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10/21/2018 12:10:54 AM

Japan women go wild customising their mobile phones

Mobile phones have become another form of identity. Spending hours talking or texting on mobile phones, many Japanese people women are growing familiar with their mobile phones and are customising their "mini-mes" with sparkling plastic bits, colourful beads or anime-character stickers. The art is just like doing your nails except that it`s done on an electronic gadget. Dubbed "deco" for decoration in Japanese, blink art took to the streets of Japan`s bigger cities a few years ago. But skills and designs, as well as the tools, have advanced. In Tokyo department stores, mobile-phone decorators paint faces of famous actresses with beads or write the design owners` initials in a plastic alphabet and add a rose or a crown to the surface of folding phones. Women of every age prefer sparkling bits and plastic sweets, Mutsumi Iwama of I-Business Corp said. Their phones look like small wedding cake complete with icing. Iwama receives between 200 and 300 orders monthly via its online homepage and decorate them in their Neuneu store in the heart of Tokyo`s hip Harajuku fashion district. Although most orders are to decorate mobile phones, Iwama and the artists began receiving iPods, digital cameras and compact mirrors to decorate with sparkles. Since the trend spread, I-Business began offering classes in the techniques of blink art. Participants are mostly women and receive a certificate as blink artists at the end of the course. The deco gadgets are available at mobile phone stores, nail salons, computer shops at Tokyo`s tech town Akihabara or even online. If you decide to do it yourself, you can find a variety of stickers and beads for under 10 dollars or you can bring your own design to stores across Tokyo. But if you take the mobile phones to "salons" to have artists decorate them, the enhancement would cost up to $US470 ($A525) including the materials. For other larger items, the price could skyrocket exceeding $US900 ($A1,006) dollars depending on the design. According to Iwama, however, some clients return to the store after ripping out the previous design and request a new look for their mobile phones as if they were changing clothes every day. "You spend most of your day on mobile phones," Takayo Yamamoto, researcher at Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living, told Yomiuri Shimbun. "Many people feel their mobile phones are almost like their other self rather than just a thing. Deco or blink art is a way to express their identity." phone phones
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