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Young women’s summer fashions show too much, poll reveals

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The government’s “Cool Biz” campaign, aimed at fostering energy conservation by encouraging people to dispense with neckties and superfluous garments during the steamy summer months, may or may not be related to current fashions among young women. But keeping cool aside, girls’ wearing of skimpy duds in public places -- or on the job -- is viewed with disdain by many adults.

Each week at a section on its website called “aspara club,” the Asahi Shimbun polls some 8,000 registered “be monitors.” The results then appear each Saturday in the print edition's supplement, in a department called “be between.”

The question for the July 26 edition was, “Do you feel women’s summer garb is too extreme?” Of the 4,361 valid responses, 80% replied in the affirmative. Of these, nearly equal numbers objected to flashing of too much skin (2,189 responses) and allowing undergarments or navel to be exposed (2,011 responses).

Asked which garments were unsuitable to be worn at the workplace, 3,320 respondents named camisoles -- which originally functioned as an undergarment.

“Seeing women nonchalantly wearing something that looks like underwear is really unpleasant,” a 67-year-old Tokyoite tells Asahi.

The second most unpopular item to wear to work, with 2,257 responses, was low-rise pants. Numerous comments were also made about footwear, specifically sandals and cheap synthetic leisure shoes like Crocs were singled out for criticism.

“At a restaurant, one girl seated on a tatami had exposed a full view of her butt. I had to ask a waiter to tell her off,” one Aichi Prefecture resident tells Asahi, while a 30-year-old Tokyo man complains, “The revealing clothing makes it harder for me to concentrate on my job.”

Interestingly, while a few monitors lamented what has become of Japanese female modesty and reserve, none of the comments considered how “immodest” appearance might be tied to the sex crimes, such as the side-effects of tactile titillation on male rail passengers, caused by close proximity to skimpily clad young women. The survey essentially came across as a simple critique of current fashions and wearers’ tastes -- or the lack thereof.

The Asahi survey also noted that 40% of respondents felt male summer garb was also too extreme -- although for the opposite reason.

“Just looking at men in suits and neckties makes me feel hot,” a 28-year-old Kanagawa woman complains. “Because of them, we have to lower the thermostat, and women feel colder.”

© Japan Today

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“Seeing women nonchalantly wearing something that looks like underwear is really unpleasant,”

What nonsense! I find it quite pleasant and look forward to summer.

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Personally, I prefer the autumn-winter look of the young ladies in their boots, miniskirts and sexy fishnets.

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A picture is worth a thousand words. So what is considered showing too much?

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pictures!

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People are afraid of seeing women be confident about their bodies. And even more so of women being confident in their sexuality. In a society that wants male domination, women deciding to be bold must make these guys pretty nervous.

I don't mind the current fashion. Can be a nice distraction on a bad day to see a stunning beauty. A lot nicer than the sweating salaryman who has to turn the aircon to 18 to balance out his penguin suit. I'd like to see more individual and free dress within that unhappy looking segment of society.

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I wonder why when I wear a shirt revealing my shoulders and decolletage this makes everybody cast angry glances at me as if my voluptuous forms are an offence to them. But on the other hand nobody is angry with the Japanese girls revealing their legs. Revealing legs is ok but revealing shoulders and decolletage is not ok???

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I keep walking/cycling into things lately - must be heat exhaustion.

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This information is from a poll collected from registered members at a newspaper group. I think this poll's information does more to show the stance of the kind of people who have the time to join a newspaper group than it does to show the general opinion of the people.

Judging by the amount of OL pornographic video being released in this country, I would expect that a poll of real salarymen would result in the preference for their younger female staff to be topless if at all possible.

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"Women asserting their sexuality" and "women confident about their bodies" are most of the time slogans of advocates of street soft porn. Assertive and confident women are the less likely to wear skimpy clothing, because they don't need to prove anything to anyone. That's what being confident is about. Comfort and elegance, poise and decency are on the other hand, the signature of a confident woman.

I am guessing some details are missing in this article. I cannot speak from my own experience because I suspect people stare at me regardless of what I decide to wear simply because I am different (aka, a foreigner). Revealing too much may not only be skin, but the way in which that skin is shown. I do agree showing underwear is most distasteful. Translucent camisoles (as the article states those who are supposed to be underwear), bra straps and panties showing are simply and crass vulgar. There are garments which being lighter are not offensive and are great for summer. Shouldn't I know? I am from a tropical country and women there do know how to look stylish in the heat while keeping cool and tidy. I can only suppose it's the manner of wear, not the skin showing, which appears offensive from Japanese women's part here in Japan.

