Why do so many Japanese girls love brand bags?

Posted on 2008/01/25. Filed under: Japan | Tags: , |

Many Japanese girls like to own brand handbags such as Louis Vuitton, GUCCI, PRADA, etc. You do not see this phenomenon in Europe, the U.S. and China. For example, in Paris French women have their own style of dressing up without a need for brand goods. Why are Japanese girls like that? Some foreigners who live in Japan say that it is because Japanese girls lack self confidence. I disagree with them because I am sure that Japanese girls who love brand bags have more confidence than I do. I guess that they do not have strong identities as to who they really are.

Japanese society itself does not have a strong identity either. While there are many things I do not like about Japan, I like this aspect of Japanese society. I feel because Japanese people do not possess a strong ethnic identity, it has been enabled them to be more open-minded toward foreign cultures and to adapt them positively rather than persisting to cling to only Japanese heritage. This can be seen in institutions like a democratic political system, an advanced school system, printing technology, etc. As a result, we could become a developed country earlier than other neighboring Asian countries and avoided colonization by western countries.

I have heard that French people are very interested in Chinese culture these days and consider Japanese culture boring because Japanese culture is often considered a “copied culture” as it does not retain much of its originality. However, don’t you think that keeping too much tradition tends to victimize people’s happiness? For example, in China or Korea, some women are blamed if they do not conceive a male baby because a male will take over the family lineage. However, in westernized Japanese society women do not have to worry about this and both male and female babies are celebrated. An exception to this would be the importance for the Japanese Imperial family to have a male heir. So which culture do you want to live in, Chinese heritage-oriented culture or Japanese copied culture?

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

7 Responses to “Why do so many Japanese girls love brand bags?”

RSS Feed for A Japanese View Comments RSS Feed

I think the “brand phenomena” in Japan is due to a variety of things such as low self esteem and the sheep like mentality of many young Japanese today. For better or worse designer goods are often an indicator of one’s worth here. At first some people may have looked to sporting expensive brands as a way to stand out among other Japanese but nowadays every other grandma on the train is sporting a Louis Vuitton monogram handbag.

Hi thepaceisqlacial,

Japanese language did not have a word for “identity” until we created it not so long ago. Today the English word “identity” (without Japanese translation) is widely accepted because the actual Japanese equivalent does not translate well. What “self esteem” means is still not clear to Japanese people and its Japanese definition is not well established. Therefore I think it is natural that when “identity” and “self esteem” do not exist in a language, people would not have a strong sense of identity or high self esteem. Having brand goods is perhaps a safe way for a Japanese to show his/her value in a culture that does not celebrate individual differences.

Seriously, read these books:

Introducing Cultural Studies by E. Baldwin
The Practice of Cultural Studies by R. Johnson
Keywords by R. Williams (the chapter on culture)
Theorizing the Everyday by F. Martin
Media and Society by M. O’Shaughnessy
Identity and Nation by M. Guibemau and D. Goldblatt
Home Territories: Media, Mobility and Identity by D. Morley
Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture by J. Storey

Then come back and review all the things you have written, especially all the assumptions about ‘culture’ is.

Japan, open minded to foreign cultures? I have lived in Japan for half a year and I have to disagree. Oh, Japan, the land of freedom! Where people are not victimised! Oh China and Korea, where people still walk around in robes and write with brushes!

I can’t argue with you unless you’ve read some books on culture. Otherwise you’ll just keep throwing these strange assumptions around.

Hi Lucy Diamond,

Why don’t you express yourself with your own words instead of the recommendations of others? It sounds like you depend on other people’s ideas. There are many different points of views. When you have differences in culture, the definition of an idea can be different. I told my viewpoint as a Japanese individual living in Japan most of her life.

I think in my opinion they see many outside designers as a status symbol, just as we do here in America. Gucci and Prada, etc. are well known designers that represent status, luxury and poise… this is due largely in part to their branding, and advertising in magazines, and tv ads. I remember my high school days, many young girls carried around these bags from Abercrombie and Finch, Old Navy, BOSS wear.. pretty much whatever was in and hot for that season. They’d tote around their gym clothes and lunches in them. It hasn’t just been Japanese girls that carry them, although this article is specifying some phenomenon with them specifically, maybe we just haven’t been as aware of hand bags our own girls are carrying around.
I’ve seen myself this carrying of the hand bags with people my own age when I was in high school, I’m sure its a safe bet to assume they just want to appear popular and look wealthy. In some cases they may just like the styles.

I think it’s sad…
I’m asian, female, 21 and I’m glad I’m not one of the many brand craze asian girls.
I just don’t get it. I really don’t understand how these girls value money. I’m not poor either, but I feel guilty seeing money float away to something so…useless…and unproductive.
These bags are just for show. They are there to boost self-esteem.
Ok I’m not gonna lie. I do want one or two, but I honestly don’t even have one. When it’s time to buy one, I just can’t let myself wasting money on these craps.

I might care to see other girlfriends getting expensive new bags, but my jealousy is short-lived. I’d rather invest my money in stocks or buy neccessity.

How come japanese girls don’t think like this?
Yes I think they are dumb as fuk

“apanese society itself does not have a strong identity either. While there are many things I do not like about Japan, I like this aspect of Japanese society. I feel because Japanese people do not possess a strong ethnic identity, it has been enabled them to be more open-minded toward foreign cultures and to adapt them positively rather than persisting to cling to only Japanese heritage.”
Sorry, but as a ‘gaijin’ who lived in Japan, during my school years, Japan is nowhere near as culturally accepting as you think, a subtle undercurrent of prejudice is inherent in many Japanese institutions and was is generally the younger generation who were far more accepting of my presence than even 25 year old adult were.

“As a result, we could become a developed country earlier than other neighboring Asian countries and avoided colonization by western countries.”
You may have still had your political system, but the Dutch and Portuguese basically controlled your economy for many decades, you were colonised, just not overtly.


Where's The Comment Form?

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: