Japanese Fashion Press: Ganguro Girls

I have to say, the fashion sense of the Japanese never fails to impress me. For a society that is generally considered conservative, it can have some of the most outrages fashions that the western world has yet to see. One of these such fashion trends is known as Ganguro (translations to “Black Faced Girls”). This style popular with young females and even though it reached it peek in 2000, it can still be found in places such as Shibuya and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo which is considered the center of Gangouro and other popular Japanese Fashion.

Ganguro fashion is comprised of a deep tanned skin with hair varying from bleach blond to orange and other bright colors. It also includes wearing of white eyeshadow and lipstick applied thickly with black eyeliner to accent the eyes. Some Ganguro sub-styles also include ‘cutesy” stickers on cheeks and around the eyes. As for clothes, anything brightly colored will work and is usually complemented by leis, fake flowers, ie-dyed sarongs, and a great deal of necklaces, bracelets and rings.

Yamanba and Manba
There is also a sub-category of the Ganguro fashion known as Yamanba and Manba. These are extreme versions of Ganguro fashion which featured darker tans, brightly colored contacts, face jewels and until 2004, a great deal of stickers was also worn. Manba which died out with the face-stickers came back in 2008 with a vengeance along with Yamanba becoming much more outrageous and synthetic with more brightly colored hair. Yamanba and Manba are also not to be confused with each other. While Yamanba has the white shadow above the eyes only, Manba has it both above and below it.

Don’t think that Yamanba and Manba style are just for woman. There is also a Male’s version of this style called Center Guy which get’s its name from Shibuya’s Center Street which is where this fashion can be easily found.

Ganguro In The West
Many Western young woman have tried to copy the Ganguro style. However, due to the lack of up-to-date information available in English as well as the difference in Western and Eastern Eye Shapes, Ganguro makeup style can turn out looking awkward and strange. Because it is mostly worn at Anime Conventions, it can sometimes also be considered a bad cosplay attempted if not done properly. Ganguro style should not be mistaken for Cosplay. They are two completely different styles.

Additional Images
Here are some additional images which so the crazy style of Ganguro. Remember to stay tune for other Japanese Fashion Press posts!


About A x e l - F

Event Planner for Okami Promotions. Plans and coordinates various fandom conventions including: OkamiCon - Mesquite's First Anime, Comic and Gaming Convention. Anime St. George - Southern Utah's Anime Convention.

Posted on September 26, 2009, in Pop-Culture and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. i wrote an article over this quite recently,
    but i was mistaken in putting that ganguro, manba, and yamanba were basically the same thing.
    i knew that ganguro had some sub-divisions, but i never noticed the difference in the two!

    nice work.

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