♡ ryousangata and jirai kei 101 ♡

Nov 23, 2020

If you've been following Japanese fashion for a while you probably know styles like lolita, gyaru and fairy kei. You’re also perhaps familiar with newer styles like larme (a style that was received somewhat out of context in the western community and blown up to be a bigger thing that it was lol). But you might not be familiar with the current fashion and aesthetic trend sweeping trendy young Tokyo girls right now - “ryousangata” and “jiraikei”.

Both styles are kind of functionally identical, with different flavours, and I wanted to try and explain a little bit about it to the western J-fashion community.

Clothing brand “Dear my Love” recently released two mascots for their brand called “Dear-chan” and “My-chan” which I think aptly represent these styles and their small differences so I’ll be using those as visual examples.

One thing I want to stress is that I do kind of dislike the way some J-fashion fans often attempt to “box” styles into one thing with rules on what is and isn’t the style and so on, and I’m not trying to do that because this is just a trend, and like all trends, I’m sure it will grow, change and probably eventually die out in a few years anyway.

Let’s start with ryousangata!

A ryousangata girl is typically very pink, very girly, with eye makeup that focuses on enlarging the eyes, with perfectly groomed hair, nails and perfectly coordinated girly outfits.

The most used colours are pink, brown, cream or white, and grey. The most important thing in the aesthetic is femininity and cuteness above all. The name “ryousangata” in Japanese literally means “mass produced”, and it’s most likely a tongue-in-cheek name to describe the fact that everyone indulging in this fashion and aesthetic looks… kind of the same. Many girls are using the exact same brands, the same items, the same hairstyles, and so on. This makes it very easy to spot a ryousangata girl in the wild! (xD) Red and blonde hair colours are also popular with this style.

The most important part of ryousangata, though, is that it is most commonly associated with otaku girls in Japan. Of course being an otaku, an avidly obsessed fan of something, in most cases anime or games, was usually seen as being weird or bad by most people, but nowadays it’s become more common than ever for young people to indulge in being a fan of a certain anime or mobile game. Hypnosis Mic, Twisted Wonderland, idolish7 and other idol anime have many ryousangata fans who make decadent, beautiful itabags and even ita-nails to go with their perfectly chosen cute outfits for events and selfie ops.

Fans of real idols like Johnny’s also engage with ryousangata culture. The brands currently catering to this style are evelyn and anmille, Liz Lisa, Honey Cinnamon and more. You’ll have noticed that many brands that catered to previously popular styles such as himegyaru are now catering to this ryousangata boom.

If you are an otaku girl who also loves fashion and to be stylish, this could be the fashion for you! You can proudly display both your expensive and ridiculous Matenrou itabag while also rocking an expensive evelyn outfit. :D

So if ryousangata is the pink My Melody of the current j-fashion boom, then jiraikei is the Kuromi, bad girl side of it. Jiraikei, or just “jirai joshi” holds a similar aesthetic to ryousangata with very girly clothes with lace and ribbons, with lots of pink, black and grey, but also with lavender too - and more noticeably the makeup tends to be much darker and heavier. In a way it could be considered another genre of ryousangata. While ryousangata styles tend to focus on pink, girly and sparkly makeup, jiraikei can be dark, with heavy eyeliner and dark lips - often deep red and purple is used. Piercings are also common. A specific difference with jiraikei, though, is that comfier clothes like oversized jackets and hoodies, and also sneakers, are common.

I suppose it can probably be comparable to yamikawaii and/or menhera fashion, but I hesitate to equate the two because it tends to lack the common motifs of menhera fashion like the medical themes, and in general I think they are basically separate identities. “Jirai” literally means “landmine” but it’s also used as net slang for something that could cause someone discomfort or annoyance online, and could be a tongue-in-cheek name to describe the girls as something not to mess with or as having menhera tendencies. Brands catering to jiraikei include the previous brands since mostly it’s the colour combinations and other accessories - and also includes ank rouge, Ma*rs and other stores.

With both jiraikei and ryousangata, designer brands are also common. Many girls in Japan who engage with ryousangata and jiraikei aesthetic enjoy GUCCI,YSL, MCM, Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands. Since the styles focus on girliness and femininity this isn’t super surprising but might come as a surprise to some people who aren’t used to seeing luxury in popular harajuku styles.

So, both styles are basically functionally identical in a lot of ways but you can kind of separate them by “my melody style” and “kuromi style” (lol). The most important part of any fashion though is, after all, the culture around it. Phrases, editing styles, mascot characters, brands, everything is a carefully selected part of the jirai and ryousangata aesthetic and culture.

I hope you found this information interesting! I'd love to see more people utilising this aesthetic!
5 comments on "♡ ryousangata and jirai kei 101 ♡"
  1. The article was up to the point and described the information about Good quality leather jackets. Thanks to blog author for wonderful and informative post.
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  2. Thank you for this! I see so many people mostly mistaking these styles as "Larme-kei" which isn't even really a term in Japan (tho it does exist, methinks) - there are quite a few crossovers but ryousangata and jirai are definitely quite distinct!

  3. what's the difference between larme kei and ryousangata?

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  5. Thank you so much for such informative post on these styles~ I really liked how neat it was ⭐︎


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