The book "Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers" (Aperture 2005) is excellent and contains essays and photos by many of the greats (including Moriyama): http://aperture.org/shop/setting-sun-books/ -- however it's out of print now and used copies seem to be quite expensive, but libraries might have it.
The disconnect I find as a westerner in Japan is that while we fetishize counter culture, there's so much codified "surface". We're obsessed with individualism, but that's a distorted lens to view Japan and much of Asia through. Universal conformity was the most unnerving attribute for me.
It may be uncomfortable for foreigners to know how to navigate the different aspects of their society, but it's theirs and when I'm there, I adjust to them, while keeping my own. It's a balance and for me it depends on how much time you want to spend over there and in what manner.
If you're on assignment for a year or two, sure, make friends with other ex-pats, make superficial friendships with the locals. But if you're going to stay a while, forget the ex-pats, get engrossed in the local culture and adapt to it, make local friends, learn the language and culture. Not saying go native, if you were to have children there, that would be for them to do (as much as they can fit-in), but don't stick out like a sore thumb out of spite.
The truth is that I've heard the line about conformity a lot, and it's made me think about how conformity exhibits itself in the West, and I think that fails at least partially because "the West" is such a big mass of different cultures, and of course the same applies to the East. You may deny this, but could that be a bias of assuming conformity when thre is little at play?
I don't mean to be attacking or even disputing your point, but personally it's an issue I have struggled with. Many humans desire to be the same, to be around the same people, so where might I fit in if I want to be accepted? To be either a perpetual foreigner treated well for being a foreigner, or a perpetual foreigner treated poorly for being a foreigner. These options are greatly saddening to me. Is it a matter of accepting my condition that I cannot conform by no fault of my own, or to attempt to steer society away from the pressure of conformity which drives many people to such sadness and suffering? Am I, as you say, obsessed with individualism to say this?
Sorry for the rambling post.
If I were to distill the entirety of my experiences down to a single, most-salient point, it was and is that people are stunningly similar across the globe. Sure, there are cultural differences. But for the most part, once you learn the base value structure of your new environment, the way people act is pretty much exactly like you would expect them to, given the variables and 'givens' in play. Yes, Japan, China, Korea etc are all different than the West. But it only takes a few months of effort before you figure out the basics, and it is just as easy to do as an adult as a child. You just have to be open to new experiences.
Well worth it, in my opinion.
For images there are great finds in Pinterest and Instagram, but I'd start with this Gimages link:
I wouldn't mind seeing a piece on Shiyuba fashion though
It's also dry and and aesthetically displeasing given the content of the site.
Is this like a Medium.com content publishing platform?
From the about page:
EXPLORE COLLECTIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD WITH GOOGLE
ARTS & CULTURE, CREATED BY GOOGLE CULTURAL INSTITUTE.
You hear about all the wild stuff you'd see in Sninjuku and this was rather mild. The most provocative was one Ganguroo pic.
My uneducated guess was that these pictures represent the "official" and branded street culture.
That is these pics represent something you could actually buy with relative ease and not make yourself.
I didn't see any gothic lolitas and those are just something that westerners would know about.
There must be 100s of substyles that are one-offs and produced by individuals.
Anyone know of more "street" pictures?
I think a huge group (and the original reason I got interested in Japan) is the [Neo] Visual Kei (ヴィジュアル系)  movement. It was a cultural movement both from music and fashion that isn't even mentioned here.
Edit/note: for the more pictures, you surely want to find the fashion "branch", then find the name in Japanese and use that to search them (make sure Google is not limiting your searches as well). That is a part of a culture that mainly uses Japanese IMHO, similar to some parts of robotics that I see IRL but cannot find online.
It represents the prevailing trend of an entire year. Which is to say, what is the most popular. So yeah, its going to trim away the fringe, and that does end up being a lot to cut away.
There are some strange styles you'll see in Tokyo, but people there also think they're kind of strange (less so than in the US) and the wearers are trying to stand out.
There are about as many styles as individuals if you go in Harajuku, so not sure if it makes sense to try to classify them at all in the end. It's changing constantly too, and while there are always trends there is a strong chaotic element to it.
yes. America is creative. but so is, like, the rest of the world 'n stuff.
America is just kind of whatever plus guns.
For a good sense of what's happening now, see this walk through Harajuku at 2160p. At that resolution, all the clothing details are visible.
For me what I noticed was pretty demure, neutral colours, relaxed fits, back to focusing more on quality of texture, build and fit over everything else. Plus a dash of the streetwear/sneakerhead style that is super popular all over the world right now.
Color was a bit more expensive but I don't think that was the main driver. On the other hand, if the photo was for mass circulation/publishing, printing in color was more expensive --but the photography itself not so much.
However, kogyaru and ganguro are different styles. Gyaru is effectively a superset of the two, as well as some other styles.
Néojaponisme has an interesting look back at the history of gyaru and the different styles (though unfortunately the pictures are rather few, and I have no idea where Part Four is):
What's so wrong about regular scrolling? Why do designers feel the need to fight agains the browser? When a site decides to re-engineer basic user interactions (zoom, scrolling), the user has to focus on learning new behaviors instead of consuming your content (which is what they should be focused on).
The web has great UI patterns. Use them. Don't fight them.
Initially this was done using full window flash layouts.
These days it is an abuse of JS and HTML5.