parasol

Japan and the rise of the male parasol: They’re not just for Lolitas anymore!

Japan and the rise of the male parasol: They’re not just for Lolitas anymore!

Foreigners visiting Japan for the first time might be taken aback by how widespread the use of umbrellas is. Sure, during rain storms umbrellas make sense, but even during pleasantly sunny days you’re likely to see enough women putting up parasols to make you think the Bauhaus were in town.

Even this is understandable as “the Land of the Rising Sun” is not just another pretty name. In the middle of summer the often cloudless skies leave us at the mercy of the sun’s unrelenting rays. Combined with a lack of trees in many urban areas there’s simply no escape. And with pale skin traditionally considered to be a sign of beauty and elegance, it’s no wonder so many women still carry a parasol, but it would seem that the heat is getting so bad these days that men, too, are bit by bit turning to a once exclusively feminine accessory for relief and protection.

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Get Your Hands on an Umbrella Fit for an Emperor, Be Prepared to Pay a King’s Ransom Though

Get Your Hands on an Umbrella Fit for an Emperor, Be Prepared to Pay a King’s Ransom Though

If you’ve ever seen footage of the Japanese Empress Michiko holding an umbrella over her shoulder on a rainy day, you might find yourself in awe of how gracefully she pulls it off.  If it were me you would see my arm struggling back and forth with the wind as my face grimaced in annoyance.

The fact is that even though it looks like they are holding simple plastic parasols. The Imperial House as well as politicians in Japan use specially made umbrellas from a maker with nearly 300 years of experience.

And now you can too, but it’ll cost ya.

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