Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Lost in Times Square Station

So if you spend, say, more than a couple of hours in NY, you've probably noticed all the spiky-haired, Bathing Ape-rocking Japanese kids hanging around East Village and art schools all over the Manhattan. Well, The Times has too [click here to continue]
In the last two decades, thousands of young Japanese like Q have come to New York in search of the custom-tailored lifestyles that are hard to carve out in a homeland, where johshiki - traditional ways and morality - still exert a powerful influence. Such young people make up the majority of their fellow countrymen, or rather, countrywomen, living in the city.

Census data from 2000 show that 63 percent of the 16,516 foreign-born Japanese living in New York are women, and 64 percent are 20 to 39 years old. That percentage of young people is nearly 23 percentage points higher than it is for Chinese or Koreans, the two largest Asian immigrant groups in the city.

Now, I found this part intriguing:
Hiroko Kazama, who is 42 and came to the city in 1987, said that young Japanese, especially artistic types, come to New York because they find that other American cities are too much like Japan. "Japanese society doesn't have an understanding for art," explained Ms. Kazama... "Traditional art is accepted, but edgy art is not. Hair that's red and purple is hard to accept. Young people are not comfortable with that."
I don't know about that. To me, East Village is essentially a toned down, dirtier version of Harajuku. Gwen Stefani ain't singing about St. Mark's Girls, ya know.

Still, it's a long but good read on the culture of Japanese expats in NYC, and I love the accompanying slide show, if only because it covers some of my favorite places in E-Vil. We're taking over this muthafucka, albeit politely.

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