Japan is crazy about cuteness! It permeates every aspect of Japanese society and make no mistake, in the art of making things look ‘kawaii’ Japan is a pioneer, if not perhaps the world leader. Here’s 5 curious but cute Japanese creations.
(tankan barikeedo – 単管バリケード)
Quite in contrast to the red and white, yellow and black and plain-coloured construction barriers we might see in the west, in certain areas of Japan, road obstructions and construction work is brightened up with the addition of brightly-coloured cartoon characters such as frogs and rabbits.
(hamketsu – ハムケツ)
A small boom based on a recently popular book of the same name, this one even got a desensitised long-term resident like myself chuckling. Tell me, does the perfect roundness of its butt and tiny feet make you smile, or does it leave you scratching your head?
(yaeba – 八重歯)
The strangely attractive quality of a mis-aligned tooth protruding from the subjects lips. Cute isn’t always symmetrical and perfect. There’s even a procedure you can have performed to give you a snaggletooth of your very own.
(burikko – ぶりっ子)
Girls who employ a variety of techniques to make themselves endearing to the opposite sex, usually in excess. Oft-used are kitten poses (along with matching cat ears), duckface pouting, top-down self-shots showing large, round eyes and accompanying high-pitched voices in an attempt to make themselves sound pre-pubescent and frail.
(petto fuku – ペット服)
Simply buying the smallest handbag-sized skittish critter available isn’t enough. In order to make it truly kawaii, an outfit worthy of pantomime performances is required to really seal the deal. Pride has no place in this field as pets are shown more as a cute fashion accessory than living creature. Of course, clothes for pets is no Japan-original, but the costumes seen here are on a whole different level.
What everyday items or personality traits have you encountered in Japan that are considered to be ‘kawaii’?