worked on his own

projects for magazine editorials and advertisements.

橫浪修(Osamu Yokonami),日本时尚摄影师。1967年生人于日本京都,1987进入大阪写真专门学校,1989年进入日本文化出版局写真部。小优(苍井优)的御用写真大师。他的作品十分的干净,给人很舒服的感觉。


Irezumi (入れ墨, 入墨, 紋身, 刺花, 剳青, 黥 or 刺青) is a Japanese word that refers to the insertion of ink under the skin to leave a permanent, usually decorative mark; a form of tattooing.

The word can be written in several ways, each with slightly different connotations. The most common way of writing irezumi is with the Chinese characters 入れ墨 or 入墨, literally meaning to “insert ink”. The characters 紋身 (also pronounced bunshin) suggest “decorating the body”. 剳青 is more esoteric, being written with the characters for “stay” or “remain” and “blue” or “green”, and probably refers to the appearance of the main shading ink under the skin. 黥 (meaning “tattooing”) is rarely used, and the characters 刺青 combine the meanings “pierce”, “stab”, or “prick”, and “blue” or “green”, referring to the traditional Japanese method of tattooing by hand.

History of Japanese tattoos

Tattooing for spiritual and decorative purposes in Japan is thought to extend back to at least the Jōmon or paleolithic period (approximately 10,000 BC). Some scholars have suggested that the distinctive cord-marked patterns observed on the faces and bodies of figures dated to that period represent tattoos, but this claim is by no means unanimous. There are similarities, however, between such markings and the tattoo traditions observed in other contemporaneous cultures.

In the following Yayoi period (c. 300 BC–300 AD) tattoo designs were observed and remarked upon by Chinese visitors. Such designs were thought to have spiritual significance as well as functioning as a status symbol.

Starting in the Kofun period (300–600 AD) tattoos began to assume negative connotations. Instead of being used for ritual or status purposes, tattooed marks began to be placed on criminals as a punishment (this was mirrored in ancient Rome, where slaves were known to have been tattooed with mottoes such as “I am a slave who has run away from his master”).

Tattoos in modern Japan

At the beginning of the Meiji period the Japanese government, wanting to protect its image and make a good impression on the West and to avoid ridicule, shoguns outlawed tattoos, and irezumi took on connotations of criminality. Nevertheless, fascinated foreigners went to Japan seeking the skills of tattoo artists, and traditional tattooing continued underground. Tattooing was legalized by the occupation forces in 1948,but has retained its image of criminality. For many years, traditional Japanese tattoos were associated with the yakuza, Japan’s notorious mafia, and many businesses in Japan (such as public baths, fitness centers and hot springs) still ban customers with tattoos.

Although tattoos have gained popularity amongst the youth of Japan due to Western influence, there is still a stigma emplaced on them amongst the general consensus. Unlike the US, even finding a tattoo shop in Japan may prove difficult, with tattoo shops primarily placed in areas that are very tourist or US military friendly. According to Kunihiro Shimada, the president of the Japan Tattoo Institute, “Today, thanks to years of government suppression, there are perhaps 300 tattoo artists in Japan. (Fulford, 2004, para 2) In general tattoos are frowned upon, with many traditional Japanese establishments banning people or refusing serve to those who have tattoos. Japanese public baths and hot springs usually place signs up banning people with tattoos from entering, or warning them that their tattoos need to be covered to enter the premises.

There are even current political repercussions for tattoos in Japan. In 2012, the mayor of Osaka (Toru Hashimoto) started a campaign to rid companies of their employees with tattoos. According to an article written about Hashimoto “He is on a mission to force workers in his government to admit to any tattoos in obvious places. If they have them, they should remove them—or find work elsewhere.” (The Economist, 2012, para 3) Hashimoto’s beliefs were fairly well received by the public as well, with many large companies whom already are “tattoo-phobic”, siding with him. Modern tattoos in Japan are done similarly to how western tattoos are done. Unlike traditional irezumi where the majority of the tattoo decision making is left up to the artist, customers bring in a design of their choice or can decide on what they would like at the shop. Many Japanese artists are well versed in multiple styles besides traditional Japanese tattoos giving customers the ability to select from a wide assortment of options anywhere from tribal to new age styles. Modern tattoos are done via an electric machine, in which the ink can be inserted into the machine or the needle tip can be dipped into ink for application. Japanese artists are lauded for their quality of work, despite being a bit pricey, and are highly sought after. “Despite widespread discrimination towards people with tattoos, with rules that prohibit tattooed people into hot springs, golf courses and gyms, it is still one of the best places in the world to get the best quality ink jobs.” (Tokyo Fashion, 2009, para 1)

Despite the majority of modern tattooing being done by needle gun, irezumi is still done traditionally. The ancient tattoo style is still done by specialist tattooists whom might be difficult to find. Unlike western style tattoo artists, the majority of traditional irezumi artists aren’t located in the Tokyo area. Traditional irezumi is still done by specialist tattooists. It is painful, time-consuming and expensive: a typical traditional body suit (covering the arms, back, upper legs and chest, but leaving an untattooed space down the center of the body) can take one to five years of weekly visits to complete and cost in excess of US$30,000. The process is much more formal than western tattooing as well. Whereas western tattoo artists tend to do exactly what you request, traditional irezumi artists tend to go back and forth with the customer and discuss what they would like the tattoo to look like as well as reserve the right to refuse service. Rather than electric guns, wooden handles and metal needs attached via silk thread are utilized.




from Japan illustrator, SHOHEI.

SHOHEI is an illustrator based in Tokyo. He mainly works with ballpoint pens and marker pens on illustration boards and often depics Japanese culture from his unique perspective.


The Eastern promise – for real

Style does not exist. It’s just in our heads – an idea, like the concept of time. Style is the image we make, through our own creativity, intelligence and taste, that reflects our understanding of the world around us.The more precise and unique one’s vision is, the stronger one’s sense of style.