Flower Children

Take a walk around Harajuku, and the mood feels like Haight Ashbury.
The youngsters are mellow.
They wear hippie-like clothes, a bit shabby, shirttails untucked, skirts flowered, big hats, sunglasses, dangling jewelry.
They’re saying: We aren’t into being square.
No one is in a rush.
Soft giggles. Smell of sweet food. Music.
Always music. From stores, iPods, street performers.
Japan’s young people are more interested in expressing themselves and being friends with everyone than in gaining materialistic wealth and social status.
It’s not even about dropping out.
Japan has been peaceful and conformist and harmonious for so long there’s never been any dogged drive for competition.
At a time when the government is intent on powering up the nation’s military, and the main platform for the next election is revising the pacifist Constitution, the kawaii culture of Harajuku is comforting.
These kids will never go to war.
They are good kids.
Maybe some adults are worried about the future of Japan because of freeters, apathy and diseducation, but these are good kids.