Lingbo Li – Post 4

In relation to this week’s topic ‘the cuteness in Japan ’, I personally was very interested in this topic since I have been to Japan once and what I have experienced was their culture difference to western and even to some eastern countries.

Recall my first trip to Japan I was very excited when I get off the plane at Narita Airport. The airport looks adorable as they are absolutely obsessed with cute things. One of my Japanese friend have told me that ‘People can understand and translate blank expressions just by looking at a set of adorable eyes placed on inanimate objects, even if it doesn’t have a smiling mouth’. That’s how magical of cuteness can be, it is an expression of mild and way to get people to be close to each other. Even when I was walking alone the street in Tokyo, cute signs were everywhere and often I can hear Japanese women who purposely speak softly and feign high-pitched laughter. That’s because cuteness is a desirable quality in Japan, not just in branding, handwriting and fashion, but in manner as well. Men are not exempt from being kawaii either, even though they are also expected to be manly as well.

Cuteness is now not only limited to Japan, it has spread all over the world like a fashion. Naturally, just about every company that makes consumer products is rushing to apply these ideas to their products. The results are things like the VW Beetle, the Mini Cooper, and the Cabbage Patch doll. For example, Hello Kitty appears on everything from jet planes to jewellery, this shows the success of Sanrio Company to target its market in a sense of popularity. Moreover, teenage is not the only group who loves Hello Kitty, they have expand its consumer group to wider ages by introducing more luxury goods such as Hello Kitty shaped jewels or cars. Not only Japanese high school girls are acting cute, teenagers in China, Korea, Indonesia and many other Asian countries are all affected by the way Japanese dress up to be cute. This spread is through the means of media such as cartoons and comics. Being cute is harmlessness, it is universally appealing and it is also a tool to be used to get alone with others.

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