Saturday, October 10, 2009

Who are the mori girls?



The mori girls (森ガール) belong to a subculture which began in Japan. 'Mori' means forest in Japanese, and if you're looking for the simplest description of mori girls, they are girls who look like they live in the forest. Indeed, the unique appearance of the mori girls is what attracts most people to join in their adventures.

Mori girls are often seen in loose dresses or smocks, vintage blouses, puffed sleeves, A-line skirts,  tights and leggings and many-layered ensembles. They delight in beautiful fabrics and textures, preferring natural to synthetic materials, and are impartial to autumnal shades reminiscent of forest glades such as deep reds, greens, blues and browns. They keep warm with knits and furs in winter, and ponchos and leather boleros in the fall.

The childlike nature of mori girls sets them apart from the more aggressive and carnivorous women in the city. They shun stiletto heels for flat shoes and prefer to keep their fingernails short and skin fair. Mori girls are also drawn to animal, candy, checked, floral, vintage or polka-dotted prints. However, they avoid looking overly cute. They wear little makeup, but when they do use it some like to draw pick circles in the centre of their cheeks as a homage to the dolls they played with when they were younger. While every mori girl is a child at heart, they are endlessly fascinated by objects with a history. Vintage items such as pocket watches, small gold pendants and analogue cameras captivate mori girls.

Mori girls are also characterised by certain attitudes to life. While most mori girls really live in the city, they maintain a pace of life that may be considered slow by others, preferring to stop and savour the tiny delights that many deem insignificant. Mori girls like to explore old neighbourhoods, discover hole-in-the-wall shops and read in cafes. Many mori girls enjoy expressing their creativity, never mind if nobody will see or applaud their efforts, for instance through photography or journalling. Scandinavia is for many mori girls a dream destination, and Scandinavian design influences often appear in mori girls' style.

In her own quiet way, the mori girl is an individualist. She does not care that the world may live differently from her. She lives consciously and chooses her own lifestyle. The mori girl often looks whimsical or quirky. When she shops, she buys something based on how it makes her feel, rather than on how fashionable or expensive it will appear to others. While she may enjoy the company of others, the mori girl loves her own company and indeed has embarked on many of her most memorable adventures alone.

Welcome to the world of the mori girls.

25 comments:

  1. Hey, do you mind if I cite this for an essay I'm writing? I'd just like to use your name in it. If you're not comfortable putting it straight onto the website like this, I can email you instead. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sure, feel free to cite whatever you like. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. hello! who came up with this description? i just realised i *am* a Mori Girl, at least from description, aha. so funny.
    great blog, looking forward to read more of it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Quite a few people have mentioned that they identify with the mori girl description, which is great as it means you don't have to change yourself to consciously live this lifestyle!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Do you mind if I translate this into Portuguese and alsot ake some of the scans you feature here, properly crediting you? ♥

    ReplyDelete
  6. Didn't know that there was a name for a lifestyle I've been living in for as long as I can remember.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi! I just found the blog and im amazed! Its great and it has wonderful images that leads to great inspirations. I totally identify with the description and the weirdest thing is that my surname is Mori, from Japan (im brazilian, descendant of japanese people) what a great and lovely coincidence!

    ReplyDelete
  8. WoW so amazing O.O
    I just yesterday found out something about mori girls ...
    I'm about a year now trying to put myselth in some style I want to define myslef.
    And i have tried varios styles but always i finished with " Karoline this is not you... don't push yourself for it"
    And now I'm reading this and omg.. this is so much alike to myself... i finally found it.. Thank You I'm really happy it's like I'm going to cry :)
    'cause i have read this sentence :
    "While she may enjoy the company of others, the mori girl loves her own company and indeed has embarked on many of her most memorable adventures alone."
    I even started to think "why I'm so not normal .. don't really like to be with others even with my best friends" I really thought that maybe it's not normal... but now...
    I'm just very happy :)
    p.S. so thats why i so liked aoi miyazaki in tada kimi wo aishiteru ;DDD

    Thank you very very very much again

    Karoline
    from beutiful forest land
    Lithuania :)

    PPS sorry for my english >.<

    ReplyDelete
  9. i love the enchanted world of Mori girls!

