Tokyo Damage Report

soul japan magazine, 悪羅悪羅!!

ORA ORA! Punch Perms are back: welcome to the world of SOUL JAPAN!

 In the past, Japan's macho men have tried to adopt American rap apparel, with mixed results.

Now the purveyors of manly clothes are back, and they've found a much better American look:

THE DOUCHE.

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Somehow, where The Rapper failed to translate into Japanese, the Douche is a perfect fit.

Gone are the days of  gigolos with business suits and glam-rock parrot hair.

Gone are the Shibuya-dude "golden mullets" and fanny-packs.

The pendulum has swung back to macho.

The role models of SOUL JAPAN are:  Mixed Martial Arts fighters, yakuza's-little-helpers, and moustaches, moustaches, moustaches.

Also, gigolos.

But the new, manly gigolos are called 輩ホスト (yakara hosts), which sort of translates into "hosts with an attitude." 

I guess the customers are supposed to be turned on by the yakara host's gang tattoos and sneering demeanor. 

Now to me, if a gangster has to sell his body for money, that means he's kind of a failure at balling. I mean, you don't hear Beanie Siegel or Snoop talking about the time they had to suck dick to make the Bentley payments. But maybe that's just the cultural divide.

In any case, the SOUL JAPAN guy is a real man, with facial hair, gang tattoos, a bosozoku resume, and above all:  a love of other men.

A rad article (not pictured here) has two dudes all pierced, fake-tanned, and tatted up, whose idea of fun is going to bars and drinking with their guy friends, and talking about fashion brands and accessories. Dead serious about this.

There are one or two photos of women, way in the back, with bikinis. But even those photos are much much more modest than the big-titty photos in mainstream newspapers that businessmen read on the train. And definitely they're much fewer and more modest than the 'babe photos' in other "macho guy" mags like HOST KNUCKLE or MEN'S SPIDER.  So you got to conclude SOUL JAPAN intentionally side-lines the ladies, with their gross girl parts and moustache-lack.

Not sure how much of this is intentionally aimed at a gay audience.

It might just be a un-intentional side-effect of the "I just got out of prison" vibe the magazine brings.

Any thoughts?

 

The mean faces translate to, "Sorry , ladies. No can do."

 

This magazine doesn't have any ads (unless you count the penis-enlargement piece on the back cover). Which, I'm guessing, means that the whole mag is one big ad put out by the 5 companies whose merchandise appears in every photo.  This being Japan, that means that the 5 (seemingly rival) companies are all owned by the same "silent partner" or the same "holding company."  Who knows, man?

This is how old I am: when I moved to Japan, the word "douche" was a very general, catch-all insult for anyone you didn't like. The concept of "douche = male macho+female grooming-and-accessory-mania" had not even been invented.

 

And yet it's followed me here across the sea.

Below: a picture from the "soul japan role model" section, which profiles dudes in depth.

I should point out, he's wearing a tattoo-print shirt OVER HIS REAL TATTOOS. And has an alligator-skin purse.

Below: the all-time best photo in the whole magazine, the picture that brings a smile to my face on  a rainy day:

 

above: the pimp and his hoes, japan-style (cane and all!).

Yes.

Below:  "special facial hair and glasses report."

Note how every dude has the same "constipation face."

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Below, the staff at Juvenile Delinquent – a brand with offices in osaka, nagoya, and tokyo.  These guys have been around forever. They seem to be into mixing '40s Chicano culture (zoot suits etc.) with '30s Japanese culture, with John Waters' moustache. It's a potent combination.

That seems to be where their heart is at, but since not a lot of people can spend $3,000 on a zoot, they sort of have to cater to wanna-be Wu Tang guys as their bread-and-butter.

 

I went to their Shibuya store and dudes were really nice – plus there was a stuffed moose head.

Plus the tattoos. Honestly I am not a big fashion guy. For all I know, it's normal for fashion brands to tattoo their logo on the face and neck of all the employees.

That could start a trend – instead of having a print or electronic resume, you just have your work experience inked on your torso. "Hmm, it says here that you were employed as a systems analyst for Hewlett Packard from 2006 until birthmark?"