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I can't believe that I'm actually saying this, but back when I lived in Japan, there were times during summers when it actually got to be a little much. When I first arrived in 2001, fishnet stockings were all the rage. Where I come from, only a certain type of woman, in a certain type of job would even consider leaving the house in those. A significant number of Japanese girls dress like actual prostitutes. That's not me trying to have a go at them, but it's just the simple truth. Maybe I'm just getting old, but a lot of what makes a woman sexy is revealing a little, but not all. Young Japanese girls/women sometimes take it too far, and just come off looking cheap. I remember being surprised on my first trip to France by how well the women were dressed, and how good they all looked, even though they were mostly covered. French women exude a mature confidence, whereas a lot of Japanese girls look as though they were just let loose in their mothers' lingerie closets and are playing dress-up. "Ero-kawaii" is not about being "confident about one's body". It's just an annoying trend which teaches young women, and little girls for that matter, that "trashy" is a synonym for "sexy".

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Japanese females have always been "passive/aggressive" in terms of their wardrobe. They want your attention just so they can ignore you. The one that really gets my goat though are the high school girls that wear bright pink, blue, or purple bras under the white t-shirts or blouses. This is nothing more than a fashion faux paus where I come from. But in Japan ? Oh how they crave the attention !

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fantastic country this is

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“Seeing women nonchalantly wearing something that looks like underwear is really unpleasant,” a 67-year-old Tokyoite tells Asahi.

i think he/she means "makes me jealous"

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Actually, this lightens up my days/nights and helps push me out of the door to work everyday.

Good looking women flashing skin gives me a warm-fuzzy feeling inside that makes the little ball of essence in me, smile.

I've always liked the way hookers dress, and wished that more "regular" girls would dress the same back in the States.

I'm glad Japan doesn't have a hang-up about women displaying their physical attractiveness through sexy clothes. (Except for the bad people who were surveyed for this poll.)

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Even abbreviated clothes can look nice if you do a good job of planning your wardrobe. That said, people in this country seem to devote a horrendous amount of their discretionary income to narcissism, including grooming, wardrobe and accessories. Is this really what "quality of life" is supposed to be about?

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When I first arrived in 2001, fishnet stockings were all the rage. Where I come from, only a certain type of woman, in a certain type of job would even consider leaving the house in those. A significant number of Japanese girls dress like actual prostitutes.

You might have considered that many of them are actually prostitutes. By a look around the internet and around the vast numbers of adult entertainment districts, I'd wager that as high as 10-20% of the girls walking the streets of Shibuya make money through lines of work your mother warned you about. Hostesses, health, soap, compensated dating, girlfriend experience...

When I first arrived in Japan, I had no idea about who was doing what to whom either.

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Old people complain about young people. News at 6.

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Japanese females have always been "passive/aggressive" in terms of their wardrobe. They want your attention just so they can ignore you.

Speak for yourself. :)

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Japanese women basically and generally dress like Trollops and Hussies when the temperatures heat up. Not all of them do, but enough of them to make me wonder what "fashion" will be like in the next few years. If I ever have the joy of having a daughter, she will never leave the house looking like 75% of Japanese women when summertime comes around....

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AT the owrk place I say most fo the comments are true and just. I believe in womens independence but I do not think in professional or work settings that women should wear what they like. That is why there are rules which are meant for more productivity and less distractions. Yes some guys are just pervs and they have the issue but there is a level of respect and decency that must be kept at work settings.

And some girls do take it too far. There are places to wear certain garments if only people would think before.

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Yes, ExPrinceska! I also wear similar type shirts, some V-necks and a bit tight-fitting, too. I don't have a huge chest, but I'm in good shape and I like to feel sexy. But I dress modestly below, to balance the look. And I never reveal underwear, bra straps, etc., which I also believe is crass, as another woman has pointed out...

I get a lot of looks from guys, but hey... if they like what they see, I don't mind. I'll flash them a smile, makes us both feel good! ;-)

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Princess - "I wonder why when I wear a shirt revealing my shoulders and decolletage..."

