Hello everyone. Today I will talk about the subculture known as b-kei, or b-style. The b stands for black, and the Japanese youths who follow this style are heavily influenced by American hip-hop culture.
In the introduction of her book, Beauty Up, Laura Miller uses the word “creolization”, normally a linguistic term for when two languages have combined to form a new language. Here, Miller uses it to describe when two or more cultures have intermingled to create a unique outcome.
Most Japanese sub-cultures fit into this category, for example, seen here, Gyaru style and it’s sub-types, could be considered creoles drawing on influences from Hawaiian, hip hop, European and Japanese folk culture. Lolita style and it’s various subtypes, draw inspiration from Victorian clothing and doll like aesthetics. Both gyaru and lolita style and their sub-types, while taking inspiration from many different cultures and periods, are considered uniquely Japanese.…show more content… Now, b-style and hip-hop culture has taken on a similar meaning for the young Japanese who now adopt it. It may seem absurd to compare the plight of black americans with comparably free and affluent young Japanese women, but as of 2013, Japan ranked lowest among industrialised nations for gender inequality. B-style could be seen as the polar opposite of “kawaii”, immaturity and innocence, and as a rebellion against the subjugation of women in Japan. Kawaii culture and the lolita look has been viewed as ways for men who are intimidated by capable, sexually confident women, to keep women in a place that they are comfortable with. B-kei could be considered a protest against this. The Japanese associate black culture with strength and sexuality, and the adoption of black style is an attempt for young Japanese women to assert their independence in a society that is still very much male