Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mori Music Finds: Misc (3)

For today's Mori Music Find, I have yet another compilation of various songs from various artists. All are lovely in their own right, but none are long enough for their own dedicated post. So, I am sharing them here for you all instead!

1) 11.11 by sugar analog:
This instrumental piece is charming and relaxing, with the lovely sounds of birds and airy voices, it makes you feel almost as if you were walking through a field of wildflowers on a sunny day! 

2) Grizzly Man by Rockettothesky:
This song is quite unique. It has very ubiquitous lyrics and a fantastical, mystical sound. The singer almost mumbles the words at times, helping immerse you in the music, feeling almost as if you were in a mystical world.

3) Love by Yozoh:
This song is charming and simple. With a primarily acoustic sound and a soft singer, it's both relaxing and fun to listen to!

4) Oh Whistle and I'll Come To You My Lad (Traditional) by Patricia Hammond: 
This song is a rather average sounding folk tune, but in this case, it's the musician that makes it worth the listen! Ms. Hammond is both an amazing singer, and she plays the unique instrument, the autoharp, in such a perfect accompaniment to her vocals. The acoustics of the room she's in also give the song such a wistful and lovely feel. 

5) A Sunny Spring Day by Three Berry Icecream:
This song is a charming instrumental piece that makes me feel like I am happily enjoying a delicious treat in a local cafe. No other way to describe than happy and cute!

Have you ever heard any of these songs before? If so, how did you like them? If not, I hope you enjoyed them!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Almost Mori: What is Mori Gyaru?

Welcome to the third post in the "Almost Mori" series! This time we will be taking a look at Mori Gyaru!

Mori Gyaru is another popular spin-off style of mori kei, but this style is unique because it is not just a spin-off of one fashion style, but rather a combination of two well-known styles: mori kei and gyaru. There are still a few good posts on the internet for extra reference on the style, such as Universal-doll's post here, or the post by On the Streets of Sydney here, and also one in Portuguese here. There is also an actual blog run by a mori gyaru here that you can visit as well! However, the blog is now inactive, although it still has some decent resources posted.

Mori Gyaru is a much more popular style than the last few styles we have looked at, and it was actually able to make it to Harajuku streets and in magazines and became a viable subculture of the gyaru scene. However, it was never quite as popular as mori kei, even at its peak.

What is Gyaru?

To understand "mori gyaru" we first have to understand "gyaru" itself. Gyaru is a style of its own, and as such has a much more interesting and detailed history than I can hope to get into in this post. For more information on gyaru itself, you can find a good resource here from Yabai. For the purposes of this post, I will simply give you a summary.

According to Yabai, "in [the] native Japanese language, the word gyaru actually means “girl”... in short, [gyaru] is a form of cultural grouping used to define girls that fit the specific definition [of] someone who has loud clothing that looks sexy and a matching loud personality. Gyaru girls are usually blonde [and] the gyaru culture was established during the 90’s." 

The common stereotype of a gyaru is generally big, blond or dyed hair, spray tans, short-shorts, and lots of accessories. Long nails, bright colors and patterns, and of course, a materialist worldview, filled with shopping and clubbing, are also popular parts of the style.

Typical gyaru look
However, gyaru is not always such a loud style, although the louder versions have generally been more popular. For instance, "amekaji, romantic gal, bohemian, and rocker [are substyles that] are extremely similar to the styles worn on a daily basis by girls from countries like the United States."

More "everyday" gyaru look
There are also more "cute" versions of the style, such as hime gyaru, that is "girls who are obsessed with dressing like a princess."

Hime gyaru

Mori gyaru was created as yet another of these gyaru subcultures. Just like other gyaru substyles, mori gyaru sought to combine the aesthetics of mori and gyaru into one style.

The Fashion

Mori gyaru and mori kei have quite a few similarities. Firstly, both styles focus on the natural color palette, although gyaru does tend to favor natural colors that evoke a floral theme rather than simply the broad term "nature". Lace is also a common element between the two, and of course layers, especially layered skirts, and florals patterns.

