Ai <3 Asia!

Amanda Muramoto, editor

In Japanese, ai (aye) means love. And love is what many of us feel about all of the novelties Asia offers us. They are always coming up with adorable things for us to buy that make us go “How kawaii!”

But why do we desire these types of things? The answer was simple to most students.

“The products are pretty much cute, nice, and eye-catching” said Pauline Yang (10).

Here are a few of the top Asian trends we have noticed at McKinley.

  1. Uni Alpha Gel “Shaky” Pencils

These pencils are from Japan and come in a variety of colors such as pink, blue, and green. A squishy grip, makes it softer to hold the pencil versus the usual hard wood #2 pencil. The lead comes out by either shaking or clicking the pencil, which is how the pencil earned its nickname. Stores such as Shirokiya, Hakubundo, and Fishers offer this popular item. Prices can range from about $7 to $9 for one, depending on which one you purchase and what style you get.

  1. Purikura (Photo booths)

Fun Pix, a photo booth store, allows you to have a great time with friends taking photos and decorating them. When you do this, it is known to the Japanese as purikura. Located in Century Center at 1750 Kalakaua Avenue, the store has six booths, with prices ranging from $6-8 per machine for a quick photo session. In one session, you can get a 4×6 photo sheet for the number chosen of tiny purikura. On the machine, one half is the place you take photos and the other half is where you use a special pen on the touch screen to color, write, and stick things onto your photos. You can print them and then cut the pictures out to share.

  1. Cell Phone Mascots

These cell phone charms come in different characters, such as Hello Kitty or Domo. Phone mascots can be purchased at almost any novelty store at reasonable prices. The food charms are about $4, are squishy, and about the size of a ping pong ball.

  1. High Black Socks

The Japanese school girl wears high, black socks. It is a fad that has reached our campus. But some don’t wear it to look like a school girl.

“Black makes you look skinnier,” said Asami Kobayashi (10).

The color matches anything, making it ideal to go with whatever you wear. The socks can be bought as knee-high, or if you are going for something daring, thigh-high. Although they can only be purchased in Japan, you can still follow this trend by buying black soccer socks which can reach your knees.