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:

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.

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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:

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.

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  • 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!