Japanese dramas, movies, comics, food and fashion and the whole gamut of Japanese culture have become a fad in Hong Kong, according to a study by a group of Form Six students. The group from Carmel Secondary School did a study on Japanese fads and won first prize at the Consuming Culture Report Competition (senior category) organised by the Consumer Council. The students were Heung Ka- lok, 19, Kwan Hoi-lam, 17, Leung Sze-nga, 18, Wong Kai-ying, 18, Yeung Hoi-shan, 18, Chau Hoi- yan, 17, and Au Ho-sam, 17. The idea for the study came from Ka-lok, who said Japanese culture had become part of daily life. 'Japanese dramas are very popular and young people in Hong Kong even follow the dress style of the Japanese idols. 'Japanese culture has influ enced us in many ways, particularly in fashion,' said Kai-ying. The group compared the content of Japanese and local fashion magazines. They studied photographs of local young people in various styles of dress and the amount of Japanese clothes sold at a teens clothes boutique. They also calculated the number of Japanese magazines sold in Hong Kong and the percentage of Japanese items featured in local magazines. The team also interviewed magazine agents, shop owners and people aged between 15 and 23 to understand their purchasing habits and the influence of Japanese culture. The team was coached by business studies teacher Chung Leung Hoi-yin who praised the students' efforts. 'The project was not an easy task,' she said. 'The result was the outcome of six months of hard work.' The study concluded that street fashion in Hong Kong was very close to that in Japan. 'Japanese fashion is attractive to young people because of the design, the cut and the price,' Hoi- lam said. 'The fad is set to continue because of the influence of the media and aggressive retailing. 'Consumers just follow the trend. They do not pause to consider whether what they buy is suitable for them. They have been overwhelmed by commer cial hype to such an extent that they have lost their judgment.' Consumers passively accepted the culture because of a barrage of advertisement in the media. The competition drew 135 entries from 64 secondary schools. The first runner-up was Marymount Secondary School. Their project studied how to choose a good Chinese restaurant. The second runner-up was Helen Liang Memorial School in Sha Tin. They studied the work of travel agencies. The best topic award went to Tack Ching Girls' Middle School for the shopping culture in Apliu Street. The most creative presentation award went to Madame Lau Kam Lung Secondary School for the shopping culture in Lam Tei Main Street. The winning projects will go on display at Metroplaza on Saturday and Sunday and at Ocean Terminal on May 27 and 28.