Thursday, July 20, 2006

Kawaii Culture

Okay, a few posts ago I introduced you to kawaii, which is the word for cute. This post is intended to elaborate on it and its culture here in Japan. This country has a fascination with cute things. Little animated animals or things accompany EVERY product it seems, and then even become a novelty item on their own (like stuffed animals, clothing patterns, and stickers). As for the culture, a lot of clothes or collection items for Japanese women can be based off of kawaii. That means lots of pastels, and girly things that American's would sooner associate with a 5 year old, or possibly a pre-teen. I think that is what describes this `culture`. For many women here, they strive to capture possibly the bubbliness or innocence of girls much younger than their own age. A good example of this is the clothes the toddlers at the daycare wore. They were pretty much just smaller styles of what older Japanese women may try to emulate. Along with fashion, brightly colored hair clips line girls' hair, and keychains/stickers of "cutsie" characters ornament many school girls' belongings.. A perfect "poster-character" for kawaii things is the one and only Hello Kitty, and its creator Sanrio. I have been to a few stores that specialize only in Sanrio goods. The consumer base ranges from the ages of toddlers to 20-30 year old Japanese women... and they are all pretty much the same. Hello Kitty is EVERYWHERE here in Japan... but that will be another post. The pictures are of Yurina cuddling up to a kawaii character that she likes in a shop that specializes in girly kawaii products. The other is of a Sanrio store with products intended to be sold to a surprisingly older age-group of 20 year old Japanese women. The last one is me sharing some love with Kitty-chan! (a nickname for Hello Kitty here in Japan, which means something like little kitty. Applying -chan to any name automatically adds a kawaii factor to it. It is a title for little kids. This is why my family calls OjiSAN, OjiCHAN. It is because he is now a cute little old man.)

1 comment:

Louise said...

haha you are tooo too cute christopher. i guess japan is the right place for me to find my stuffed animals lol. [i secretly love those. shhh dont tell]

its nice to see you and Kitty-chan are enjoying yourselves still :] cant wait til you come home!