There’s no place quite like Japan for that paradigm-shifting-without-a-clutch experience. When my daughter started junior high school, she went online with her mother to buy some clothes she needed for the coming school year, including brands like Beverly Hills Polo Club, School Scene, and of course, Playboy. Say what? It turns out that in Japan, the famous bunny logo is extremely popular with fashionable girls, who think it looks oshare (oh-SHA-reh), or stylish, elegant and chic. Hiding my surprise, I asked her what “Playboy” was, and she replied, “It’s a famous maker of girls’ clothes. Don’t you know anything, Dad?” I shrugged — if the symbol was removed from its special meaning in the U.S., I guess it didn’t matter if some 13-year-olds had little bunnies sewn into their socks. It’s similar to the way the perception of cursing changes in Japan, a country that has no “foul” language or anatomically-based swear words to speak of, with the most common insult being baka (stupid). If my son were to use the “F” word around me I’d likely not bat an eye, since it has no power in a country where no one would be shocked by it.
The perfect fashion symbol for young girls. Don’t you agree?