Yuri Kageyama, a Japanese journalist, writer and poet, wrote an article about the changing perception of beauty in Japan. Excerpts can be found below.
”Shampoo ads here typically feature glamorous blondes praising imports from Procter Gamble of the U.S. and Europe’s Unilever. But ads for Tsubaki, the latest hit from cosmetics maker Shiseido Co., show famous Japanese women and an unusually direct slogan: “Japanese women are beautiful.” The message has struck a chord at a time when Japanese women are increasingly looking to role models in their own ranks, rather than stars from abroad, for definitions of their self worth. Advertisers are beginning to catch on to the trend… For decades, beauty standards in Japan were dictated by the West, home to famous fashion houses like Christian Dior and Gucci, which remain extremely popular in Asia. But now, young people are taking a different cue from Westerners and rediscovering sushi, “manga” comic books, “anime,” kimono and other elements of Japanese culture said Kawashima, who has written a book about the success of Shiseido’s branding strategy.”
Source: Kageyama, Yuri. “Shampoo ads ditches blonds for “beautiful Japanese women.’” The Japan Times. August 29th, 2007. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20070829a2.html