From We to Me

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Japan's youth are out for thrills, stepping clear of the buttoned-down, uniformed life of their parents and onto society's dance floor. They are crafting their own style, an unfocused commitment to doing things differently with in-your-face manners that are shocking a country that reveres politeness. They dye their hair shades of brown, red, yellow, blue and purple. They tan their skin until their complexions resemble those of California lifeguards. They jabber noisily on phones in public. They are rude. They cause trouble; a juvenile crime wave is spreading across Japan. Teenage girls from middle-class families prostitute themselves for middle-aged men. Schools once famous for rigidity and discipline have turned into chaotic places where students even physically assault teachers. Advocating disharmony in a land that venerates harmony, this generation is talking revolution.