I had to look up "decolletage." It's a French word! Means the low-cut neckline of a dress. Couldn't you just say "cleavage"?

"... this makes everybody cast angry glances at me..."

What kind of strange people are you hanging out with?

"... as if my voluptuous forms..."

I'm sure they are!

"...are an offense to them."

They're just jealous! You just keep wearing those shirts, Princess!

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A significant number of Japanese girls dress like actual prostitutes

hahaha that's because a significant number of them are. of course more work in convenience stores than mizu shobai but the family mart staff have a less sluttier uniform by far

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Class, elegance and for that matter confidence don't really come to mind when walking in Shibuya.

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she will never leave the house looking like 75% of Japanese women when summertime comes around....

Aha, and this is where you fail as a Father, because 75% of japanese women DON'T leave the house looking like that. They leave the house with Ho-fashions tucked away in their bags and presto-change-o at the closest public commode. So to ensure your daughters continued chaste ways I suggest you open a small airport security desk in your genkan to ensure she is not smuggling Ho-fashion out of your home.

By the way, I have seen this presto-change-o deal happen in a restaurant. 3 demure school girls walk into the toilet and 10 minutes later 3 uber-skanks in mini-skirts and heels walked out.

Cool.

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“Seeing women nonchalantly wearing something that looks like underwear is really unpleasant,”....unless they're hotties.

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Young women’s summer fashions show too much Woah, now what's wrong with the ladies showing what they've got?? I'm all for it.

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I don't mind what they wear if they don't mind the stare!

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Sarge,

I would have used the word "cleavage", if I knew it, but unfortunately I knew only "decolletage". Thanks for telling me the synonim. Thanks for the encouragement.

Kissmint, may I ask you how you hide your bra straps. It is a major problem in summer.

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hahaha... are japanese women imitating LatinAmerican people? It is difficult for me to understand why the fuss in showing too much skin, i guess it is a cultural thing. If I go to Japan and wear a miniskirt probably I'd get arrested...

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ExPrinceska -

I have no doubt that Sarge is keen on clevage. And although they are essentially synonyms, there's far more class in a woman showing a bit of decolletage than one exhibiting her cleavage. An ass, after all, has got cleavage, too.

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nonchalant,

I hope Sarge finds what he is looking for...I was surprised he did not know the word decolletage though.

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I don't see any point of what would be wrong with this! The questioned people must be all hyper-conservative.

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I' prefer to see sparsely clad women rather than all those ridiculous cosplayers or people in mascot dress which are abundant in Japan (that excludes sparsely dressed cosplayers of the female kind ;).

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ExPrinceska -- I try to match the bra type with the shape of the shirt (T-back bra with T-back shirt, etc.). Maybe sometimes a strap peeks out when wearing a tank top, but if you wear similarly coloured bra and shirt, it's not very noticeable.

And I always wear a smooth-front bra when wearing a tight shirt. I don't understand the Japanese women who wear lace bras or those with some kind of flower applique or something that is very noticeable and makes their chest appear lumpy and misshapen. Saw a women yesterday with a tight white T-shirt and it looked as though she had stuffed her bra unevenly with tissue but I think it was just the fussy material on the front of the bra. Very unfortunate-looking.

Confession... I also had to look up decolletage. I assumed it meant cleavage but have never used that word before. I don't think cleavage sounds crass, though... If one says, "She's showing a nice bit of cleavage" I don't get any image of an eyeful unsuitable for the office, etc.

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KissMint, ExPrinceska - or you can wear a bra with detachable straps, and add pretty (chain, jewelled, beaded etc) straps that are meant to be seen.

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To Sarge, ExPrinceska, KissMint : in French, the word "décolletage" exists, but... it has a meaning that you could not guess, being a technical word for precision-turning of mechanical pieces. The meaning that you expect it to have belongs to a remote past. Maybe today's Québecquois use it in that acception, I leave it to them to tell me. When you refer to cleavage, if you want to be snobbish and use a French word you must speak of "décolleté". Décolleté is both a verbal adjective (coming from the verb "décolleter", meaning opening/removing the collar or revealing the neck) e.g. "this dress is too décolletée for me", or a substantive e.g. "he was looking straight into my décolleté". Japan has an unfortunate tendency for misusing or distorting French words or creating "French" words that do not exist in reality (like "anime", "esthé"...). Let the Japanese with a taste for correct speech and the Gaijins pay attention to this !