The style does deviate to contain more gyaru elements though. The most glaring difference is, of course, the shorter hemlines. While it is up for debate whether or not mori can or cannot have short hemlines, it is widely accepted that mid to long lengths are most popular in the style. In mori gyaru, it is rare to see hemlines past mid-thigh, and in general, hemlines are very short, echoing the traditional gyaru style. Other things that you might see exclusively in mori gyaru are high heels, more dramatic makeup looks (however they are usually more toned down than traditional gyaru makeup looks), bigger hairstyles that are more obviously styled, long gyaru nails, and more trendy items incorporated into coordinates (like shirts with open backs, or fuzzy uggs when they were in style.)

Mori gyaru did see some variations from this rule, and some mori gyaru coordinates did have a mori traditional mori silhouette, with more layers, flowier cuts that weren't as form-fitting, and longer hemlines occasionally making an appearance.

As previously mentioned, mori gyaru became so popular at its peak that it was in various fashion magazines, as well as gyaru magazines. However, its most notable achievement is most likely its recognition from the famous gyaru brand Liz Lisa, who released various clothing items and lines inspired by the style.

The Aesthetic

Mori gyaru is more of a fashion style than an aesthetic, but it does adpot some similarities to the mori kei aesthetic, as well as gyaru. For one, the style is definitely more materialistic, similar to gyaru. It has a bigger focus on brands and trends, and adopts some stereotypical gyaru behaviours like a gyaru's love for their cellphone, and going out with other gyaru friends to shop. But a mori gyaru may also have a soft side for nature and animals, and enjoy the small things in life, like a mori girl.

Where a mori girl wants to explore the forests, a mori gyaru probably feels more comfortable on a park or paved pathway, admiring the forest from a distance. Where a mori girl might forage for her own food and live in a cabin, and mori gyaru is more likely to decorate her city apartment with plants, and visit a trendy, local cafe with a natural theme.

A "Sister Style"

Due to its many similarities to mori kei, and the fact that it is a direct spin-off of the style that shares parts of its name, mori gyaru is also considered a sister style to mori kei. However, unlike hama and yama kei, mori gyaru also developed its own unique community and maintained ties with its gyaru roots as well. Therefore, those who wore (and some who still wear) the style were often a part of multiple groups. 

Today, mori gyaru is a much more obscure style, and popular gyaru fashions have adopted hime gyaru as the more permanent girly version of the style, replacing mori gyaru's influence. However, its legacy still remains, and mori gyaru is still considered a fashion style that falls under the mori umbrella.

Have you heard of mori gyaru? Would you ever consider wearing the style? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, and I hope you enjoyed this post!

For more information on "Almost Mori" fashion styles, check out the posts below:

Natural Kei: Link coming soon!

ナチュラルコーデ (Japanese natural fashion): Link coming soon!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mori Music Finds: IU

Today's Mori Music Find is a more well-known artist, but one that I think deserves a listen: IU.

IU is a fairly popular K-Pop Idol from South Korea, and she has been known to produce a variety of types of music. However, her own music that she writes tends to have a very folksy, relaxed sound, mainly concentrated on the music from her guitar and voice. She is an extremely talented musician, and to this day, her song "Peach" remains one of my favorite mori tunes!

Have you ever heard of IU's music before? If so, what did you think? If not, I hope you enjoyed!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Almost Mori: What is Yama Kei?

Welcome to the second post in the "almost mori" series! This time we'll be looking at another sister style to mori: yama kei.

Yama kei is another fashion that, although not so well known now, used to be a large name in the natural fashion community and the mori community. Although it was much smaller than mori kei, it was still well known and had a brief time of popularity in Harajuku and abroad. It was even featured in a few magazines in its heyday! There are a few more resources out there still for yama kei, as opposed to hama kei. You can still find a few posts here and there on the style, such as this shorter post here on Yama Kei by the gearcaster, as well as here by Miss Kellie, and here at the Morigirl Blogspot.

With that being said, let's take a look at the name!

The Name

The term yama kei follows the naming pattern of hama kei and mori kei. "Yama" is a Japanese word meaning "mountain", and "kei," once again, roughly translates as fashion. Therefore, this fashion is roughly translated as "mountain fashion." This style is intended to reflect a person who either lives or enjoys activities related to mountains and dresses accordingly.

