All tagged Identity Politics

My Jacket is Japanese, Not Me

Last week, I walked out of the tube station and a man chased me all the way down the street calling, “Are you Japanese?” I couldn’t avoid him at the traffic lights, so I replied in my rather English voice, “No, I’m not.” This happens not only in London, but all around the world, and all because I am wearing a grey silk haori jacket that I bought in a vintage shop behind an industrial estate in the very unexotic Birmingham. Fashion allows the individual the freedom to combine clothing and choose styles. In the context of urban London, it seems that anything goes; but on what bodies are the national costumes of others off-limits for bricolage?