|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Senior high-school boys choose to let it all hang out
Shukan Asahi 8/9 Takeshi Ito
It's more masculine to wear your pants low,way below the hipbone.
While older generations find it hard to agree,Tokyo's male senior high-school students have no doubts.
Nearly half the male teenagers who roam Harajuku or Shibuya after school adopt the look these days.
While Weekly Playboy tried to prove its wishful thinking in vain, Shukan Asahi bases its report on a common trend.
In place of disturbed parents and angry teachers,the magazine asks 30 teen-age boys why they wear their pants so low and expose their underpants.
"It's cooler to keep your bottom loose," reasons a senior in jeans and a T-shirt.
"But pants must be kept in balance. Keeping them too low isn't hip."
"I'm not doing it to show my underpants," explains a freshman from Saitama.
"When you wear pants on the hipbone,you cannot avoid that sort of display."
Asked to give a reason,two pollees note it's easier to ride a skateboard with their pants halfway down.
But Shukan Asahi suggests many boys are simply following what their friends are doing.
Four respondents admit to the magazine that they are wearing their pants low "because everyone else is doing it."
Others describe to the magazine that they felt they became real men when they dropped their pants to a point below the hipbone for the first time.
Some others are eager to stay one step ahead.
"I began wearing my pants like this when I was in junior high-school," reveals a senior.
"Now most of my classmates are doing it. Maybe it's about time for me to try something else."
Underpants are an important part of this fashion.
Asked which they prefer,29 of the 30 teenagers pick trunks over briefs.
One pollee says he keeps five or six display-oriented trunks in addition to ordinary ones.
Another maintains white briefs are absolutely out because their shapes don't cut it.
He adds that he likes his underpants to show animal prints.
Shukan Asahi also finds that some of the those who wear'em low have firm fashion policies.
"It doesn't look nice when you let the belt hang down," a senior notes.
A 19-year-old rockabilly fan is stricter.
He insists that his pants must be exactly three U.S. sizes larger than his actual waist or they won't stay at the ideal "zone" position.
Like most other trends,the low-pants culture seems to be spreading from Tokyo to all over the country.
During the field survey in Harajuku, Shukan Asahi met four senior high-school students from Imabari, Ehime Prefecture,who were visiting on a school excursion.
To the magazine's surprise,all of them had their pants way below the hipbone.
Says one of them:"In our area,real bad boys keep their pants at a normal position."(TI)