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:

Yama Kei: Link coming soon!

Mori Gyaru: Link coming soon!

Natural Kei: Link coming soon!

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


  1. I love hama kei and have an entire section of my wardrobe dedicated to it. While I seem to be one of only a few people still putting together coords, it's still one of my favorite go to styles when the weather is super hot... or I'm at the beach. ;)

    1. Oh you make hama kei coords? I'd love to see them! There is so little new hama kei content out there, and it's such a lovely style.

    2. Oh...! I guess I haven't posted my actual name on tumblr in a while. I'm Baaikha!

    3. Oh well now I feel silly ^^; Whoops! I totally know who you are. Not sure how I didn't make the connection haha Hello there, Baaikha ;)

  2. This is very interesting. Thank you! I like this style very much especially the small pictures above with linen pants and striped tops. This is what I wear myself this summer. Love the colours as well. I live on a small island in the Baltic sea so I have both the forest (live practically in the forest) and the sea close. (But it takes about 15 minutes to go to the seashore from my home by bicycle).

  3. I was trying to imagine other places a hama girl might live. I think she could have made a home out of an old shipwreck washed ashore, or live on a boat or in a seaside cottage made from driftwood. I never heard of this style before. Glad you wrote this resource on it!

    1. I'm glad you were able to learn something new! And I love those suggestions. I could definitely see a hama girl living in either.

  4. I have seen hama kei style, I had no idea that is what it was called.

  5. I love Hama Kei! I've always liked the mysteries of the sea an rivers. Also my husband is a sailor and I can pilot ships too, and we live in a small fishing village.
    I hope you don't forget dolly kei in the substyles too. Kisses!

    1. Your life sounds like a hama kei dream :)

      I probably won't be including Dolly Kei in this series, as I want to focus more on sister styles. Dolly Kei was its own style with a large following, so I don't quite consider it a sister style. I have made a post on it in the past though, although its rather old now. I will probably update it and create a better post on Dolly kei and Cult Party Kei in the future, but most likely not as a part of this series. I do love Dolly Kei though! It's such a charming style :)

    2. Thank you for the feedback! I love reading your blog, so precious in our small mori world.