Culture

The Kawaii Culture

Kawaii is the Japanese word for cute or adorable. There is a modern culture in Japan, popular among the adolescent girls, to try and make every day to day item look adorable. Items that are colorful, round and small are considered kawaii. One of the arguments put forward for this growing culture is the sense of peace and serenity the objects give. They are not violent or belligerent but rather they offer the owner a sense of security, however false it may be.

The kawaii culture is said to have evolved from an integration of western traits into eastern one, where traditionally western items would be infused with Japanese cultural elements such as drawing wider/round eyes as opposed to the traditional slender shapes.

kawai-obama

Since it’s Obama week πŸ™‚ Kawaii or Kowaii?

Kawaii culture has influenced a lot of popular Japanese brands such as Hello Kitty and DokidokiΒ (which is a store dedicated to Kawaii objects). Moreover, the culture is spreading and becoming a global phenomenon manifest in different countries’ mascots, fashion, coffee shops and various accessories.

cute-coffee-mugadorable-decorations

Hope you enjoyed the post, at the very least you got to add a new word to you Japanese vocabulary. What do you think of the kawaii culture?

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Shikow is a student of the law, life and day dreams. A lover of adventure and good times, she takes delight in learning and creating new things. She is a beautiful letdown and painfully uncool.

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  • Gillian

    青白いγ‚ͺγƒγƒž

    Haha! He looks so funny!

    • Shikow

      He looks terrifying, like something in a horror movie

  • zawadi wangui

    What’s the Wondercores take on kawaii? I mean, like do you have stuff that you beautify with kawaii objects? Recently in Kenya, I have seen girls/ladies putting some kawaii stuff on their mobile phone covers. Maybe you could research on this new trend and ask what motivated them (girls/ladies in Kenya with kawaii mobile phone covers)…would be an interesting read for me.

    • Personally, I’m not particularly fond of the kawaii culture. I like to imagine myself as sophisticated and classy rather than “cute” – I blame the fact that I’m a last born and spent the better part of my life trying to prove to everyone that I was “grown up”! πŸ˜€

      I also think the Kenyan kawaii phenomenon would be interesting to document. Let’s persuade Shikow to make it Part II of this post! πŸ™‚

      • zawadi wangui

        yeah Shikow, do a part 2 on Kenyan kawaii phenomenon. You might just get Mbithe (& myself) integrated into the kawaii culture πŸ˜‰

        • Shikow

          I did originally intend to highlight the emerging Kenyan kawaii trends but I didn’t find enough online resources to make a solid post but I’ll keep checking and maybe do more of one on one interviews rather than purely online research

    • Shikow

      My philosophy is that too much of anything in the long run isn’t good ,I like kawaii mono in moderation.

    • Gillian

      For me this is just one of things I have never really been that interested in. I find that some people tend to overdo it making their intended Kawaii objects come off as slightly off-putting. As Shikow said, ‘Too much of anything…’

      But that’s according to me anyway, looking forward to see what Part II will have πŸ˜€

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