Get Your Harajuku On

In Japanese street fashion, we find the vibrant spirit of a country that needs our help.

Photography by Chuck St. John

Models: Christina Ashley (Atlanta), Summer Buckley,  Jennifer Spanick; Hair Stylist: Chadwick Thomas; Make up:  Jennifer Spanick;

Wardrobe: Roo Devon; Assistants: Lindsey Griffin, Chris Jones

A renegade style of dressing made famous in the streets of Tokyo’s famous fashion district, Harajuku, embodies the spirit of youth and a country of vibrant, creative tenacity. Harajuku, street fashion that incorporates looks that range from gothic Lolita to rockabilly, reaches far beyond Japan’s shores to our own. It’s fun, it’s youthful, and it reminds us of the energetic spirit of a country that has been wracked with physical and emotional devastation. On the pages that follow, we explore both the fashion trend and the connections between Japan and Birmingham, and we suggest ways you can help the Japanese people recover.

Local Organizations providing support

The Executive Director of the Japan-America  Society of Alabama (JASA), Tamara Moriya, has been at the forefront of local relief efforts. The JASA is in its third decade of encouraging and developing friendship and understanding. You can go online any time at and make a donation that will be funneled to three of the major relief organizations working on the ground in Japan. Last month there was even a fundraiser for Japanese relief during a Birmingham Barons game.

Sister Cities

Birmingham loves Hitachi.

In the last 25 years, hundreds of Birmingham youths have traveled there with various programs. The Hitachi Board of Education has agreed to keep two Birmingham graduates on their staff, which has provided over 20 young people with jobs over the years. One Hitachi city park displays a 10-foot replica of our own Vulcan, a gift from Birmingham.

Local poet Samuel Ullman and his famous poem, “Youth,” are featured in their city poetry museum

Wear It

Check out Cafe Press for Tsunami Relief T-Shirts, stickers and pins.

A portion of the proceeds go to Japan disaster relief.

Hear It

“Songs for Japan” has topped the iTunes charts in 18 nations. With 38 tracks from artists ranging from John Lennon to Lady Gaga, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Best of all, there is something for the Japanese Red Cross to work with. Participants have waived royalties and fees to insure that the money goes where it’s needed. Available for $9.99 on iTunes.

Red Cross donations made Easy

“Your gift to the American Red Cross will support the disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.”

One Response to “Get Your Harajuku On”

  1. Hey all…don’t forget the behind the scenes vid!!!

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