Hippu-hoppu: Japanese doing the Double Dutch

I caught a cool video story today on NYT.com, about a Double Dutch competition held in Harlem. (You may have to do a search for it once you get to the NYT video page).

Interestingly, the competitive African American tradition, which counts the number of times you can jump rope in two minutes and then add on layers of amazing acrobatic performances, has become a focus of Japanese youth who are fascinated with black culture. The NYT story points out that Japanese teams have won “Best of Show” in this competition eight out of the past 10 years, and sure enough, a team from Chiba, the city northeast of Tokyo, won this event.

Another manifestation of this cross-cultural fascination are the young Japanese women who dress in retro-funky ’70s black styles, who are called “ganguro” — “gang girls.”