History UsefulNotes / Kawaisa

19th May '18 9:26:44 AM N1KF
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Since the 1970s, an all-pervasive form of cultural cuteness entitled kawaisa (可愛さ) has crept up to become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance, behavior, iconography and mannerisms. Kawaisa is deeply embedded in contemporary Japanese culture (so much so it even has a nickname, "The Cult of Cute") and is used in a vast array of situations and demographics. Even in cases where, in other cultures, it would be considered incongruously juvenile or frivolous (public service warnings, office environments, commercial airlines, government publications -- even military advertisements). Many companies use cute mascots to present their wares and services to the public from big business to corner markets and national government, ward and town offices. Foreign observers can find this cuteness odd because of their own cultural aversions to it and a somewhat outdated perception of the Japanese as stoic and no-nonsense people. Tomoyuki Sugiyama, author of "''Cool Japan''", believes that "cuteness" is rooted in Japan's harmony-loving culture, and Nobuyoshi Kurita, a sociology professor at Musashi University in Tokyo, has stated that "cute" is a "magic term" that encompasses everything that's acceptable and desirable in Japan.

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Since the 1970s, an all-pervasive form of cultural cuteness entitled kawaisa ''kawaisa'' (可愛さ) has crept up to become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance, behavior, iconography and mannerisms. Kawaisa ''Kawaisa'' is deeply embedded in contemporary Japanese culture (so much so it even has a nickname, "The Cult of Cute") and is used in a vast array of situations and demographics. Even in cases where, in other cultures, it would be considered incongruously juvenile or frivolous (public service warnings, office environments, commercial airlines, government publications -- even military advertisements). Many companies use cute mascots to present their wares and services to the public from big business to corner markets and national government, ward and town offices. Foreign observers can find this cuteness odd because of their own cultural aversions to it and a somewhat outdated perception of the Japanese as stoic and no-nonsense people. Tomoyuki Sugiyama, author of "''Cool Japan''", believes that "cuteness" is rooted in Japan's harmony-loving culture, and Nobuyoshi Kurita, a sociology professor at Musashi University in Tokyo, has stated that "cute" is a "magic term" that encompasses everything that's acceptable and desirable in Japan.



The word "kawaii" in Japanese has a broader definition than the English word "cute". When applied to pop culture, "cute" will suffice; however "kawaii" refers primarily to the affection of a parent toward a child coupled with the protectiveness for the innocent and weak. Thus a pop cartoon character is considered "kawaii" because it exemplifies the innocence of a child and evokes general protective, caring instincts in the viewer. Other translations of "kawaii" can include "precious", "lovable", "adorable" or "innocent".

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The word "kawaii" ''kawaii'' in Japanese has a broader definition than the English word "cute". When applied to pop culture, "cute" will suffice; however "kawaii" ''kawaii'' refers primarily to the affection of a parent toward a child coupled with the protectiveness for the innocent and weak. Thus a pop cartoon character is considered "kawaii" ''kawaii'' because it exemplifies the innocence of a child and evokes general protective, caring instincts in the viewer. Other translations of "kawaii" ''kawaii'' can include "precious", "lovable", "adorable" or "innocent".



Kawaisa can be also used to describe a specific fashion sense, or {{kawaiiko}}, of an individual and generally includes clothing that appears to be made for young children, outside of the size, or clothing that accentuates the cuteness of the individual wearing the clothing. Ruffles and pastel colors are commonly (but not always) featured, and accessories often include toys or bags featuring anime characters.

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Kawaisa ''Kawaisa'' can be also used to describe a specific fashion sense, or {{kawaiiko}}, ''{{kawaiiko}}'', of an individual and generally includes clothing that appears to be made for young children, outside of the size, or clothing that accentuates the cuteness of the individual wearing the clothing. Ruffles and pastel colors are commonly (but not always) featured, and accessories often include toys or bags featuring anime characters.



Not to be confused with [[Usefulnotes/{{Hawaii}} our 50th and youngest state, Hawaii,]] a notable Pacific Island archipelago, which is culturally so much more than just HulaAndLuaus.

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Not to be confused with [[Usefulnotes/{{Hawaii}} our the 50th and youngest state, Hawaii,]] a of UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates, Usefulnotes/{{Hawaii}}--a notable Pacific Island archipelago, which is culturally so much more than just HulaAndLuaus.



!!Kawaisa makes these {{trope}}s so adorable you could die:

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!!Kawaisa !!''Kawaisa'' makes these {{trope}}s so adorable you could die:



* ''{{Anime/Pokemon}}''
** Pikachu adorns the side of three All Nippon Airways passenger jets.
* ''HelloKitty''
** There was a line of [[strike:massagers]] vibrators with HelloKitty's head on it. ([[CutenessProximity But it's soooo kyuute!]])
* ''Anime/ParanoiaAgent'' is a long study in the dark side of Kawaisa aesthetics, implying that the real reason for its success is the generalized immaturity of the current generation -- or, for those of you who like shorter words, the problem is that Japan ''simply will not '''grow up'''''.
** Creator/SatoshiKon, the director of ''Paranoia Agent'', absolutely '''''hated''''' the Kawaisa concept, and attacked it in a number of his works, this one being the most obvious.

