New Geishas of Harajuku

“Harajuku girls are the new Geisha” is the name of this Flickr set belonging to photographer Ajpscs . I’m only completely in love with the image above – usually heavy photoshopping is a huge turnoff or me, but here is makes a kind of strange sense.

In the context of Geisha, whose snow-white face paint amplified Japan’s desire for artificial, impossible beauty, the Harajuku denizens’ makeup echoes the same. The over-saturation and airbrushing almost highlight the flaws in application, damaged hair and imperfect skin, making these images all the more human.

5 Responses to “New Geishas of Harajuku”

  1. The New Geisha Says:

    […] always stunning Coilhouse pointed out this gallery of photographs of Harajuku Girls and draws a parallel between them and the […]

  2. Adam Rice Says:

    The photos are great, and the youth culture in Harajuku is great, but saying “Harajuku girls are the new Geisha” makes about as much sense as saying “cornbread stuffing is the new black.”

  3. jason matthews Says:

    excellent. i was there around halloween of last year (turns out hardly anybody comes out for halloween night) and loved every second of it. this brings back great memories.

    i like what you say there about the human element being emphasized. so many harajuku photos look stiffly posed or too alien. when i was shooting there i had a lot of fun looking for little human gestures or expressions, anything that showed a personality beyond just the makeup. especially laughter, because the posing is always SUPER SERIOUS but then afterwards they go back to laughing with their friends.

  4. Zoetica Says:

    Adam, I think with his title the photographer is referring to a resurgence of heavy makeup’s popularity as well as that desire for visual flawlessness, not the actual geisha traditions/functions. It might be an overstatement but I see where he’s coming from

    Jason, would love to see your take on Harajuku!

  5. jason matthews Says:

    here you go: