A bittersweet update about Rose. Gothic Lolita, Anime & Cosplay wigs at Tokyo craft store, Okadaya.

goth girl with tattoos, jrock style

A surprisingly large number of people ask me about my friend Rose. Why hasn’t she appeared on the blog recently? I’ve been reluctant to say because the news isn’t good. Basically, Rose has been battling an extremely serious medical condition.

However, there’s a light (over at the Frankenstein place)! A test has nailed down Rose’s mysterious condition — and with some help, she can regain her health. Please read on for the personal story, followed by the latest in Tokyo makeup and wigs (since Rose loves J-fashion, and we want this post to end on an upbeat note!)

pretty gothic girl with tattoos, piercings

Long-time readers will remember Rose from our adventures in Seattle and Vancouver — absinthe burlesque clubs, Jrock concerts, dance videos and more. She’s got such positive energy, and a flair for alt-Japanese style.

Some have commented on her thinness. Rose has been struggling with a serious medical issue for years, which left her unable to eat or gain weight. It’s a long story (which her mom outlines in full here). Basically, about 11 years ago, Rose started having digestive troubles that lead to full gastroparesis or stomach paralysis. Despite going to the best doctors and trying all options, nobody has been able to determine a cause or cure. A series of painful operations, including inserting a pacemaker and removing her entire stomach, did nothing to help.

leopard print bathrobes, tights

Sadly, in recent months, Rose has been getting worse. Her weight dropped to 73 pounds even though she takes in enough calories by tube-feeding, and she developed other complications.

However, there’s been a breakthrough: Rose tested 100% positive for Lyme disease. She took a test years ago, but the results came back negative since there is a high error margin. With this new and reliable method, the diagnosis is undeniable, and the symptoms fit.

crimped hair, goth punk girls

It’s terrible that the undiagnosed Lyme disease caused her to worsen for a decade. On the plus side, Rose now knows the cause, and can undergo a complicated treatment to hopefully beat it. However, this will be a long, expensive road. I know her family, and they put everything into her medical costs, but it is a struggle. We’re having an online fundraiser, and hope you can help Rose with a contribution, no matter how small. So grateful for your support, and will share updates all along the way. Let’s get her healthy again!

You can donate safely here by PayPal or credit card (choose to pay with PayPal and then at the bottom you will see “buy as guest.” Click that and you can then use your credit card.)

♥ Or if you can just help us get the word out — maybe with a Facebook post, Tweet, blog post or email — it will make a difference. Thank you.

pink pastel wig, bunny ears hairstyle

On a brighter note, since this post is dedicated to Rose, I wanted to put up something that makes her smile. Rose dreams of visiting Tokyo, and I know she’ll go nuts inside Okadaya — one of the best places to pick up wigs, makeup, and craft supplies. I love coming here to scout out the latest beauty trends, like bunny-eared pastel wigs.

japanese girls false eyelashes, jpop lashes

The main floor of Okadaya (address: Shinjuku 3-23-17, near the station’s east exit) has a wall of false eyelashes, especially in the glam gyaru style. Above are some special collaboration lashes, which come in different colors. There are also over-the-top ones in rainbow colors, feathers and glitter.

Don Quixote and 100 yen “dollar” stores sell cheaper false lashes, but you can’t beat the variety and uniqueness of the ones here.

disney nail polish, minnie mouse makeup

There are always displays of new, chic beauty products. Disney just released a glittery nail polish line, in a variety of colors. Cinderella, Minnie Mouse and Snow White seem to love it.

hello kitty perfume, makeup

Hello Kitty’s cute face is omnipresent in Japan. This is the new Sanrio perfume, packaged in “small gift” pouches. Different colors represent different scents.

one use contact lens, harajuku circle contacts

Circle or novelty contact lenses remain big sellers in Japan. These “Funky Whip” contacts are a relatively new offering, which you wear only once and dispose.

black red dyed hair

On the second floor, it’s wigs galore! The sample hairdos are always done up in creative styles, like this braided and flower-topped mannequin.

pastel goth wigs, fairy kei

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s influence is obvious in these quirky, experimental pastel hairstyles.

cult party kei hairstyles

Would you rather have a snake dangling by your face, or a snowman on your scalp?