The Fashion

Similar to hama kei and mori kei, yama kei is again a natural fashion. However, this style takes a unique twist to the idea and adds in sporty clothing of various types. Most often the items that you might see resemble hiking gear, such as bomber vests, hiking boots, and some unnatural fabrics.

Although this style is unique from mori, it does share some similarities. For instance, layers are a big part of yama kei, just as in mori and hama kei. Natural fabrics are also still stressed, and outfits tend to be mainly comprised of such fabrics.

Yama kei does have many unique features though. Most coordinates include brighter colors than average mori fashion, with bright jewel tones, plaid, and folk patterns being popular. As mentioned before, hiking gear such as sneakers or bomber jackets are popular, as well as things like hiking sticks and camping gear. The style is also more prone to pants than mori kei, as it is more practical for hiking, camping, and other activities that might take place on a mountain. 

Picture Source: Mori-jayde
Due to the style being more suitable for outdoor activities, many mori folk wear yama kei when hiking, camping, or engaging in other outdoor activities. However, there are also those who solely wear the fashion by itself, separate entirely from mori kei.

Picture Source: Sumpfhund

The Aesthetic

The mori kei aesthetic and the yama kei aesthetic are very similar in a lot of ways. Both aesthetics focus on the forest and being in nature. Where it differs is that the yama kei aesthetic is, firstly, more focused mountains, and secondly, more prone to athletics than mori. Specifically, hiking is popular. However, other activities like camping, fishing, nature walks, and so on are also popular. Any sort of outdoor activity, really! So while a mori girl may enjoy athletics and participate in them, the yama girl has created a fashion that is based around those activities. A yama girl may also be more likely to climb a tree, whereas a mori girl would rather sit underneath that tree and sketch. A yama girl is also probably more likely to get dirty and sweaty, maybe wade across a stream, than a mori girl.

Interestingly enough, the yama kei style actually inspired an anime, known as Yama no Susume (ヤマノススメ). It's a very cute anime, and even has a mori character as well, named Kokona Aoba. It's a shorter anime, and I would recommend it for those interested in yama kei fashion and aesthetic.

Kokono Aoba from an episode of "Yama no Susume"

A "Sister Style"

Due to its many similarities to mori, both fashion and aesthetic wise, yama kei, like hama kei, is considered to be a sister style to mori. The yama kei community is also very small, making it often absorbed into the "mori umbrella" and is often included as being part of the mori community, alongside other natural fashions such as Natural Kei and, of course, Hama Kei.

Have you ever heard of yama kei? Would you ever consider wearing it? I hope you enjoyed learning more about a mori sister style!

For more information on "Almost Mori" fashion styles, check out the posts below:

Dark Mori: Link coming soon!

Natural Kei: Link coming soon!

ナチュラルコーデ (Japanese natural fashion): Link coming soon!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Mori Music Finds: Laurena Segura

Today, I have another small creator for you all, and someone whose music I've loved for quite a while now, Laurena Segura. Laurena is a Canadian musician from Montreal. She plays a number of different instruments, mainly guitar and banjo. Her style is charming and relaxing! My all-time favorite song of her's is definitely "Permafrost," which you can find on Spotify, by the way. She is still producing music today, however, her updates are a bit sporadic. Regardless, her music is certainly worth a listen!

If you are interested in Laurena and her work, you can check out her youtube channel, or her facebook page.

Have you heard of Laurena Segura? If so, what did you think of her music? If not, I hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Almost Mori: What is Hama Kei?

Back in its glory days, mori kei spawned many different sub-styles that grew fairly popular. Even to this day, mori continues to inspire modern fashion styles in Japan, and abroad through its online presence. However, as mori began to decline in popularity, many of these sub-styles slowly became less and less relevant, until many have almost disappeared from the mori community's conscious entirely. This is why I will be creating a series of posts entitled "Almost Mori" here on my blog, taking a look at a few of these styles that are similar to mori, or a sister style to the fashion. And what better way to start off this series of posts than with a summery variation on the mori style: hama kei!

It is probably hard for newcomers to the fashion to believe, but there was once a time the term "hama kei" was almost as well known as mori kei, at least in Japanese fashion circles. Even though it never became quite as popular to wear, it still had a fairly decent sized following and gathered some attention for a short time. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to find any information on the style, making it somewhat of a mystery for newcomers to the community. There are a few resources left on the internet, for instance, there is a great post in Polish discussing hama kei here (if you can't read Polish, I translated it and it worked just fine!) There is also a resource in English by Floralcore here. But generally, this style is rather unknown. Here, I want to outline the basics. So let's start with the center of the style: it's name.

