Japonista = Japon/Japan + ista ( a la Fashionista but with the flair for something Japanese-inspired); people who love Japanese culture and Pop-cool-ture
Japan, as you might have probably not known, inspired this cool-tural revolution during the late 80s and early 90s when its then young people started to show what was considered as a rather strong and loud fashion statement (dyeing of hair, eccentric pop fashion, futuristic and electronic fashion -> gyaru, shibuya, B-kei, onisan, onesan, Ane and Ani types of fashion, gyaru-o) as a social response to a rather straight-jacket society which has since characterized Japanese society ever since its recovery from the World War.
The theory here is that it was all possible because of the rising affluence of the middle-class showing distress towards the society which spurred this rather fashionable expression movements and trends during the early 90s. This phenomena as majorly majorly made possible by the fact that Japan was the top first-world country in Asia and 2nd in the world at that time where people had enough money to spend on fashion items and in the way they look as a reaction and expression towards their deep-seated hatred and angst towards the society which is bound by lots of rules and formalities.
Now, by that time, slowly, Japan was being recognized around the world as a center for exciting, eccentric and very pop-ish fashion which has become to be known as Japanese fashion these days. At that time, it was not nearly even regarded as ~fashionable~ from the prying and mean observing eyes of the West but just like a trying-hard kid, seeking ways to stand-out among the crowd. But for the Japanese, whose penchant for copying and looking at the Western culture armed with their knack for turning things into interesting forms and even revolutionizing and innovating trends by themselves, the movement which swept them was purely motivated from the inner annals of their repression in their society, nothing more, not even trying to outdo or overdo things, but just a rather simplistic and pure experimentation with the available influences coming from the west and mixed with their own cultural drives and inclinations.
Perhaps during that time, nobody really understood what is happening in the local Japanese fashion scene and the specially the young people and generation at that time. They were called and bashed as ~weird fashion~, ~untolerable teens~, ~lost generation~, ~juvenile delinquents~, and the list goes on. Fast forward now to the late 90s to the early years of this century….
Here comes the rise of the NIEs or Newly Industrialized Economies in the region and the rapid economic growth of many regions and counties around Japan….from then, the burgeoning and increasing spending power of these economies later took the same form , direction and development that Japan took. Now people generally these days understand that when people have excess money and deeper pockets, people would be experimenting with many social and individual expressions. Japan’s path and experience was truly a historical one, it became the milestone of social path that countries shall always look back to when they become richer and richer because Japan was the first country to experience that in Asia, being the first first-world country in Asia with a very closed society almost shut out from the rest of the world. They were absorbed about what is changing about themselves and their society that they even tried to copy everything and then localize every influence they got from Paris/UK/Europe and US Pop culture combined. The result was interesting forms, how weird they may seemed to be at first, because racially both worlds are different. Asia (fair skin/complexion) X Western Culture (white, black skin). Japanese girls (later, also Japanese men) became then known for their brown-dyed hair styles which sometimes go as far as to color white, silver, white, blue, yellow or whatever your imagination can think of.
Now, look around Japan. Korea, Hongkong, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Thailand, etc. All these countries’ young generation and peoples’ eyes are fixed in Japan, which is being regarded as the center of the Pop-culture in Asia. The kids are already dreaming and wanting to come and visit Japan and see for themselves if Godzilla really exists, see Pikachu flying or even just to watch the concerts of Arashi, Smap and other idols which captures their hearts. Or maybe simple see and feel for themselves what is like living in the country which is the origin of the PS3s or Nintendo Wiis, or even intrigued by the Samurais or Geishas they learned in their schools.
With due respect to Japan and all the other neighboring countries trying to capture and follow each and every style and trend emanating from Japan, we are now declaring a new E-world citizenship here, which is not defined by your physical country or nationality, but by your lifestyle and humane beliefs + aspiration for a fun, cool, exciting life. We are now declaring the start of a new global movement or the newest ~citizenship~ or may ~Netizenship~ that would be characterizing people from all over the world, does not matter whatever or which race you are or which country you come from, as long as you share the same beliefs and spirits by the Japanese contemporary culture and society or you admit to be a victim of the Soft-Power disease or epidemic* then you are what we call a Japonista!
Congratulations for reading and try to belong here, we don’t know what brought you here or to this page, but for whatever reasons, we know officially welcome you to the newest E-country that only exists in your mind, in your heart and in your soul. We are the new generation, all trying to be cool, huh?!?
This is the generation of Cool-turism, which simple means, all cultures around the world are eventually going to mash-up to a one big accumulating mass of global cool-tures that simply say the all people around the world just wants to live a cool and laid-back life wherever you are. This might sound as a generation-gap statement but, for sure, we are all here to witness this global movement slowly unfolding before our eyes. Watch out for more Coolturism happening and spurting everywhere. If you are hit then lucky you are.
Our official flag and banner would be the Hinomaru Heart or Japanese flag with the Red Heart in the middle instead of the red circle.
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