Archive for the ‘Consumer Culture’ Category

Image via EthnoConnect. Quote: Helen Kim, “Asianized Asians”

Image via Are Women Human, via EthnoConnect. Quote: Helen Kim, “Asianized Asians.”

Last month, the excellent blog Are Women Human? called out the beauty company Cibu International over their “Asian-inspired” line of products–not the typical “cherry blossom perfume” and “seaweed face mask” but products with names like

“Miso Knotty Detangler,” “Geishalicious Shampoo,” “Take Out Clarifying Shampoo,” “Shang High Mousse,” “Spring Roll Hydrating Cleanser,” “Ancient Veil Oil Mist,” “Hi-Ya! Keratin Reconstructive Conditioner,” “Washabi 3-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo,” and “Dry Kwon Do Dry Shampoo”– are based on the cultural misappropriation and reduction of Asian culture to a handful of puns, food references, and simplistic and Orientalist stereotypes. (from the petition)

"Miso Knotty Detangler." Via Cibu International.

“Miso Knotty Detangler.” Via Cibu International.


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Would you ever wish someone a “lovely Halloween”? I kept seeing this phrase pop up in Halloween goods this year along with the more standard “Happy Halloween.” I think “lovely Halloween” may go the way of “heartful” (ハートフル), which is wasei Eigo (Japanese-created “English”) used to mean heart-warming, warm-hearted, or caring.*


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What have we learned about Halloween in Japan this year?

Kanazawa Forus

Although Halloween seems to be mainly marketed through food in the broader consumer world, Halloween decorations in retailers and for home use seem to be growing in popularity and availability.


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So far, all my Halloween stuff has been food this year. I’m planning a non-food post exclusive to The Lobster Dance soon, and I’d like to add your photos to it! If you have any interesting Halloween-in-Japan photos, particularly pictures of consumer goods and decorations, please comment or contact me at odorunara[at]gmail[dot]com.
On to the post:

I distinctly remember saying last year that I wished that Mister Donut would get a pumpkin-flavored doughnut, and this year, my wish came true!

Read the full post here.

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Last year, Kit Kat introduced special pumpkin cheesecake flavor for Halloween. Although I liked it quite a bit, I was a little confused as to why the package described pumpkin cheesecake as a “traditional Halloween food.” This year, Kit Kat opted for a new limited-time Halloween flavor, Pumpkin Pudding (パンプキンプリン).

Let’s compare:



Read the rest of the post on I’ll Make It Myself!

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I’ll be covering food-related Halloween posts over on I’ll Make It Myself! this season and reblogging here. Enjoy!

I'll Make It Myself!

Starbucks Crunchy Caramel Latte and Pumpkin Muffin

One thing I love about living in Japan is trying the seasonal sweets and drinks in cafes, conbini, and grocery stores. “Seasonal food” is partially the function of the availability of the harvest, such as a café’s changing the menu from summer blueberry cake to fall fig tarts for desserts; however, part of “seasonal food” is more related to cultural perceptions of seasons and their associated foods: Pepsi’s Salty Watermelon soda and Pocky’s and other company’s mint flavors for summer probably had less to do with available ingredients and more to do with the collective consciousness of what are summer flavors; Candy Corn Oreos come from a desire for Halloween food, not from the candy corn harvest.

I love Halloween and autumn, and with more companies in Japan creating Halloween flavors or packages for their products, I’ve decided to do a series on…

View original post 500 more words

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Halloween seems to be the new imported-holiday darling of the ’10s. As I wrote last year, businesses’ creating and selling Halloween-themed goods and services has exploded in the last 5 years, and yet, this isn’t the Halloween I celebrated as a child.

The most popular image from my coverage of Halloween 2011.

A comparison to Japanese Christmas may be helpful in understanding how imported holidays function. (more…)

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