weird experimental hairstyles japan

This green and red Christmas wreath hairstyle gets props for creativity, if nothing else.

funny mannequin heads

What a lovely romantic couple. The one on the left is a man… I think? (Okadaya has a fun selection of Jrock or host boy wigs too).

women's colored wigs, alternative hair

Every possible type of synthetic wig is sold here, in all colors and lengths. These shaggy bobs are more natural-looking.

pastel color wigs, gothic lolita wig

If that’s not your bag, then there’s a shelf of Sweet Lolita, pastel goth and cosplay wigs! Most are by the brand Prisila. Perfect for anime convention costumes, Halloween, or a club night out.

For more photos of fabrics and craft supplies at Okadaya (including feather boas), see this blog post…

ne-net cat logo

… and peruse my LaCarmina Instagram. I’m on YouTube and Facebook too.

fat cat face drawing

I leave you with a few kitty snaps. Here’s a fat-faced illustration in a Shinjuku store window. Looks like a British Shorthair to me.

big scottish fold male cat

Can you see the resemblance to my Scottish Fold kitten?

pretty goth girl, legs

Basil sends a hug to everyone who helps out our friend Rose, if it’s by giving to the fund, or simply sharing this post. You can see all of our adventures together right here — she’s a very special person, and I hope to have better news for you soon!



  1. MaDonna
    Posted March 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Hugs xxx to your friend Rose. I’m happy to hear that they found out the cause and can now spend time curing her, instead of diagnosing. xx

    (Odakaya looks perfect. I tried to find it last time I went, but I was all alone and got chicken. Is it easy to find? I want yarn and washi, eyelashes and mascara!!)

    • lacarmina
      Posted March 22, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Thanks darling <3
      And yeah, Okadaya isn't too hard to find. It's on the left side of the cobbled street that extends after you get out of Shinjuku East Exit (to the right of Alta, if you're facing Alta).

  2. Jack
    Posted March 20, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Great post as per usual. I’ll be sure to check out some of those stores next time I’m over there.

  3. alice
    Posted March 20, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    beautiful love your hair

  4. MelissaR
    Posted March 20, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Poor Rose :( My thoughts and prayers go out to her.

  5. Laura
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    The wigs look fabulous. Thoughts to Rose.

  6. Michael
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    my heart goes out to your friend, i’ve known a few people who have been hit by that and it’s not easy

  7. Sandi
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    I was thinking of her recently and wondering how she was doing.

  8. Jennifer
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Sending so much healing vibes!

  9. Richard
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    *many big hugs* rose is such a strong person. Miss you ladies alot

  10. Michelle
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    I spread the word last night :) hopefully this will be the last of what she has to suffer through. Hopefully recovery is finally in sight.

  11. Andie
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    <3 'll see what I can do.

  12. Mellissa
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    love Rose. met her a few years ago (you, also) and she’s just the sweetest girl. her mom, too. i hope she gets all the help she needs!!

  13. Aries
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    …very touching !!

  14. BlackCatz
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    wish I could help, but I’m not working atm, but I can and will hold her in my prayers. And I sure can share it as much as I can!

    Posted March 21, 2014 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Kawaii!! (*♥ω♥*)

  16. foxy
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    so cute !! he cutest cat!

  17. Drew
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Let’s pray she gets better.

  18. Sara
    Posted March 21, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink


  19. chalya
    Posted March 22, 2014 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    best wishes to rose

  20. Rebecca
    Posted March 22, 2014 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    Sweet Rose! hugs and I’ll check into your list.

  21. Rainbow
    Posted March 22, 2014 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    donated and will for sure again if possible, as well as spread the
    word. I’m so sad that she is going through this, wishing her the best
    with getting proper help and getting healthy soon!! xoxo

  22. Geri
    Posted March 22, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    I love you girls :’) <3

  23. Ramona
    Posted March 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    thanks for sharing. Just emptied my paypal :)

  24. Tom
    Posted March 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    your a good friend.

  25. Anna
    Posted March 23, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Shared and Spread! Sending sparkles of hope and love.
    I keep having to fight cancer and wouldn’t be able to do it alone.
    We fight with sparkling friendship and love together 一緒に

  26. chinabestwigs
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:11 am | Permalink

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