From Virtual Japan

Jump to: navigation, search

Chapatsu is a common Japanese hairstyle that involves bleaching and/or dying one’s hair. Chapatsu (which translates to “brown hair”) can be commonly seen among teens, especially teens that dress in Ganguro and Kogal clothing and makeup styles, and is often used to accentuate tan skin.

Though Chapatsu hair is generally thought of as a style for women (since the Ganguro style tends to be more common among younger Japanese women), it is actually nearly as common with men, especially in the trendier areas of Tokyo.


Chapatsu began as a form of rebellion. In the early 1990’s, when rebellious teens started to darkly tan their skins, the hair style began to help them stand out from the traditional forms of beauty. Within a few years, however, the hair style became a national trend. Due to this widespread popularity, the word made an appearance in the Japanese Dictionary in 1998.

The idea of the “Chapatsu style” appears to be fading out of modern Japanese fashion, though dying and bleaching one’s hair still continues in other forms. It is, however, beginning to lose its association with Ganguro and Kogal styles, and is becoming a simple and accepted form of hair styling equivalent to dying one’s hair in any part of the world.

The full Chapatsu style can still be seen in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, and bleach dying one’s hair is still a common trend among youth in Tokyo.


Ganguro, which translates literally to “black face” is a strange and common trend in Japan (though it is fading of late along with Chapatsu). The Ganguro style can differ slightly, but the general look is dark, tan skin, a face that has even darker makeup, and exuberant white eye shadow. Though its origins are less well known, it is thought that the popularity of many African American musicians in Japan caused many of their residents to adopt a clothing style based on the racist artistry of the early 20th century (presumably because the Japanese trend setters did not realize the offensive origins of the artwork). The Chapatsu hair style was designed to help contrast the look, so that the skin appeared even darker.

External Links

Pop culture / Travel / Forum / Gallery / FAQ/Help / Submit

Copyright 2008, All Rights Reserved.