Chi-chan, Harajuku’s Social Butterfly
If you could be any butterfly, which would you be? Chi-chan would be a “Butterfly Princess” according to her Instagram bio. Harajuku street snaps? Always. Fashionable friends who munch on crepes together? Duh, she’s a social butterfly! Chi-chan is the definition of the Harajuku spirit. Read on to find out about her transformation from caterpillar to blossoming Harajuku fashion butterfly.
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Chi-chan! I love Harajuku fashion and I’m based in Harajuku! I usually work at a vintage store called KINJI! I love colourful and cute things!
How did you discover your current style?
My first encounter with Harajuku fashion was reading the magazine KERA. My life changed when I discovered KERA.
Plushies are a big part of your look. Which ones are your favourites?
I love all of them, but I have a lot of Ty plushies at home!
How do you style them with your looks?
Sometimes, I style them to match the main colour I’m wearing that day or a design that is similar. But, most of the time it’s more like “This is how I feel, so these are the plushies for today!” I like to go out with as many different plushies as possible, so sometimes I put a lot of plushies in my backpack and take them with me!
You have a butterfly tattoo and call yourself a “Butterfly Princess”. When did this fascination with butterflies begin?
I just kinda found myself loving butterflies. I don’t really know why… There’s something beautiful about them. I can’t put it into words…
If you could transform into a butterfly, what kind of butterfly would you be?
I would transform into a Morpho butterfly. They’re beautiful!
What does Harajuku mean to you? What keeps you going back to it?
Coming to Harajuku and meeting everyone cheers me up whenever I have a bad day. For me, it’s the place where I recharge. I will love Harajuku no matter how much it evolves and changes. It is a wonderful place where I’ve met a lot of people. It is a special place that has changed my life. It will always be my place. I just keep on finding myself coming back to it.
What’s your earliest memory of Harajuku?
Until I was in junior high, my family used to take me there. But when I became a high school student, I would work really hard after school at my part-time job so that on the weekends I could get a train or the shinkansen (bullet train) from my hometown, Numazu by myself. I used to really look forward to shopping at 6%DOKIDOKI, KINJI where I work now, and a bunch of other shops. At that time, I found out about the Harajuku Fashion Walk and started taking part. I was so nervous at first, but I made a lot of wonderful friends who I still hang out with and meet up with in Harajuku.
How has Harajuku changed since you started hanging out there?
The number of people wearing Harajuku fashion is falling, more and more of the shops that typify Harajuku are closing down, and I’m wondering where I should go shopping. But, no matter how much Harajuku changes, I still love it and feel at peace when I’m there. Sorry, I can’t stop talking about Harajuku (lol).
What is the “Harajuku spirit” to you?
It’s a reason to live. Life. I guess it’s a stage in my life! I sparkle when I’m in Harajuku! I don’t normally have confidence in myself, but for some reason, I’m full of confidence when I’m in Harajuku! It’s the place where I power up!
Where do you and your friends like to hang out in Harajuku?
That’s surprisingly difficult to answer… (lol). I like wandering around and taking pictures etc. in Takeshita-dōri and Laforet. I used to go to the Monster Cafe when it was still around.
Are there any tucked away Harajuku spots you recommend to visit?
6%DOKIDOKI, ACDC RAG, vintage clothing stores. Please visit KINJI, where I work.
What are your goals and dreams?
Honestly, I’ve actually achieved a lot of my goals and dreams, so… Now I’m looking for a new one… My goal is to live my life doing what I love!
Any last words?
I’m so glad I found Harajuku!