A note on: The costumes of Eiko Ishioka

Eiko Ishioka
Eiko Ishioka is a Japanese costume designer, born on July 12 1939 in Tôkyô. 
She is very famous for her designs and in 1992 Ishioka won an Academy Award for her costume design in Bram Stoker's Dracula. (Indeed, Mina's red dress is very famous)

(Some of) her designs for movies:
Mishima: A life in four chapters (1985)
Closet Land (1991)
Dracula (1992)
The Cell (2000)
The Fall (2006)
Teresa, el cuerpo de Cristo (2007)

Stage costumes:
Madamma Butterfly (1988)
The Ring of the Nibelung (1997)
Cirque du Solei: Varekai (2002)
and more...

Here are some selected pictures of her designs and you can easily find them on google ;P 

The Cell
Mina's dress in 'Dracula'

There are also different photobooks of Eiko Ishioka's designs, but they are quite expensive. You can search for them on Amazon. (Prices around $180 and $235+..)

I personally like Ishioka's work, because it has something of a 'gothic touch' and is really interesting. ;P I like the combination of Western dress (especially Victorian and Gothic style) and Japanese/Asian dress. Ishioka seems to like the colour red and uses it quite a lot. I think red x white or red x black is great for the eye. 

However, Ishioka isn't alone, other Japanese fashion and costume designers seem to have an interest in old western clothes and gothic style... For instance, Yohji Yamamoto, who loves the colour black, or Issey Miyake, Hanae Mori ... ;P
I just named the most famous Japanese designer, but there are lot more of great fashion designers in the land of the rising sun. Maybe next I'm, I'll give a note on the other designers, too. ;P


Going to the cinema in Japan: Ticket

Some (hopefully) useful tips how you can enjoy a great afternoon or evening at a Japanese cinema ;P

Going to the cinema in Japan: Getting the ticket
Of Course the first thing you need is the ticket. The cinema ticket in Japan is quite expensive, about 1,800 Yen per Person. Normally there are no discounts for university or high school students in Japan, but some cinemas do offer university students discounts! ^^ The most inexpensive ticket is about 1,000 Yen - for ladies only available at the so called 'ladies day'. In the majority of Japanese cinemas, wednesday is 'ladies day'. Depending on the cinema, 'ladies day' could be at another day.
I want to intodruce the ticket shop Daikokuya and two big cinemas in Tôkyô, Shinjuku (Piccadilly and Wald9). 


「HACHI 約束の犬」 Hachiko: A dog's story

During my exchange year in Tôkyô, I heard that Richard Gere is a fan of the dog Hachikô and plans to make a movie about the dog's story. In August 2009, I could watch his new movie 'Hachiko: A dog's story' (Japanese title: HACHI 約束の犬) in Japan. So I'd like to intodruce that movie...

「HACHI 約束の犬」 Hachiko: A dog's story

Directed by: Lasse Hallström
Produced by: Richard Gere, Bill Johnson, Vicki Shigekuni Wong
Starring: Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Sarah Roemer, Eric Avari, Jason Alexander
Country: United States
Language: English
Release (Japan): 8th August 2009
Release (US): 18th December 2009 

Japanese Homepage 


「外人だから」 Being a foreigner in your own country...

This time, I won't write about youth and subculture in the classic sense, but about another cultural phenomenom which appears among (young) Japanese people. Even non-Japanese speakers know the word 'gaijin' (外人), short for gaikokujin (外国人) and it's very often used with a 'slightly' negative connotation. 

As Japanese are so used to that word and the majority of non-Japanese speaking foreigners in Japan always uses that word to describe themselves, most people ignore the negative meaning of 'gaijin'. I personally, do dislike the word 'gaijin' and always use 'gaikokujin' instead. It is much more polite. 
Another version of the 'g-word' is 'gaijin-san', with the word 'san' for mister/miss. Miss Gaijin isn't much more polite than gaijin alone, but many young Japanese don't get it.