WSJ Scene talks Kawaii

Have you read The Business Model's Kawaii Culture article? Can't get enough kawaii? Check out Manami Okazaki's article  "5 Things Your Didn't Know About Kawaii" on The Wall Street Journal's Asia Scene magazine:

A 1970s sketchbook by designer Rune Naito, one of the people who popularized the term 'kawaii' (Yayoi Yumeji Museum)

A 1970s sketchbook by designer Rune Naito, one of the people who popularized the term 'kawaii' (Yayoi Yumeji Museum)

If you’ve ever been to Japan, whether you know it or not, you will have encountered multiple examples of kawaii, the country’s dominant pop-cultural aesthetic.
That bus stop shaped like a watermelon? Kawaii. Adorable police mascots? Kawaii. Harajuku fashionistas with pink tutus and purple bangs, Hello Kitty TV sets, fish cakes that look like pandas, girls in manga with sparkly eyes, construction signs that take the form of frogs? All kawaii.
Kawaii culture has many guises, but what exactly is it? If it’s just the Japanese word for “cute,” as it’s usually translated, why not just call it that?
In my book, “Kawaii!: Japan’s Culture of Cute,” I spoke to product designers, manga artists, fashion luminaries, event organizers, scholars and artists who deal in kawaii. One thing they made clear is that contrary to popular belief, kawaii products need to be cute, but not too cute – otherwise they won’t sell.
Conflicting views abound as to what kawaii is and isn’t. In light of this, below are five things about kawaii that go against common misperceptions. I hope they help you look at kawaii in a different light.

See the full article here.

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