To get to the Tokyo JD shop, go to shibuya station. Then make your way to the famous 109 building, which is shaped like a wedge of cheese. Walk up the left side of the wedge, up the hill, past the used-panty shop, past the police box, and right before the elevated freeway at the top of the hill, on your left hand side, you'll find the JD shop.

shibuya-ku, dougenzaka, 1-22-12

東京都渋谷区道玄坂1-22-12 1F(地図を表示)
営業時間 : 12:00~21:00(日・祝11:00~21:00)

Anyway, let's allow this dude to have the final word: his belligerent smirk dares you to make fun of his fruity crotch.

Here are some of the rad websites that sponsor SOUL JAPAN:

JUVENILE DELINQUENT

NATURAL NINE

MAD HOUND

VICE VAIRY

SLANGY

Please check them out:they have pictures of douches IN FLASH ANIMATION MODE.

Ora Ora!!!!

12 comments Tags: , ,

12 Comments so far

  1. Bebio September 5th, 2010 2:12 am

    Haha, I cannot understand why you would bother to put the store details. Who the fuck would buy that shit…? Unless you wrote it so that we can all go the store and laugh at the idiots that buy these things… that I can understand. Anyway I laughed my ass off reading your article, congrats!!

  2. Oya September 5th, 2010 3:00 am

    I really hope this is just one of those "fashion things" you only see on magazines, but that people never actually wear, be it because they're too expensive, or just too retarted. I mean, if I saw anyone in the streets dressed up like those guys in the second-last image I'd be wondering whether to fall on the floor laughing or to run for my life/anal virginity. Also, they're making mustaches into a bad thing. Japan, you never cease to amaze me.

  3. Rick September 5th, 2010 7:01 am

    Haha great article!

  4. Tzench September 5th, 2010 2:30 pm

    What's the deal with tatoos in Japan these days? They used to say it was a strictly yakuza thing. But that doesn't seem to be completely true anymore Some of the tatoos in this article seems really fake though.

  5. admin September 5th, 2010 7:16 pm

    @TZENCH: fair question. At least in tokyo, a lot of younger people have them. It’s a sort of symbol of “I didn’t get into a good college so I wasn’t going to get a life-time employment white collar job anyway.” As far as yakuza goes. . . you might want to ask the JAPAN SUBCULTURE blog! But my (limited) understanding is, you don’t need to get permission from a gang boss to get a gangster tattoo. I’m sure there are some symbols that are off-limits to non-members, but the traditional Japanese tough-guy tattoos are NOT the Hells Angels / Russian Mafiya type where the tattoo means you committed a certain crime and are bragging about it.

  6. Nat September 5th, 2010 9:40 pm

    dang, I kind of liked the idea that the guy in the fourth photo had to go to some boss and get permission to get his Fist of the North Star chest tattoo.

  7. Tzench September 6th, 2010 12:05 am

    That's the one I thougt was the fakiest. Imagine him going to the tatoo artist saying "I want four identical suns across my belly".

  8. Laura September 9th, 2010 11:41 am

    A snarky foreigner in Japan. How original. I'm experiencing gales of laughter.
    Reading through your blog, I guess this is what you would like if they had the technology to photograph your (and almost every gaijin in Japan's) personality. A whining douche to the nth degree, in your own words.

  9. Lalli September 10th, 2010 12:08 pm

    Hello
    I don´t know how to contact you personally (didn´t found any email address from this site….)
    I´m asking if you might know this one building in Japan Tokyo (I´m pretty sure it was in tokyo). It´s a huge black temple of some sort religious cult. Big stairs leading to it and I think it´s forbidden to enter. I saw it somewhere on the internet long time ago and can´t find it´s picture anymore. I would be very glad if you know this place and could tell me what´s its name?
    Thanks.

  10. admin September 11th, 2010 10:27 pm

    @lalli: sorry, I don’t know.
    @Laura: project much? OK, I got a deal for you: you just tell me which one of the fashion models is your precious grandson and I’ll take the pic out. No need for hurt feelings.

  11. Baebi September 15th, 2010 4:36 pm

    I’ve been reading TDR since forever! I remember accidentally stumbling on a picture of a woman on a beach with no ass, like -1 ass (can’t remember the name of the post – something 60s like).

    Anyway, your commentary never fails to make laugh like deranged hyena!

  12. Tzench November 7th, 2010 2:55 pm

    I was just browsing through my japanese dictionairy and stumbled upon the word "doshouhige", meaning "thin moustache". The word 'doshou', which in itself means 'loach', is the kind of word that when it is not written with kanji is written in katakana. This might explain their interrest in "the douche".

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