The Sartorialist, photographer Scott Schuman's blog of street fashion in New York City and around the world, alerted me to the curious nomenclature of Japanese men's fashion magazines. That's not exactly Sart's point: he's impressed by the styles on display. But as a namer, I'm awed by this:
To understand the image, you need to know that OilyBoy is produced by the same people who produce a magazine called Popeye. Still ... OilyBoy? For "elder boys"? A clue comes by way of commenter Anonymous at 8:01, who writes:
So that's all right then. Read the rest of the comment, which offers some interesting cultural insights:
Then there's this arresting title:
Rich and delicious? Vaguely scatological? I have no idea. Neither does Sartorialist, who writes: "I don't even know where to begin ... so I won't."
"Oily Boy" is the actual nickname of the late Jiro Shirasu, once the coolest guy in Japan.
Tall, rich and movie-star handsome, Shirasu was educated at Cambridge University, where he drove a Bentley. After Japan's defeat in World War II, his excellent English and smooth demeanor helped when he was called on to negotiate the terms of the U.S. occupation with Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
Shirasu was one of the first Japanese men of substance to allow himself to be photographed while hanging out in jeans. He owned and often tinkered with fine automobiles. On social occasions, his pants and shirts were sometimes stained with oil.