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Cute Culture in Japan
Transcript of Cute Culture in Japan
: Focus on My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, and more from the 1980s.
: Victorian and late Edwardian look
: From late 1990s, and peaked in the mid-2000s: brightly colored clothing and accessories.
Hello Kitty guitars and tombstones
Cost of Kawaii
proponents of kawaii culture are willing to spend a lot of time/ effort on makeup/ fashion/ facial alterations
Cuteness is an escape
"buffer against exceedingly tough urban lifestyles"
"Japan is collectively a society with a 12 year old's mentality"
West: Sexy & Strong vs. East: Cute and innocent
kimo-kawaii ("Gross Cute")
Changing, but not going away
clothes are designed to make wearer childlike, romantic
girls: pastel shades, lace, frills, prints
boys: bright colors
kawaii is unisex!
The Japanese History of
"How to look like a Kawaii Doll" Tutorial
heavily influenced by Victorian era clothing
Maison de Julietta "Harajuku Lolita Experience"
also popular in other East Asian countries
Girls prefer to be called 'kawaii' than pretty
Hello Kitty Men
new clothing line for men based on Hello Kitty
goal of this line: Hello kitty is not just for girls- men can also enjoy the cute feline without compromising masculinity
During Valentine’s Day- Japanese women buy gifts for men from this line to make their boyfriends “cuter”
Men and Kawaii Makeup
East vs West
Comparison of Media between West and East
Two examples of Japan wave entering Western world
Gwen Stefani and Harajuku girls
Body Image Comparison
J!NS PC Glasses: ¥4,900 (about $50) plus tax
Shinjuku Keio Plaza cost ¥71,000 (around $700) for 1-3 persons. The Keio Tama Plaza rooms cost ¥28,000 (around $270) for single individuals, ¥31,000 (around $300) for two, or ¥35,000 (around $340) for three
Hello Kitty merchandise alone has more than 15,000 products
"Women are acting like children and engaging in childlike and childish behavior. Women are tending to giggle more, speak in an intentionally high-pitched voice, wear childish clothing, throw temper tantrums or act purposely clueless"
What is Kawaii?
cultural phenomenon that permeates many facets of life, including:
Celebration of sweet, adorable, delicate, and pure qualities associated with childhood
Western world: Well built, tanned, sexy figure + everyone is beautiful
Japan: More defined since certain "looks" are more desirable. Ex: light skin, big eyes, long legs, slim v-shaped face, petite frame
One contributor of difference in beauty standards is how media perpetuates them in these two different cultures
Underlying morals, values and life lessons
Students are able to relate to Doraemon--> Nobita
Study shows that watching spongebob squarepants made preschoolers slower thinkers
Spongebob and procrastination
Rebellion against tradition
Explaining Kawaii's Success
Softens social hierarchies
economic success for Japan domestically and internationally
Relatability to products/emotional connection to products (cuteness as consumption)
Difference in art
Japan games: fighting for justice, "hero" image
American games: Realistic, violent, masculine
Accomplishment vs. adrenaline rush
Japanese culture in Western world