Blackface in Japan England and Holland

I've been meaning to post about Ganguro for awhile now.

Ganguro, which literally means "black-face", is a somewhat terrifying Japanese fashion trend among Japanese girls. Take a look at this video for a better idea.

I was reminded of ganguro after watching the following clip from "The Black and White Minstrel Show" which is a British variety show that aired from 1958 until 1978. It is almost like watching Lawrence Welk, except for one thing - all the men are in black face. I can't believe that this was still acceptable in the same year I was born. Jawdropping.

Lastly check out Zwarte Piet, who known as santa's little helper in the Netherlands.

from wikipedia:
To this day, holiday revellers in the Netherlands blacken their faces, wear afro wigs and bright red lipstick, and walk the streets throwing candy to passers-by. As at Carnival, some of the actors behave dim-wittedly, or like buffoons, and/or speak mangled Dutch as embodiments of Zwarte Piet. Blackfaced, googly-eyed, red-lipped Zwarte Piet dolls, die cuts and displays adorn store windows alongside brightly packaged and displayed, holiday merchandise.

More photos here.


  1. Very funny. I totally forgot about that. My step mom's Dutch you know. My first christmas with her, I was told I could pick a book off her shelf for my present. Then we had split pea soup with a large pig hoof coming out of it. (I was vegetarian at the time - so we "weren't having meat for dinner") and pecan pie which was dishearteningly full of shells. I love her. She's a character for sure.