How so Kawaii?

You may have the same question as me – how can something as simple, cute and pretty take over a whole country? Well, you’re in luck, because after researching through everyone’e favourite, Google, I have found the answer!

There are three main reasons as to how kawaii became so big:

  1. Japanese culture is one of rigor and high social expectations which many were tiring of. The Japanese people, especially women, wanted to reject this side of their culture to enjoy a bit of freedom.
    Image 26

    This is obviously very understandable because who wants to be told what to do and how to act all the time? This rejection rose as kawaii. This is because kawaii challenged the rigorous aspects of Japanese culture, including their strong work ethic, discipline and social expectations in relation to how one must dress in public. Kawaii gave people an excuse to act and dress as a teenager or child and enable people to deny their adulthood. However, they also used kawaii as a way to cope with the realities of adulthood.

    Image 27
  2. Kawaii is generally related to cute animals, babies and little children, all of which are seen as very helpless and need to be cared for endlessly. This adorable, youthful nature of kawaii is extremely attractive to all (unless you hate kids or you’re some kind of weirdo) and valued in Japanese culture. Generally, if you like it you want to be it so, abracadabra, you have kawaii!

    Image 28
  3. The working population of Japan is well, very hard-working. They work long, strenuous hours and aren’t able to have many breaks throughout the day or a chance to rest and forget about work for a little while. Kawaii acts as a getaway for these people and breaks that cycle of their harsh reality. Being able to dress up as a child (or something cute) enables them to forget about their job and jump into an alternate reality!

    Image 29

There we have it folks! The reasons as to how kawaii became so big in Japan. I can definitely resonate with these kawaii loving Japanese people – I am constantly denying my adulthood and trying to get away from it. Anyone else? Please comment, ask any questions, give suggestions or corrections about the topic and I will get around to answering all of you! I hope you enjoyed reading about a way to deny adulthood…I mean, about kawaii and Japan and stuff… Stay tuned for next week’s blog – Gothic Lolitas!


4 thoughts on “How so Kawaii?

  1. This is really interesting and good to have it explained. I have seen pictures of Kawaii but didn’t really know what it was and had wondered if it was a Japanese type version of those conventions where people dress up as comic book characters. I’m thinking that the gothic version is a bit like Steampunk??
    And remind me, to a lesser degree, of labels like Dangerfield – that have a cute- childlike look about the designs on fabric but a bit more edgy ??
    What are your thoughts on this? Is this cuteness and gothic type fashion being seen in other parts of the world?


    • I like your connection to Steampunk – I had the same thought in relation to the Brolitas. A Steampunk version of fashion! This fascination with “Kawaii” seems to have spread further than Japan and into other Asian countries. TV programs based around this concept are certainly amusing!


      • Kawaii has certainly spread to other places around the world, not just Asia. There are many kawaii communities and Japanese fashion communities around the world, like I mentioned in my response to Katrina.
        TV shows, such as Anime, are very amusing and interesting, I agree with you there, Louise!


    • I agree with your connection to steampunk, Katrina. They both have obvious similarities to Victorian era style clothing and the dark colours used.
      Dangerfield has lots of similarities with simple kawaii and is almost the same fashion. They both have an everyday cuteness about them. But in terms of the other styles of kawaii, you’re correct, they’re cute like Dangerfield fashion but have more of a creative edge to them.
      Kawaii fashion can be seen in other parts of the world, for example in London, New York and Bolivia. In London, there are many fashion communities for different cultures. When at events such as Comic Con or concerts for Japanese artists, people would dress up in their Japanese fashion to attend. People who don’t dress like this, however, do recognise the fashion as Japanese.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s