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Was it two days or three days?

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On the floors of Tokyo

2015年10月24日 –  早上10:55 (AM)

My morning routine consists of waking up relatively late to no alarm. Regardless of the time of day, waking up is always a pain in the ass. Though I would consider myself a morning person, the minute I’m forced to leave my mess of sheets, which have miraculously left all four corners of my bed in my sleep, I turn into a grumpy fumbling oaf battling nicotine and caffeine cravings.

I’ve always been curious about the intimate lives of housewives. I was sitting in this Japanese cafe watching the service staff work with this attentive nature that everyone tells me is so common in Japan. In China I met many foreign students conglomerating to study Mandarin, hailing from all sorts of exotic places such as South Korea, Japan and England. There was this one girl called Chihiro who I ended up becoming very good friends with.  She told me about how different female-female friendships were, and that there’s still this old-fashioned male-female hierarchy idea.

It seems the whole Japanese housewife idea isn’t just a notion conceived in cinema. I discovered this brilliant illustration/Japan culture website called Tofugu, who released an earlier this year called ‘The Daily Life of a Housewife in Japan’. According to the surveys within the piece, out of 1,243 women, 53.9% said they wanted to be housewives with the primary role of “attending to housework and raising children”. The piece went on to detail the routines of housewives as young as 27 years old, and the thought processes behind their full-time “profession”. It’s an enthralling bit of writing, and one that leaves you a little flabbergasted with the fact that such a culture is so prevalent even in this day and age where we’re arguing for balance between maternity/paternity leaves. But of course, then I realised that all young mothers go through this with every newborn.

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When there’s no one else in sight

2015年10月25日 –  晚上11:34 (PM)

Even without a baby, I’ve seen plenty of young wives/girlfriends/boyfriends follow their other halves across the world because of this “really big opportunity”, and some who’ve struggled to mould into the local society unable to find a job of their own.

I thought about all the hours in the day, and when you’re not working just how much is there that can you do? Repetition and routine – rinse and repeat. You’re lonely, but life isn’t necessarily dull. You just do without thinking.

 I imagined this young girl who decided to marry at a young age, ripe with all the energy that’s been toned down through your university years. She wakes up at 6:00am, prepares breakfast and sees her husband off to work. There’s the initial cleaning and dusting to borderline obsessive compulsivity, the shuffling of newspapers and the tidying of morning’s leftovers. Then it’s 10:30am, when there’s a little me time to read, maybe take the dog for a walk, followed by a lonely lunch. All of a sudden it’s now 2:00pm, and now what? An afternoon nap to pass the time? By 4:00pm you’re talking to yourself, you’re puffing cigarettes out the window and Nina Simone has now been replaced by Joy Division. There’s a box of a past life you keep hidden away, and cabin fever meets freedom through fancy dress and selfies. The lonely life isn’t a trap though, it’s just a cycle, and spontaneity helps achieve little moments of rebellious “fuck yeahs”. Not before long, it’s almost 6:00pm, and your secret world gets stashed away and now The Cranberries are playing. The keys turn. Rinse and repeat.

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Credits

from left to right

Top – Velvet
Trousers – Otho

Skirt – Georgia Hardinge
Shoes – Muji

Top – Norse Projects
Dungarees – Otho

Apron – Saint & Birchley
Skirt – Guess

Top – Maison Kitsune
Skirt – Three Floor
Jewellery – Tuza

Scarf – Lulu Liu
Jewellery – Tuza
Top – Otho
Skirt – Otho
Table trays by Cos x Hay

modelled by Fan Wang at Milk Management
art by Karlmond Tang w/ asst by Miko and Emma
photography and video by Dom Fleming
hair by Nuriye Somnez
make up by Nataxa Tk
music by Sui Zhen – Infinity Street (thanks!)

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