The Name

Hama Kei's name comes from the Japanese word "hama" or "浜", meaning "beach" or "seashore", and "kei" or "ケイ", roughly translating to mean fashion or style. Together, they make seashore style, or hama kei. This unique style was created as an offshoot of mori kei, intended to be a version of what a forest girl might look like if she lived along the seashore, instead of in the forest. It was also occasionally called "Umi Kei" (umi being Japanese for ocean), but Hama Kei was the name that ultimately stuck.

The Fashion

Like mori kei, hama kei is intended to be a "natural fashion", or a fashion that mimics the feelings of nature, and tends to have more natural fabrics and colors. Similar to mori, hama kei often consists of flowing layers as well.

Picture Source: Mori-jayde
What makes hama kei stand out are its beachy themes. For instance, the color palette of hama kei is focused more on blues to represent the ocean, with whites, light greys, and occasionally browns. Outfit coordinates often have a distinctly beachy vibe to them as well, with seashell accessories, or net-like fabrics being popular.

Picture Source

Picture Source: SailorSkydive
Unlike mori kei, hama kei often can be a much simpler style. Although layers are popular, many hama kei coordinates are much simpler and more lightweight. Which, considering this style is supposed to reflect the lifestyle of someone who lives on the beach, makes sense! Pants and trousers are often much more popular in this style as well, with sandals often being a popular choice for footwear.

The Aesthetic

The mori aesthetic and hama aesthetic are very similar. Both are focused on a slow living mentality, with a love for nature. However, where mori is all about the forest, hama kei is all about the ocean. 
Where the mori girl can be found wandering the forest paths and living in a forest cottage, the hama girl can be found on the seaside, maybe living in an old lighthouse. Where the mori girl can be found foraging for wildflowers, the hama girl can be found searching for seashells and driftwood. A mori girl might prefer to walk barefoot in the grass, while a hama girl prefers dipping her toes in the sea.

A "Sister Style"

Picture Source: Sailor Ren
Due to its many similarities to mori, both fashion and aesthetic wise, and because it was created as something inspired by mori, hama kei is considered to be a "sister style" to mori kei. Because the community is, and has been, so small, those who wear hama kei are often considered to be a part of the "mori umbrella" and are often included as being part of the mori community, alongside other natural fashions such as Natural Kei and Yama Kei.

Have you ever heard of hama kei? Would you ever consider wearing it? I hope you enjoyed learning more about a mori sister style!

Stay tuned for more "almost mori posts in the future". Next up, we'll be looking at Yama Kei!

For more information on "Almost Mori" fashion styles, check out the posts below:

Natural Kei: Link coming soon!

ナチュラルコーデ (Japanese natural fashion): Link coming soon!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Mori Kei Activities for Summer

Summer is finally here, so it's time to finish out my mori kei activities posts with some appropriate things you can do for the season!

  • Go berry picking
Berry picking is both a fun activity and you get something yummy to eat afterward as well! You can go picking at a local farm, plant your own berry bushes to harvest from, or even go foraging in your local areas. Make sure to research what types of berries you can and can't eat before foraging though.

Picture Source
  • Walk barefoot in the grass
I'm not a believer in "earthing" or anything like that, but I do have to admit that walking through the grass in the summertime has its own sort of magic. There's nothing quite like kicking off your shoes and enjoying a walk through the grass. I'd highly recommend doing it!

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  • Try out Hama Kei 
Hama Kei is a sister style to mori focused on the sea. And what better time to try out a seaside version of mori than in the summer! Bring out your blues, stripes, and flowy fabrics, and try a new type of summer coord.

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  • Go sketching/take pictures of wildlife and plants
I've talked about this activity in various posts, but it's always fun for each season to walk around finding things to paint, sketch, or take pictures of. Summer has lots of beautiful scenes and new things to see, just like every season. So get out there and document the beauty around you!

