Recently, I became a "Moshi Moshi friend" as the application process recently opened up on their website (you can still apply!). Moshi Moshi Nippon is a branch of Asobi system, the company that owns music talents such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and the Tempura kids, they also hold a festival called "Moshi Moshi Nippon" which aims to spread Kawaii culture all around the world.
My first task as a Moshi Moshi friend was to bring together models for the parade promoting Harajuku fashion week;
(more pictures to come later)
We congregated at the famous Moshi Box in the center of Harajuku, where we were given signs and huge banners to promote the event, then we began our walk around Harajuku, creating kawaii commotion and shouting "Harajuku Kawaii week yattemasu!", having our photo taken and doing interviews for TV crews covering the event. I was entrusted with a huge war-like banner, which made me feel mighty, like I was about to ride my unicorn into battle.
That day in Harajuku was blisteringly hot and we got all kinds of burnt promoting the event, but we also got to meet a lot of interesting people, such as this ridiculously decorated man. I have seen him often in Harajuku and I don't know how to describe his style other than deco-kabuki. He uses creepy looking masks, a onesie and then coats himself in every piece of decoration you can imagine, but somehow making it all work and look fantastic.
He asked us to come with him in Japanese - usually I wouldn't follow a strange man who asks me to go with him, but this time our curiosity got the better of us and he led us outside of Harajuku station, where people began taking our picture. He said "wait a minute" and went to fetch something, then came back with a similarly decorated box. He opened the box to reveal a treasure-trove of cute hand-made jewelry, then asked us to take a piece each. It wasn't what I was expecting at all, but it was such a charming outcome!
I chose a pin-badge with his picture on and Leo picked a fuzzy black and neon bat ring. He also gave us a leaflet about his project named "Hanmyo project". I am researching more about his project, but it seems like he is trying to keep Harajuku culture alive through his hand-made jewelery, fashion documentaries, attending events and meeting people who are fashion-minded. I hope I get to meet him again...
The jewelry he gave me~
We then went to check out part of the event in La Foret department store. The event featured various music lives, fashion shows and fashion snaps. Although we were promoting so we missed most of it there were opportunities to get free Harajuku hair and makeup, and also be featured in some Harajuku fashion magazines. There was also a flea market for Harajuku models to sell their used and hand-made items, but by the time we got there everything had been sold!
After the event we headed back to the Moshi Box, where we had refreshments and did Karaoke. The Moshi box is the information center of Harajuku; you can go there to find out about surrounding stores, use free wifi, buy Harajuku themed souvenirs or even just take a break, there is an English speaker on-hand to assist you. If you want to try out the Karaoke box, just walk in and ask the worker at the service counter.
Did you know that in the Moshi box, Karaoke is free?! Also if you attend the Karaoke box on a Wednesday or Sunday and sing a song that gets a rating of 90% or more then you win a free crepe!
Of course it's very tricky to hit all of the notes, but a free crepe is definitely incentive enough to try!
The inside of the box is luxuriously decorated in bright neon and pastel Harajuku colors, designed by 6% Doki Doki designer Sebastian Matsuda. There are even cute little "Kawaii" and "Harajuku" shaped glasses on-hand if you want to feel particularly fancy during your song choice, or your name is Elton John.
Finally, in true Harajuku spirit, we took Purikura (Japanese style photo booth) in Takeshita Dori as a memory of the day and our fashions, everyone looked so cute and unique, I feel truly happy to have a band of pastel weirdos to accompany me on my adventures.
Finally, Moshi Moshi Nippon will be world touring their event, so please check the website to see if it is coming to a country near you, as Harajuku fashion needs all the support it can get because it has been in decline in the last ten years
Be wild and stay kawaii!