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What is a Ganguro, Yamanba, Manba, and Centre Guy? a little 101 on this Japanese Street Fashion

From my pinterest account and looking at some paul mitchell photos, they had a ganguro girl. Something i know about since i'm heavily influenced and in love with Japanese Street Fashion. Whomever wrote the negative comment on P.M.'s pinterest about ganguro girls, ridiculing their fashion and creative nature- i decided to educate those who are unknown to them. Instead of ignorance getting in the way of understanding a different culture. A lot of trends come from Japan and work their way around. The world of Ganguro is rather interesting, and dressing up is always fun to do.

What is Ganguro?

Well Ganguro in literal translations means black face girls. Ganguro girls is a form of gyaru- which translates into gal. It is a unique and a very rad japanese street fashion. In ganguro fashion, a deep tan is combined with hair decolorized/lightened in shades of orange to blonde, or a silver grey known as “high bleached”. Black ink is used as eye-liner and white concealer is used as lipstick and eyeshadow. False eyelashes, plastic facial gems, and pearl powder are often added to this. Platform shoes and brightly-colored outfits complete the ganguro look. Also typical of ganguro fashion are tie-dyed sarongs, miniskirts, stickers on the face, and lots of bracelets, rings, and necklaces. This type of style is rebellious, and often goes against the traditional asian culture social beauty ideal image of fair skin and dark hair.

(Subtle Ganguro girls above and below is more closer to a gyaru style where the girls have a more elegant appearance)

Yamanba and manba developed from ganguro and are terms often used to describe extreme practitioners of ganguro fashion. Old school Yamanba and Manba; featured dark tans and white lipstick, pastel eye make-up, tiny metallic or glittery adhesives below the eyes, brightly-colored circle lenses, plastic dayglo-colored clothing, and incongruous accessories, such as Hawaiian Leis (Often the alba rosa brand which is popular among ganguros).

For a period of time stickers were no longer popular after 2004, and Yamanba had a date with death for a time being. Manba is now more extreme, and hair is often multicoloured, and usually synthetic. 2008′s Manba has seen a darker tan, and no facial decoration (stickers).

Hair is usually neon/bright colors, with pink being a favorite. Wool (“dreadlocks”) extensions and clips are worn to make hair appear longer.

Clothing remains the same, although Leis are worn less frequently now. Manba and Yamanba are not to be confused. Yamanba has white make-up only above the eye.


While Manba has makeup below the eye also. Stuffed animals, bracelets, bells and hibiscuses are worn. The male equivalent is called a “center guy” Sentāgai. Which are quite interesting to see too, they can have short heavily highlighted blonde hair and tan skin- some where the eye makeup; while others have long colorful hair. 

A popular anime called peach girl is about a ganguro girl just more on the softer side- Her name is momo and she is tan, with lightened hair. The japanese word for peach is Momo, which is why she is tan.



Ganguro and Yamanbas all hanging out together. Two of the most extremes Manbas are wearing what seems to be looking like Japanese traditional wear; Kimonos. Which isn't usually part of the ganguro style.


Personally i think this style is rather interesting and very cool. Unique to their own, these girls and centre guys are creative with their look and are not afraid of being who they are and experimenting with their appearance. I would say the closest thing we have to ganguro, yamanbas, manbas, and centre guys are Scene girls and scene boys in the western world just without the tan.

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Comment by Becci Renfro on November 7, 2012 at 8:08pm

This is kinda funny - check out Malibu Barbie

Comment by Becci Renfro on November 7, 2012 at 8:00pm

wOw you got lots of views and only 3 comments? Kinda reminded my of Malibu Barbie might look like today - ha! I thought this was very interesting - Thanks!

Comment by kelly o'connell on June 14, 2012 at 12:17pm

the japanese are by far my favorite!!  they know no bounds!!

thanks for the blogs..digging your style!!

Comment by Kate Wright on June 10, 2012 at 10:18pm


Thank you so much for the intro into Ganguro et all.  Fascinating!!

When my son was born and I was up all hours of the night, I stumbled on live action PGSM.  Watched all 60+ episodes in like a week.  Saved my sanity lol.

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