Why do the Japanese spend so much on clothing?


February 19, 2016 by Ville Raivio

“For example, why have the Japanese been so interested in fashion — arguably far beyond other cultural fields? As Japanese teens built up their own youth cultures, they always prioritized fashion over music, automobiles, furniture, and cuisine… As a start, urban consumers did not need nice interior goods because no one entertained in their cramped apartments. And between a lack of facilities and little free time from work, sports have not been a major part of adult life. By contrast, fashion worked well with the busy, crowded Tokyo lifestyle… Osamu Shigewatsu explains, ‘Clothes have always had the highest return on investment because, unlike other kinds of culture, they’re seen by others, and the Japanese care a lot about that. Clothes can express personal identity and also act as a communication tool.’

W. David Marx in his fascinating social history book Ametora


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"If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable".
~ Beau Brummell