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Meet Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Girls

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Gwen Stefani's "Harjuku Girls" is arguably the centerpiece of her delicious "Love Angel Music Baby" album. The song is Stefani's ode to Japanese pop culture (and Harjuku's colorful youth scene in particular) that was the primary source of inspiration for the record and her L.A.M.B. fashion line.

On "Harjuku Girls" (produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis) Stefani croons, "In a pedestrian paradise. Where the catwalk got its claws. A subculture in a kaleidoscope of fashion.  Prowl the streets of Harajuku (. . .) Putting on a show , when you dress up in your clothes, wild hair color and cell phones, your accessories are dead on. Harajuku girls you got the wicked style. I like the way that you are. I am your biggest fan."

Look at some everyday images [Flickr] of Harajuku girls.

Tokyo's vibrant Harjuku district has been the hip and happening force behind much of Asia's cutting-edge underground culture. The area used to be the home of the US military right after World War II. In 1964, it housed many of the athletes during Tokyo's Olympic Games.

Inspired by the international influences of the Olympics, Harjuku became the epicenter for everything different in the  late '60s. Today, an eccentric cast of hippies, punks, rockabillies, street performers still flock to Takshita Street, Meiji Dori Avenue and Omotesando Dori Avenue to hang out and show off their distinct style.

Check out a live performance "Harjuku Girls" by Stefani [Sessions@AOL] or sample the song online [iTunes].

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