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* ''{{Anime/Pokemon}}''
**
''{{Anime/Pokemon}}'': Pikachu adorns the side of three All Nippon Airways passenger jets.
* ''HelloKitty''
**
''HelloKitty'': There was a line of [[strike:massagers]] vibrators with HelloKitty's head on it. ([[CutenessProximity But it's soooo kyuute!]])
* ''Anime/ParanoiaAgent'' is a long study in the dark side of Kawaisa aesthetics, ''Kawaisa aesthetics'', implying that the real reason for its success is the generalized immaturity of the current generation -- or, for those of you who like shorter words, the problem is that Japan ''simply will not '''grow up'''''.
** Creator/SatoshiKon, the director of ''Paranoia Agent'', absolutely '''''hated''''' the Kawaisa ''Kawaisa'' concept, and attacked it in a number of his works, this one being the most obvious.



* Saito Ayaka is the queen of kawaisa. Apparently, her voice is soft and high-pitched even for a female seiyuu.

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* Saito Ayaka is the queen of kawaisa.''kawaisa''. Apparently, her voice is soft and high-pitched even for a female seiyuu.



* The Japanese artist [[http://www.marichan.com/ Mari-chan]] specializes in this kind of iconography but it's a NightmareFuel version of kawaisa!

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* The Japanese artist [[http://www.marichan.com/ Mari-chan]] specializes in this kind of iconography but it's a NightmareFuel version of kawaisa!''kawaisa''!



* [[http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200703/global-psyche-one-nation-under-cute This article from Psychology Today]] states that Kawaisa has an ancient pedigree--simply because Japan's constant social stratification needed ''something'' to soften the edges. Kawaisa: Feudalism's version of a rollover bug?

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* [[http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200703/global-psyche-one-nation-under-cute This article from Psychology Today]] states that Kawaisa ''Kawaisa'' has an ancient pedigree--simply because Japan's constant social stratification needed ''something'' to soften the edges. Kawaisa: ''Kawaisa'': Feudalism's version of a rollover bug?



* Can Creator/YuiHorie make ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed'' Kawaii? [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpO3aH4QTNM You be the judge]].

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* Can Creator/YuiHorie make ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed'' Kawaii? ''Kawaii''? [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpO3aH4QTNM You be the judge]].



* [[http://fuckyeahsubversivekawaii.tumblr.com/ Subversive Kawaii]], which uses Kawaii-style art (originally text art, but it's branched out) to send social messages.
* ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'' is quite popular in Japan because of the adorable cartoon critters that make up the cast and could qualify as [[GrotesqueCute guro-kawaii]] due to its violent content; in fact, most of the merchandise tied to the show is Japan-exclusive.

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* [[http://fuckyeahsubversivekawaii.tumblr.com/ Subversive Kawaii]], which uses Kawaii-style ''Kawaii''-style art (originally text art, but it's branched out) to send social messages.
* ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'' is quite popular in Japan because of the adorable cartoon critters that make up the cast and could qualify as [[GrotesqueCute guro-kawaii]] ''[[GrotesqueCute guro-kawaii]]'' due to its violent content; in fact, most of the merchandise tied to the show is Japan-exclusive.



* ''WesternAnimation/ChalkZone'' was one of Nick Japan's most popular shows. [[{{Moe}} No surprise there]].

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* ''WesternAnimation/ChalkZone'' was one of Nick Japan's most popular shows. [[{{Moe}} No surprise there]].there.]]
16th Mar '18 4:12:12 PM nombretomado
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[[AC:[[ThisVeryWiki Meta]]]]

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[[AC:[[ThisVeryWiki [[AC:[[Wiki/ThisVeryWiki Meta]]]]
24th Feb '18 8:26:01 PM number9robotic
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* The image of midi-pop band Kero Kero Bonito, right down to the music. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL8fz8W2Yos Behold.]]

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* The image of midi-pop band Kero Kero Bonito, Music/KeroKeroBonito, right down to the music. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL8fz8W2Yos Behold.]]
19th Feb '18 2:37:00 AM Cryoclaste
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* Western example: contrast the cutesy, ''kawaii'' designs of [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Troca_kawaii.jpg the Chinese truck]] in ''{{Trackmania}} United'' with, for example, the [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Adri?Fern?ez.jpg Adri?Fern?ez]]-[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Carro_serio.jpg like]] design of the Mexican stadium racer.

