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Kawaii is the culture of cuteness in Japan.


  • It is a strange thing to say, but I did grow up among what they call “Kawaii" culture.” I say strange as we all take it for granted. I guess we’ve been exposed to such [kawaii] images without even realizing it. They are everywhere so, it’s always been in my subconscious. I do not take this whole thing too negatively, but still I am a man, I am not fanatically into what is considered kawaii in general. I guess you could say that I do incorporate the idea, or what I consider kawaii into my work unconsciously.
  • Yosuke Kurita, a professor of sociology at Tokyo Musashi University, said that one day, Japan’s “Kawaii” goods can rival luxury goods from Europe and the United States, and they can even replace European and American brand names and establish a position in the international market.
  • Osaka University’s Professor Hideaki Uzumuzawa believes that this style reflects the fact that many Japanese people have simple ideas and do not want to grow up.
  • Prof. Kuroda said that the upsurge of "Kawaii" will determine the future of Japan. If this boom hits the world, the future of Japan will be bright. If it fails, Japan’s influence on the world economic stage may gradually disappear.
  • The Japanese are born into cute and raised with cute. They grow up to save money with cute (Miffy the bunny on Asahi Bank ATM cards), to pray with cute (Hello Kitty charm bags at Shinto shrines), to have sex with cute (prophylactics decorated with Monkichi the monkey, a condom stretched over his body, entreating, "Would you protect me?").
    They see backhoes painted to look like giraffes and police kiosks fixed up like gingerbread houses. Each of Japan's 47 prefectures has its own adorable mascot, as do the Tokyo police and the government television station. Home-run-swatting ball players are handed a plush stuffed animal when they cross the plate. Well-heeled city women are dropping yen by the millions on a Kansai Yamamoto couture line called Super Hello Kitty. Teenage boys tattoo themselves with Badtz-Maru, the Sanrio company's mischievous, lumpy-headed penguin. Salarymen otherwise indistinguishable with their gray suits and cigarettes buy novelty cell phone straps adorned with plastic charms of their favorite cute characters: Thunder Bunny, Cookie Monster, Doraemon the robot cat. Cute is everywhere. They're soaking in it.

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