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Glossary - 0-9

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The Kogal (コギャル kogyaru) fashion involves wearing an outfit based on
a Japanese school uniform, but with
a much shortened skirt and long
loose socks...
Click Image to Enlarge

KOGAL

The Kogal (コギャル kogyaru) fashion involves wearing an outfit based on a Japanese school uniform, but with a much shortened skirt, loose socks, and often dyed hair and a scarf as well.

The phenomenon was prominent in the 1990s, but has since declined.

The word "kogal" is an Anglicized from kogyaru, a contraction of kōkōsei gyaru (high school gal).   The girls refer to themselves as gyaru (gals), although this word is applied to several other fashion looks as well.

Aside from the pinned-up skirt and the loose socks, or rusu sokusu, Kogals favor platform boots, makeup, and Burberry scarves.

They may also dye their hair brown and get quite over-the-top artificial suntans.

They have a distinctive slang peppered with English words.   They are often, but not necessarily, enrolled students.

Centers of kogal culture include the Harajuku and Shibuya districts of Tokyo, in particular Shibuya's 109  Building.

Kogals are avid users of photo booths, with most visiting at least once a week, according to newspaper polls.

While critics condemn the Kogals as shallow, materialistic, and devoted to conspicuous consumption, admirers describe them as, "kindhearted, active young women in exuberant health, the women of today."

As previously stated, Kogals are identified not only by their look, but their speech, called kogyarugo (コギャル語), which is also distinctive.

A Kogal's boyfriend is an ikemen (イケ面, "cool dude") who is naturally chō-kawaii (超かわいい, "totally cute").

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Yep!... Kogals are the Japanese equivelent of ... well... yeah... like... 'Valley Girls'... wha'evaaaah..."
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She, meanwhile, will gyaru-yatte (ギャルやって, "do the gal thing") by buying her gyaru-fuku (ギャル服, "gal clothes") at a gyaru-kei shoppu (ギャル系ショップ, "gal-style shop") thereby gyaru-do appu no tame ni (ギャル度アップのために, "increasing her degree of galness"), unless of course she simply cannot find anything that isn't chō maji de mukatsuku (超マジでむかつく, "real super nauseating").

In a land obsessed with self-sacrifice and group identity, the gals proclaim, biba jibun (ビバ自分, "long live the self", derived from Viva and the Japanese word for "self").

As you can see, Kogals' words are often created by contracting Japanese phrases or by literal translation of an English phrase, i.e. without reordering to follow Japanese syntax.   Gal words may also be created by adding the suffix -ingu (from English "-ing") to verbs, for example gettingu (ゲッティング, "getting").

Roman script abbreviations are popular, for example "MM" stands for maji de mukatsuku (really disgusting).   "MK5" stands for maji de kireru go byoumae (マジでキレる5秒前, "on the verge of [lit. five seconds away from] going ballistic").

Yep!... Kogals are the Japanese equivelent of ... well... yeah... like... 'Valley Girls'... wha'evaaaah...


SEE ALSO:
ZOKU (Tribe)


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