We always hear the word ‘kawaii’ when watching anime in Japanese. Kawaii is a word with diverse meanings and it even is used as a statement or life-choice. Let us look at the meaning of the word first.
Kawaii is a word formed from two words in kanji. ‘Ka’ means ‘acceptable’ and ‘ai’ meaning ‘love’. This word is the embodiment of cuteness in Japan and became prominent in Japanese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance, behavior… well you get the picture. The word means ‘lovable, cute, or adorable’ and also can mean ‘cool, groovy, acceptable, desirable, charming and innocent’ and as you can see is a way of life.
Japan is the ‘cutest culture on the planet’ and it keeps getting more kawaii daily. It is not a form of escapism for them more just part of the Japanese culture to like cute stuff.
Examples of ‘kawaiiness’:
1. Cute characters like Picachu in Pokemon or Hello Kitty, or the Japanese police using cute mascots on their signs (yes, in Japan even the cops embrace kawaii), and even towns have cute mascots.
2. Kawaii fashion like Lolita. Lolita is a cute fashion statement inspired by Victorian fashion. Girls mix their own elements with gothic and Victoria style to get a porcelain-doll look. They do not do this to look sexy but more cute, innocent and beautiful. This look includes the use of lace, bows, ribbons, bows, ruffles, aprons, bloomers and ruffled petticoats and accessories like parasols, chunky Mary Jane heels and Bo Peep collars.
3. Idols, basically media personalities in their teens and twenties, who are exceptionally attractive or cute that regularly appear in mass media as pop singers, actors, models all emulate the style of Kawaii. A lot of this is evident in J-pop music videos all over the net.
The idea of kawaii has taken over Japan and the anime world. Getting products to look as kawaii as possible drive the Japanese corporate, industrial as well as media industry and it is highly successful.
Here are a few videos about Kawaii and things that look Kawaii.
A hilarious look on Kawaii http://goo.gl/FiDSMv
Awww, look at this cosplayer showing us how to look kawaii!http://goo.gl/b7Wdn9
A nice video explaining more about the Lolita fashion subculture:http://goo.gl/SMwP9U
Lastly, our picture is of Leigh Le Roux cosplaying as a very kawaii Konan from Naruto Shippuuden. Visit her on FB at her cosplay page, Corpsedoll Cosplay for tips on cosplay and other great photos: http://goo.gl/rdzluL
AnimeFanatika wish to say ‘Arigato’ to Leigh for her permission to use the photo.