Ganguro, Yamanba, and Manba

Ganguro is literally translated as “Black Faced Girls”. Ganguro girls are described to have

Ganguro Girl

very deep tans and blond, orange, or silver gray hair.  The makeup of a ganguro girl is very distinct as well.  The makeup comprises of black eyeliner, white concealer used for lipstick and eye shadow, and fake eyelashes.  It is also quite common to see glitter used as well.  Ganguro clothing typically comprises of tye-dye sarongs, mini skirts, platform shoes, and lots of bracelets, necklaces, and rings.  In general ganguro girls wear bright clothing, and try to avoid black.

The ganguro trend appeared in the 1990’s, as some Japanese women refused to conform to the traditional Japanese women.  The Shibuya and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo are considered the center of ganguro fashion.  Since Japanese culture is about NOT

Egg magazine is a Japanese maganzine about ganguro style

sticking out the ganguro girls are often shunned and have trouble finding acceptance in mainstream society.  The media does not help either, for they dub ganguro girls as “bad girls”, who are unhygienic, promiscuous, and crazy, Even calling the ganguro followers mountain hags.  Resulting in the avoidance by most Japanese, for example, on subways, people will try to avoid sitting near a ganguro girls.  However, while they are not accepted still by the whole population, slowly the ganguro girls are starting to earn acceptance by society.

What is Yamanba and Manba?

The terms Yamanba and Manba refer to the extremist of the ganguro style.

Yamanba girls often have EXTREMELY dark tans, very white lipstick, colored contacts, and facial stickers.  They

Yamanba and Manba girls have very very dark tans

often wear Hawaiian prints and shocking bright colors.  Today the yamanba name has simply shortened to just manba, though the extreme style is generally the same with a few changes.  For example, the facial stickers and Hawaiian prints are nowout of style.   The manba girls use very heavy makeup that almost resembles a panda.  The yamanba, and manba hair is usually bleached out very blond and multicolored with bright florescent colors.  A difference between the yamanba and manba, is that yamanba usually would wear the white concealer (as eye shadow) only above the eyes, while manba typically will wear the eyeshadow above and below the eye.

Yamanba/Manba Girl


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