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* Western example: contrast the cutesy, ''kawaii'' designs of [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Troca_kawaii.jpg the Chinese truck]] in ''{{Trackmania}} ''VideoGame/TrackMania United'' with, for example, the [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Adri?Fern?ez.jpg Adri?Fern?ez]]-[[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Carro_serio.jpg like]] design of the Mexican stadium racer.
5th Nov '17 6:19:53 AM snichols1973
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Added DiffLines:

Not to be confused with [[Usefulnotes/{{Hawaii}} our 50th and youngest state, Hawaii,]] a notable Pacific Island archipelago, which is culturally so much more than just HulaAndLuaus.
1st Oct '17 4:02:22 PM RisefromYourGrave
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** Same goes for Marie from Disney/TheAristocats due to Japan's fondness with cats.
* [[Disney/LiloAndStitch Stitch]] is also very popular.

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** Same goes for Marie from Disney/TheAristocats ''Disney/TheAristocats'' due to Japan's fondness with cats.
* [[Disney/LiloAndStitch Stitch]] is [[Franchise/LiloAndStitch Stitch and his "cousins"]] are also very popular.
16th Jul '17 4:16:46 PM KiraDoom
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to:

* ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'' is quite popular in Japan because of the adorable cartoon critters that make up the cast and could qualify as [[GrotesqueCute guro-kawaii]] due to its violent content; in fact, most of the merchandise tied to the show is Japan-exclusive.
5th Jul '17 9:46:30 AM Wheezy
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[[caption-width-right:330: Where construction meets cuddliness.]]

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[[caption-width-right:330: Where Japanese construction meets cuddliness.]]
barriers. So cute!]]
11th May '17 12:43:54 AM TalonsofIceandFire
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Since the 1970s, an all-pervasive form of cultural cuteness entitled kawaisa (可愛さ) has crept up to become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance, behavior, iconography and mannerisms. Kawaisa is deeply embedded in contemporary Japanese culture (so much so it even has a nickname, "The Cult of Cute") and is used in a vast array of situations and demographics where, in other cultures, it would be considered incongruously juvenile or frivolous (public service warnings, office environments, commercial airlines, government publications -- even military advertisements). Many companies use cute mascots to present their wares and services to the public from big business to corner markets and national government, ward and town offices. Foreign observers can find this cuteness odd because of their own cultural aversions to it and a somewhat outdated perception of the Japanese as a stoic, non-frivolous people. Tomoyuki Sugiyama, author of "''Cool Japan''", believes that "cuteness" is rooted in Japan's harmony-loving culture, and Nobuyoshi Kurita, a sociology professor at Musashi University in Tokyo, has stated that "cute" is a "magic term" that encompasses everything that's acceptable and desirable in Japan.

to:

Since the 1970s, an all-pervasive form of cultural cuteness entitled kawaisa (可愛さ) has crept up to become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance, behavior, iconography and mannerisms. Kawaisa is deeply embedded in contemporary Japanese culture (so much so it even has a nickname, "The Cult of Cute") and is used in a vast array of situations and demographics demographics. Even in cases where, in other cultures, it would be considered incongruously juvenile or frivolous (public service warnings, office environments, commercial airlines, government publications -- even military advertisements). Many companies use cute mascots to present their wares and services to the public from big business to corner markets and national government, ward and town offices. Foreign observers can find this cuteness odd because of their own cultural aversions to it and a somewhat outdated perception of the Japanese as a stoic, non-frivolous stoic and no-nonsense people. Tomoyuki Sugiyama, author of "''Cool Japan''", believes that "cuteness" is rooted in Japan's harmony-loving culture, and Nobuyoshi Kurita, a sociology professor at Musashi University in Tokyo, has stated that "cute" is a "magic term" that encompasses everything that's acceptable and desirable in Japan.
16th Jan '17 12:21:33 PM Morgenthaler
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Not all embrace the cute so readily, though; those skeptical of this "cuteness" consider it a sign of an infantile mentality. Hiroto Murasawa, professor of beauty and culture at Osaka Shoin Women's University, calls cuteness "a mentality that breeds non-assertion ... Individuals who choose to stand out get beaten down." Controversially, some have suggested that Japan's brutal defeat in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII bred this mentality, viewing it as the only way to explain how the warrior culture of ImperialJapan did a complete one–eighty in just a couple of generations.

to:

Not all embrace the cute so readily, though; those skeptical of this "cuteness" consider it a sign of an infantile mentality. Hiroto Murasawa, professor of beauty and culture at Osaka Shoin Women's University, calls cuteness "a mentality that breeds non-assertion ... Individuals who choose to stand out get beaten down." Controversially, some have suggested that Japan's brutal defeat in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII bred this mentality, viewing it as the only way to explain how the warrior culture of ImperialJapan UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan did a complete one–eighty in just a couple of generations.
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