Children in Japan

When Tamara and I went to the Angelic Pretty Anniversary event in Japan I was quite surprised about the range of people that were there, locals, foreigners, girls and guys, old and young, one so young that her mother bought the dresses and modified them to fit her!
I spotted these pictures, that were blogged this morning from a book called “Where Children Sleep” by James Mollison. It is a book showing a range of children thoughout the world and their bedrooms. I was quite interested in the three girls from Japan. One little girl in particular, reminded me of the one I had met at the Angelic Pretty event.

Kaya_Kaya is four years old. She lives with her parents in a small apartment in Tokyo, Japan. Most apartments in Japan are small because land is very expensive to buy and there is such a large population to accommodate. Kaya’s bedroom is every little girl’s dream. It is lined from floor to ceiling with clothes and dolls. Kaya’s mother makes most of Kaya’s dresses – up to three a month usually. Now Kaya has thirty dresses and coats, thirty pairs of shoes, sandals and boots and numerous wigs. ( The pig-tails in the picture are made from hairpieces) Her friends love to come around and try her clothes. When she goes to school, howeer she has to wear a uniform. Her favourite foods are meat, potatoes, strawberries and peaches. She wants to be a cartoonist when she grows up, drawing Japanese anime cartoons.


Risa is fifteen years old and lives with thirteen other women in a teahouse in Kyoto, Japan. She and five others sleep in a room that is also used as a dining room and tea room. She left her family in Tokyo a year ago after she saw a TV programma about geishas and decided she wanted to become one. Geishas are hostesses who entertain high-paying male guests by performing traditional Japanese arts. Risa is now a “Maiko” – a young girl who has passed the test to train as a geisha – and has been given a new name, Tomoyuki. She will have to train rigorously, with daily lessons in singing, dancing, playing japanese drums, team-making and mastering elegant Kyoto elocution. She spends two hours a day practising how to wrap her Kimono, arrange her hair and apply her make-up. She is the youngest maiko in Japan. Risa has two day’s holiday each month and visits her family three times a year. She often gets homesick.

Kana_Kana lives in Tokyo, Japan, with four generations of her family – her sister, parents, grandmother and great-grandparents. She is sixteen years old and her passion is fashion. She loves to dress up and be noticed. It takes her an hour to put on her make-up, get reeady to go out to the trendy shopping district of Harajuku. She and her freinds have formed a club whose aim is to look like dolls. Kana’s mother does not approve of her style so Kana has taken a Saturday job in a factory to earn the money to buy her clothes and wigs. It takes her twenty minutes to cycle to school each morning , and once there, she has to contend with frequent teasing for the way she dresses and the wigs she wears. Kana is full of admiration for her mother for raising her. She hopes to have her own fashion boutique when she grows up, although she feels that her style is likely to become more tradional as she gets older.

♥ Alyssium♥

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