Tokyobling's Blog

Only in Japan – The Punch Perm Hairstyle

Posted in Opinion, People, Places by tokyobling on July 11, 2009

I came across this interesting poster advertising a new television drama here in Tokyo. The poster features a heavily punch permed Tsuyoshi Kusanagi. Now why is this of interest? Well, apart from the fact that we get an excellent view of a hairstyle that is uniquely Japanese and growing quite uncommon recently (due to the fact that it is intensely associated with criminals and gangsters – if you see one on the street don’t laugh, don’t point, don’t take pictures – seriously), we also see one of the first images of Mr. Kusanagi after his unfortunate arrest in April this year. Apparently he has been properly rehabilitated by now. If you don’t know Kusanagi from before let me just say that he is a member of the most popular Japanese boy band ever. The band, SMAP has been on TV in one form or another virtually every single day for the last twenty years. To approximate their impact on Japanese people and media you’d have to roll the Beatles, Jonas Brothers, U2, the Pope and President Obama into one sweet smelling crooning boy band. Now you get the picture. So perhaps, this rather laughable picture is a way for Kusanagi to ease back into respectable society by humbling himself with some comedy acting? It’ll actually be interesting to follow.

For the record, I think that both media and police overreacted to an insane degree during his arrest. Give the man a break. Or to quote his drunken self at the moment of arrest: “What is wrong with being naked?” There. No one could have said it better!
punch_perm_kusanagi_smap

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6 Responses

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  1. michaelpanda said, on July 12, 2009 at 11:50 am

    >Or to quote his drunken self at the moment of arrest: “ “What is wrong with being naked?”

    I actually saw someone wearing a shirt that read 「裸だったら何が悪い」 a few weeks ago. I was tempted to ask them where they bought it but I’m not sure I’d be able to pull off that look lol

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    • tokyobling said, on July 13, 2009 at 2:39 am

      The day I manage to leave the house without wearing a suit is the day I will wear that t-shirt! I haven’t seen it in the wild yet, but if I do I will try to persuade the wearer to pose for some shots. I also loved the t-shirts that came out after Fukuda (he is sorely missed!) resigned.

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  2. michaelpanda said, on July 13, 2009 at 10:56 am

    I hear you brother. Nothing like having to commute to work during the middle of tsuyu whilst in a wool suit. :( I have yet to get one of those nifty unlined ones the J-salarimen sport – sadly all of mine are standard 3-season affairs from the States which are nothing but misery in the humid Kanto summer (and don’t get me started on “cool biz”. Not a day goes by that I don’t look at the thermostat set at 28 and just cry a single sad tear.)

    I’m jealous of the women in the office – short sleeves? Okay! Skirts? Okay! Shorts? Okay! A few even wear T-shirt like tops every now and again. Not fair!

    But hey, you’re a designer, right? Maybe you can get away with a black t-shirt under your suit jacket like a fashionable museum curator from the early 90s :)

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  3. michaelpanda said, on July 13, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Incidentally, with the way things are going for Aso these days, you might be able to snag yourself a commemorative Aso Taro T-shirt pretty soon – probably covered with a bunch of kanji he’s mispronounced over the past year :P

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    • tokyobling said, on July 14, 2009 at 1:07 am

      I give him a 50% chance of hanging in there. The problem is that I don’t think the dems will do any better. But I root for them, if nothing else than the fact that their win will increase the chances of me getting voting rights in local elections. And thus, we can make sure Ishihara gets the boot! Also, I don’t particularly trust the rich kid, Prince Hatoyama and his posse. Instead, I think that Koike looks much more promising to steer up the old LDP, even though she is a “Koizumi child”.

      A win for the dems would mean a true two party system, I thought we had pretty much ruled that one out by now. I’m much more a fan of a true representative parliament. And, the upper house has to go!

      But I do feel sympathy for the poor guy and his kanji, I make even worse mis-readings!

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