    Delila, from Finland

    ReplyDelete
  10. wierd... it duz seem alot like meh... i love it!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am getting curious about the mori girls. Who are they? I have been hearing mori girls in fashion world. They are getting more interesting than ever.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I totality agree with sophie...im delighted that there is a name for the way i live my life and would love to meet other mori girls... xoxoxo safrana Manchester

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister,a friend, a part Australian Aboriginal, part English and Scottish, art journaller. I live in a city, but wish I lived in the country. I LOVE being on my own, in fact prefer my own company to being with other people. I long to have more time to be just still. I love girly things, pretty paper and paints. Vintage bits and pieces. I have now learned that I am an Australian Mori Girl. What a relief!!! There is a name for people like me. I feel like I have found my tribe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too!
      How wonderful to find a guiding aesthetic and lifestyle that fits everything I love! I am a Mori girl through and through always have been. I just didn't know there was a name for it living here in Australia. I love that when i want to wear all my pretty clothes at once, drink tea, read books, go on walks and day dream... dreaming that all the houses and people in my street were big trees and little wood animals and fungi and leaves and moss....
      i am just following the mori lifestyle.

      Delete
  14. Valentine: Of course you may. :)

    Sophie: I think the mori girl lifestyle is one that comes naturally to many as it's not contrived or restrictive but is very much open to individual interpretation. Which is why many people feel they have always been mori girls.

    Lala Mori: Hope you've been well, and you have a lovely name!

    Karoline: I'm glad the mori girl lifestyle has inspired you. I believe there's no such thing as 'normal' really. Everyone's bound to be different in some way, and that's a good thing too. So continue being true to yourself!

    Delila Jamaiel: Glad to hear that, keep reading! :)

    Anonymous: Yes many of us have felt that way at some point, welcome!

    baby crib: The mori girls are a Japanese subculture and/or way of life. Feel free to browse this blog for examples of mori girl style.

    Chatterbox Chicks: I felt that way too when I first discovered the mori girl lifestyle. Fell in love with it immediately.

    Tracey: Welcome! Australia has such a wonderful countryside. I hope you continue to find inspiration in the mori girl lifestyle.

    ReplyDelete
  15. it's kinda relieving to found out there's something more 'humanly' to style of live.... u know... the common and standard type of most of the girls nowadays is make me lost my mind... we could say that Mori Girl is a lifestyle we could choose, but i think it's more than a lifestyle, it's how u wanna be ur self...

    such a beautiful new fact i knew... thanks for sharing it. somehow i knew i'm not 'alone' it this kind of lifestyle :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Another place I belong too. Just two years ago I felt I belonged nowhere and now I belong to so many places! ^^ I feel so glad. The description was just too beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.^^

    ReplyDelete
  17. wow great i have read many articles about this topic and everytime i learn something new i dont think it will ever stop always new info , Thanks for all of your hard work!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is too late but I still want to thank you for writing this post, and this blog.

    I've been always finding a definition about myself, and the fact that I'm a big fan of Aoi Yuu, I still don't know about Mori Girl until today. I'm happy that I found out about Mori Girl, finally I do have a name to called my personal lifestyle and fashion style.

    Thank you so much <3

    ReplyDelete
  19. I feel this is really my style.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I too have always dressed this way and think and enjoy the simple things in life and over the years and becoming a mother have lost my way but stumbling across mori girls, I have been lead back onto my path xx Thankyou for this post x

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello~ I'm really drawn to Mori style, I just have one question I'd like to ask, though..Can I be a Mori girl even though my skin is brow? Because your post says "prefer to keep their skin fair". I wouldn't want to offend anyone by dressing that way, that's why.
    Thank you, and good job on your wonderful blog by the way :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I am not the one who posted this blog, this is only speculation on my part, but, I think that it was referring to tanning or using bronzers, since Mori is a natural look. I have seen Mori girls many different skin tones, light and dark. I don't think that ANYBODY would be offended if you began to dress Mori. Why should they? Brown is your natural skin tone. Even if anybody was offended, who cares?It is THEIR problem, not yours. Being a Mori girl is about being true to yourself, and not caring what others think of it!

      Delete
    2. As I am not the one who posted this blog, this is only speculation on my part, but, I think that it was referring to tanning or using bronzers, since Mori is a natural look. I have seen Mori girls many different skin tones, light and dark. I don't think that ANYBODY would be offended if you began to dress Mori. Why should they? Brown is your natural skin tone. Even if anybody was offended, who cares?It is THEIR problem, not yours. Being a Mori girl is about being true to yourself, and not caring what others think of it!

      Delete