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  • Collect and press various plants
I've also talked about this activity before, but I think summer is another great time for pressing plants. You can find various flowers throughout the season, as well as other green lovely plants to press.

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  • Dip your toes in a stream or lake to stay cool
Another great summer activity, and a great way to cool off! Find a stream or lake, or another body of water, near you, and dip your toes in and enjoy the view and the sound of the water. Very relaxing!

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  • Visit a local dock (lake or sea)
Similar to the last activity, visiting all types of bodies of water are great in the summer. Find a lake or seaside near you, and enjoy the view, maybe even go for a swim!

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What are some mori-esque summer activities that you enjoy! I'd love to hear about them! Happy Summer, my deers!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Mori Movie Finds: The Secret Garden 1987

Today I have another movie find for you all, this time one of my childhood favorites: The Secret Garden (1987 Hallmark Version).

There are many versions of this classic tale by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and all of them are worth watching. However, my all-time favorite version to date is the Hallmark adaptation. There are certainly ones with better quality camera work, or prettier costumes, but this movie has its own charm and, in my opinion, is the truest to the themes and the feeling of the original novel. It has a great portrayal of the characters, the manor feels mysterious, as does the garden, and it never fails to pull me in every time I watch it! Plus, I love their depiction of Dicken! He's one of my favorite characters of all time, so it's great to see him portrayed well!

You can actually find the entire movie on youtube at the moment, so I'd recommend giving it a watch if you're interested. It's an enjoyable watch and a charming story!

Have you seen this, or any version, of The Secret Garden? If so, how did you like it? If not, I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Mori Music Finds: la harpe de melodie

Today's Mori Music Find is yet another small channel, la harpe de melodie! I love finding small channels of talented musicians to share with you all, and this channel is a true gem. The lovely harpist who runs this channel posts covers of many traditional folk songs and classical pieces, often with very talented guests. I love the soothing nature of her videos, and she is a truly talented singer and musician!

Have you ever heard of la harpe de melodie? If so, how did you like her music? If not, I hope you enjoy! Happy listening!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Mori Kei Activities for Spring

Spring is here my deers, so it's time to look at some more seasonal activities! I set this series aside for a while due to being busy, but at the request of a follower, I'm picking it back up again for this post. This is my favorite season, so I'm pretty excited about this list, and I hope you enjoy it as well!
  • Fly a kite
There's something truly magical about flying a kite in the air! It feels so nostalgic to me as well, as I often used to fly kites as a child. Plus, it's a great excuse to get out in nature and find a beautiful place to fly your kite. If you're feeling adventurous, you could even make your own kite to fly. You can find a tutorial on how to make your own kite here.

  • Plant a garden
Spring is the perfect time to get started on a garden. Whether it's a windowsill garden or herbs, or a garden made up of potted plants, or an elaborate vegetable garden, gardening is a fun and relaxing activity perfect for a mori spring. I personally love growing things that I can use in my own kitchen, but flowers or succulents are always pretty too! 

  • Get inside plants
Inside plants are another great spring option. You can, of course, have inside plants at all times of the year, but spring is another great excuse to find a plant friend that will liven up your space, and clean up the air you breathe! 

  • Take a walk in a rain shower
There's something so charming to me about spring showers. I love taking a walk in the rain, or playing in the rain! Be sure to dress warmly if it is still colder, and bring rainboots and an umbrella to keep dry if you aren't ready to play in the rain. And of course, don't go out in a lightning storm. You'll be surprised how different the world around you can look in the rain. Maybe you'll even find some mushrooms, or little animals out to play in the rain showers too!

  • Collect and press wildflowers
Collecting beautiful blossoms is a fun activity for spring, and a great way to remember the beautiful flowers and plants you see this season. Pressing flowers is surprisingly easy and fun. You can find a tutorial on how to get started here.

  • Set up a birdhouse, bird bath, or bird feeder and begin birdwatching
Take the opportunity to watch some of the local birds in your area. You'll be surprised how many lovely bird friends you will see with a simple bird feeder. And there's no nicer sound than listening to birds sing.

What are some mori-esque spring activities that you enjoy? I'd love to hear about them! (Also, if you've also made a post with mori activities for spring, or any other season, link to it down below! I'd love to check out other peoples ideas for mori themed activities.)

Happy Spring, my deers!