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Books for Lolitas and J-Fashion Lovers

Reading books is cool. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Reading is also a great way to engage with your favourite fashion. Or to pass the time on the way to a meetup. If reading more books was one of your 2019 resolutions, why not check out these titles? A fair warning though: not all of them are available in English.

 

Novala Takemoto’s Kamikaze Girls

When we talk about books for lolitas, we can’t not mention Novala Takemoto’s classic! Adapted into a film and then a manga, the story of a lolita and biker gang girl continues to inspire people in J-fashion despite being 17 years old now. Most importantly, while the protagonists dress alternatively, the book is not about fashion. Instead, it is about a friendship between two seemingly opposite girls and about the challenges familiar to many teenagers. You can easily purchase an English copy, but if you’d like to read more Japanese books, this will be good one for intermediate speakers.

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Kamikaze Girls, or Shimotsuma Story, is probably the most famous book about a lolita. Except the one that isn’t at all about the fashion.

 

Jan Mai and An Nguyen’s So Pretty/Very Rotten

This one is unusual amongst other books in that it is a mix of comics and essays. The stories in So Pretty/Very Rotten are original and relatable to lolitas both new and long-standing community members. It also explores more serious topics, those that don’t dominate the conversation, yet remain important and common within the lolita fashion community. On the other hand, the essays are great to learn more about the fashion from. While this won’t necessarily be a tool for complete beginners looking to learn the basics, it will teach you things that you won’t find so easily in other books or websites.

Read full review here.

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How many books can delivery you entertainment, art, education and feels? So Pretty/Very Rotten is one of the few that can!

 

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s Oh my God! Harajuku Girl

For many lolita is not the only J-fashion style they wear – and even if, many enjoy other kawaii personas. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu may be one of the most recognisable J-fashion wearer in the world, so of course reading her biography that is Oh my God! Harajuku Girl is a must for anyone into any Harajuku style. It’s less colourful and visual than you’d expect, but don’t be put off by that! Reading how Kyary found her own style and overcame obstacles like strict family will resonate with many, especially younger readers. Unfortunately, this book is available exclusively in Japanese and is intermediate level reading. But if you have to practice your reading, you might as well practice on this!

Read full review here.

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is very popular and recognisable both within and outside of Japan. Therefore it’s even more of a shame that this book has not been translated into English yet.

 

Sakizo’s Girl Meets Sweets

If you’re after visual books full of art that still offer something to read, look no further! Sakizo, a prominent Japanese illustrator, draws inspiration for Girl Meets Sweets from fascination with sweets, fashion and visits to a beloved café. The outfits in Sakizo’s book represent a variety of genres, all in an elegant and slightly vintage-feeling art style. So whether you’re exclusively into lolita or also dabble in other styles, you will find plenty of inspiration here. From historical fashion, larme-kei all the way to cabaret/burlesque, there is a sweets-inspired coord in there for everyone. And a bonus: this book is written in Japanese and in English. Both language versions are simple too, which makes it accessible to an even wider audience.

Read full review here.

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Regardless of whether you have a sweet tooth or not, Sakizo’s book will provide you with plenty of inspiration. And may induce cravings if you do like desserts, so be careful!

 

Have you read any of these? What other books would you recommend to lolita and J-fashion wearers? And if you’re looking for an excuse to read them, organise a book club-style meetup with your community. That way you will all get to read it and will have someone to share your opinions with!

27-year-old Capricorn, Polish-born, UK-based and in love with Japanese fashion (predominantly Lolita). I enjoy a good bargain, OTT coords, cats and baking, and when in Japan I’m a self-confessed purikura addict. When I don’t blog, I work in the education sector, overseeing international exchange programs, and sometimes I get to do some exciting freelance translations on the side.