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History of Kawaii Stuff

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History of Kawaii Stuff

The Japanese word "kawaii" is undoubtedly familiar to everyone who is knowledgeable about Japanese popular culture. Kawaii, which translates to "cute," can be used to describe a wide range of things, both live and inanimate. Perhaps Japanese anime, manga characters, sweet lolita fashion, or pop culture interests you? Then you may know some about the word kawaii or "cute" in Japan. In fact, cuteness is so deeply ingrained in Japanese modern culture that you can find it in all shapes and sizes, from guro-kawaii (grotesque-cute or gross cute) and ero-kawaii (erotic cute) to kimo-kawaii (creepy-cute) and busu-kawaii (ugly-cute). Japanese pop stars or pop icons act, talk, and dress cutely to be considered kawaii. The kawaii concept first appeared as a uniquely Japan's culture move, but it quickly developed into the widespread phenomenon it is now, permeating many facets of contemporary life, such as cute handwriting, Japanese art, fashion, technology, picture bento, and even cuisine.

What is Kawaii?

History of Kawaii Stuff

In Japanese, the term "kawaii" means "cute." It defines everything that makes one feel tender merely by looking at or experiencing it. It can refer to something "little" and "adorable" at times. It can also denote other adjectives like "beautiful," "childlike," or even "shy," in fact, it can refer to any cute "kawaii" persona. In Japan, anything can be made cute, including delicacies, construction fences, toys, and signage. Even an adorable mascot represents every local tourism board in each prefecture!

What is Japanese Kawaii Culture?

History of Kawaii Stuff

Japanese kawaii culture typically refers to popular Japanese culture. It comprehensively covers a variety of topics, such as pastel colors, character cafes, fashion trends, well-known anime characters, animal mascots, and more. In order to bring in more foreign visitors, the Japanese government has formally approved it as a tourism policy. Kawaii culture is prevalent throughout Japan because "cuteness" is regarded as being innocent, alluring, and joyful. Moreover, sounds and announcements in Japan frequently have adorable tones. There are also lots of chibi mascots and cute emojis on social media.

For a very long time, kawaii culture has been closely linked to Japan's kawaii aesthetic and spirits. However, even though kawaii culture in Japan has a long history, its definition and core cultural elements are constantly changing. While there are enduring, widely accepted core ideas of what constitutes cute, what is currently considered kawaii may not be so in ten years. Japanese people standards of cuteness and kawaii-related trends change just like beauty standards do.

History of Kawaii Culture

In the Taisho Era (1912–1926), the phrase "kawayushi," which denotes being ashamed, bashful, vulnerable, endearing, and little, evolved into the word "kawaii." Although the current word still has this connotation, it has expanded to include love, care, and protection sentiments. Additionally, Kawaii culture has its roots during the student revolt of the 1960s and 1970s, the next significant event in Kawaii's chronology. It was partially sparked by a different writing called marui-ji trend, which saw teenage Japanese girls utilize mechanical pencils and embellish their writing style with round characters like hearts, stars, and more (round writing).

But what was the other significant factor, by any chance? Hello Kitty, the most well-known Sanrio character, born in 1974, has promoted Japanese kawaii culture. One of the most well-known cats in the world, Hello Kitty now has over 50,000 product lines available in 130 nations. Hello Kitty is the model example of this culture: a charming character with excessively large eyes and head, a tiny nose, and few facial expressions. Because of her expressionless demeanor, she could receive practically any feeling, making her a very well-liked character that crosses gender and age boundaries.

Hello Kitty - The Queen of Japanese Kawaii

History of Kawaii Stuff

The popularity of Hello Kitty has had a significant impact on kawaii culture. In 1974, Sanrio's mascot was made widely known; since then, it has become synonymous with kawaii culture everywhere, not only in Japan. These days, everything has been given a Hello Kitty makeover. Any large city you visit will likely have Hello Kitty t-shirts, purses, stationery, and other merchandise available. There has been a fascination with anime characters and innocent-looking images since Hello Kitty. They developed a widespread trend among both young and older men and women possessing cute character-themed stuff for their home or their cute or kawaii collections.

In fact, Japan designated Hello Kitty as their national tourist ambassador in 2008, extending an invitation to the rest of the globe to join in celebrating the nation's proudly kawaii identity. Hello Kitty, Sanrio, and other companies have been creating adorable characters and embracing fictional characters, eventually becoming cultural icons. Numerous cute merchandise featuring Hello Kitty and her Sanrio buddies have been produced in thousands of variations of cute things, from Hello Kitty watch and speaker, Hello Kitty Bottle topper and tongs, to Sanrio earbuds and cables.

Hello Kitty Kawaii Stuffs

History of Kawaii StuffCitizen Q&Q Sanrio Hello Kitty Watch

History of Kawaii StuffSanrio Wireless Glass Speaker: Hello Kitty

History of Kawaii StuffSanrio Bluetooth Earbuds: My Melody

History of Kawaii StuffSanrio Cooling Pillowcase: Kuromi

Kawaii Plushies

History of Kawaii StuffGenshin Impact Plush: Klee

History of Kawaii StuffDemon Slayer Speaking Doll: Nezuko

History of Kawaii StuffHaikyu!! Mascot Keychain Plush: Shoyo Hinata

History of Kawaii StuffPokemon Corduroy Plush: Pikachu

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