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Thank you, KissMint, for the advice. The bras with nice flower applications should be watched directly, not when they have clothes over. MMen do not like to watch plain bras I think. They prefer flowers and figures applications, I think.

Cleo, have you worn a bra with detachable straps? The moment you take out the straps, your bra starts moving down and down (yes, the gravitation!!) causing great discomfort and finally you are as if you have no bra at all.

Freespeech, thanks, but before using the word "decolletage" I looked into the Oxford dictionary of English language and took it from there without thinking it is an awkward usage. I will use "decollete" in future.

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ExPrinceska - They do say that if your bra doesn't slip down when you take the straps off, you don't need a bra in the first place. :-)

That's where the pretty (chain, jewelled, beaded etc) straps come in; they take the place of the regular straps so that things don't move down south, and it's OK for them to be seen.

Have either of you ever used the stick-on bras? Anyone know if they're any good/do the job? What do they do to sensitive skin? I'd like to try one, but sticking plasters bring me out in a rash - I'd hate to have a bandaid rash there!

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Thank you Cleo for nice advice, very helpful :)

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I am eternally grateful that so many Japanese women reveal much of their true selves in the summertime. The peaks and valleys make the long train rides much more bearable.

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Actually, I have a complaint about this summer's fashion - I have seen far too few bare midriffs this summer! What is up with that?

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Sarge: They should call it "Bare Biz" for women.

Keep it up, Japanese women, with the summer exposure. Perhaps a good part of global warming would be to get the women to start the downward migration earlier each year in the spring, and have the U-turn unrushed each fall. Thanks, Japanese women!

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Japanese women basically and generally dress like Trollops and Hussies when the temperatures heat up.

"Trollops and Hussies" just opened a branch in Sendai the other day. They're doing a good business from what I hear. And see.

If I ever have the joy of having a daughter, she will never leave the house looking like 75% of Japanese women when summertime comes around....

Those hardcore Islamic states have the right idea with the burqa, don't they? No hussies or trollops there!!!

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Cleo, never tried a stick on bra... If it's not too expensive, it might be worth a go at least once. But in the heat... I don't know. I sweat so much that it would probably come unstuck.

You can also get clear straps. Check if your bra has removable straps, and then put the clear ones in their place. I've seen them at the 100 yen shop, never tried them myself. Might find better quality ones somewhere else.

Freespeach -- thanks for that thorough explanation. I think I'll stick with "cleavage" (with or without the stick-on bra!). I try not to incorporate too many foreign words into my regular day-to-day English, for risk of sounding like a pretentious snot!

blvtzpk... "Trollops and Hussies" just opened a branch in Sendai. LOL!!!

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clear straps irritate the skin...or my skin is tooo sensitive.

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Clear straps are OK under a see-through garment, though as ExPrinceska notes, they can irritate, especially if it's hot and sweaty.

If shoulders are bare, having straps that are meant to be seen looks nicer, I think.

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Hey ladies, cool it with the talk about your underware. Guys here are gonna get hot under the collar, if it ain`t hot enough outside anyway.

Anyway i think women, especially those teens still living at home, should dress in a sensible manner, which doesn`t look outlandish.

Hey, moms and dads i`m talking to you now, you must make you daughters dress decently, and grow up knowing the meaning of decent dress sense.

That`s all from me for now. Telling it to you straight.

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I've hardly seen this type of extreme dress up in all the times I"ve been to japan. The women are dressed conservatively but still manage to look great. Here in this place we've got middle aged women wearing juniors' clothing, thier bellys protruding out. I think I've only seen one Jgirl wearing a skirt so tiny her butt cheeks were wobbling as she walked. It was really gross. People actually wear crocs to work in Japan? Good god, I thought there were really strict about dress code. Some of these men in business suits can't help the way they're dressed. They're usually out and about on lunch break or on their way to a meeting. Of course they're boiling in the suit, but it can't be helped.

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At my age (88), i would need a good pair of specs to appeciate a young womans clothing. Blimey, they can never show too much can they.

I missed out on the permissive society, bad luck fom me, oh well.

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“Do you feel women’s summer garb is too extreme?”

Maybe some interpreted that as "too extreme" as in "coevers too much in this mushi-atsui tenki"

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Is this just Kanto? Everyone in Kobe seems to be wearing mumus with 'spats'(leggings) underneath.

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