Only in Japan – The Punch Perm Hairstyle
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!