Kawaii in Japanese Culture

A common word that’s often searched by anime, manga, or Japanese fashion fans is “kawaii. ” For those who are unfamiliar, it generally means cute, but can sometimes refer to charming or dear. Though the Kawaii Shop Japan term usually refers to cute Japanese goods or characters, it’s gained so much popularity, that it’s become a common way to describe anything cute no matter the origin.

Though large-eyed cartoon characters, food with happy faces, and excessive displays of cute may seem out of the ordinary for many outside of Asia, it’s just a part of cute Japanese culture and is well-accepted among other Asian countries. Laptop or computer integral is kawaii in Japanese culture? Just walk across the streets of The japanese or view magazines or newspapers, and you’ll see how great its range in fact is.

From companies, organizations, cities, police stops and more, in the japanese, they are bound to have a cute character as their mascot. Not only that, but many of these characters, especially the ones belonging to a large corporation or organization, have a history and personality. Take for instance, Sony’s mascot, a white cat named Toro. Toro isn’t only a soulless mascot, he or she has a birthday, likes certain foods, had dislikes, and has the wish to become human.

Many of these mascots are in super deformed design style, which is typical in Japanese animations and comics. And what exactly is super deformed? It’s a style of caricature in which characters are drawn with high proportions: big eyes, over-sized heads, tiny bodies, non-distinct limbs, big eyes, and hair that usually defies the laws of gravity. Characters that are designed like this are often the ones that receive “kawaii” as a response.

Not only is cute prevalent among cartoon characters, but also in Japanese fashion. The japanese has a broad array of fashion styles, a few of which take cuteness to a totally different level. Though these styles aren’t perhaps the mainstream, you can often see them around the streets of Harajuku. And what styles might this be?

There’s Decora, which focuses on excessive accessorizing and bright colors such as pink and baby blue. Usually, those wearing these style has on multiple hair-clips that have strawberries, desserts, and ribbon and bow charms. Bright socks, funky leg warmers, and sanrio-type bags are often worn.

Another style is called sweet lolita, which focuses on pastel colors, such as pink and baby blue. Despite what the colors suggest, this style is actually based on Victorian or Rococo fashion, and is one of the reasons that wearing petticoats is integral to the fashion. Though not greatly popular and far from being daily wear, there are brands that cater completely towards this style.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *