Based on the week 11 lecture materials—“convergence of cosplay and cuteness” and the content of in tutorial presentation in week 12, I know more about cute things in Japan and enjoy seeing a lot of very cute images, such as Hello Kitty, Angry Bird shown in the class. As we know, Japanese food is popular throughout the world, due to they have both attractive appearance and delicious taste. While, the most impressive part to me in the presentation is the video about how to make Bento in cartoon characters’ appearance. To be honest, it is not that hard to make, but every step is fully creative, the whole processes are so amazing that I’m very interested in it. I wish I could make it by myself someday. Afterwards, some public signs with cute images were displayed in the tutorial. Even a clinic in Japan has a big pink Hello Kitty beside the door. However, a question was arose from this phenomenon, which is “do the cute elements have negative or positive impact on a company?”
In my point of view, to say negative or positive impact mainly depends on the type of company. If the company’s image is traditionally formal, for instance, commercial bank, accounting firm, a cartoon character showing up at obvious place is definitely unacceptable by public, in that it doesn’t match the company’s position and image in society. It may lead to decrease the level of company, even lose competitiveness among competitors. Nevertheless, if company adds cute elements to some small aspect, such as a Hello Kitty image printed on the bankcard, it may have different effect. To do this could make the bank look more approaching to the customers, and make the cards more lively and attractive, especially attract some young people to use them. Therefore, incorporating cute elements to a company have two-sided effects, depending on which facet it apply to– a small group of products or the crucial part which can influence company’s image or position.
On the other hand, if the company’s products are casual style and close to customer’s daily life, such as toy manufacture company, game research company or the firms related to cartoon, incorporating cute elements may have positive effect. Because the cute elements relatively match the company’s image, and it’s better to express company itself. Adding cute elements on the aspects of such kind of companies may help them to attract more customers and achieve higher objectives.
There are many special national dresses in Asia, such as famous Qipao in China, the women in Islam have to wear the veil with their daily clothing, and the interesting Japanese clothing culture.
Firstly, Qipao was designed for embodying the body shape of women, therefore it was very popular in China specially for some rich women in the past. It is a kind of fashion called ‘Fu Gu’ very popular in China recently, means people are searching and liking something very famous in the past for now. Which leads Qipao become popular again recently in China, women are buying Qipao, however not for daily wearing very often, particularly for the party and event. Furthermore, some designer using the element of Qipao to design the fashion clothes not only for Chinese but also for western women. Thus, Qipao would not only a symbol of Chinese national dress but also become a kind of fashion worldwide.
More over, in Japan, it has their own traditional dress such as the kimono and Western dress as the national dresses. Japanese women were wearing Western clothes in the public and being Japanese styles at home. In addition, Western dress had become a ‘modern’ sign for Japanese men since early 20th century. The APEC 2010 inJapan, everyone was wearing a Western suit, which shows now the Western dress comes as the formal dress in Japan for men and women.
Finally, in Islam, there is a connection between religion and clothing fashion. The provision of religion shows veiling is necessary for women at public place in Islam, they could draw the veils off their faces and only display their beauty to men in the family, for example fathers, husbands and sons. More over, Western clothing shows the freedom and individuality when it compares with veiling, which represents a sign of backwardness. Thus it could say veiling infringes women’s freedom and personality.
In conclusion, the national dress in Asia shows the cultures and tradition of each different country. However, this was not a reality gap between national dress and Western clothes. These two could combined together to create a new fashion of clothing in Asia and in Western countries.
This week’s topic is about cuteness in Japanese business.The cute staff is almost around everywhere in Tokyo of Japan such as the advertisement banners on the subway, digital display screens,Japanese comics and fashion magazines.Many companies, large and small, use cute mascots to present their products and services to the public.
The cute element, which is called “kawaii” in Japanese, is not only a marketing strategy but also has a significant impact on its culture and social and gender roles, particularly those of young Japanese women. Additionally, cute isn’t just a fashion statement like pink lipstick, butterfly hair bands, and pastel colors. It also extends beyond consumerism to be a cultural statement–a mode of behavior. Cute girls often act silly, , pout and stamp their feet when they’re angry. Due to growing trend of cute elements, companies such Sanrio came out with merchandise like Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty was an immediate success and the obsession with cute continued to progress in other areas as well. In 1980s, there has been a rise in cute idols, such as Seiko Matsuda, who greatly believed it would popularize the trend. Women began to emulate Seiko Matsuda and her cute fashion style and mannerisms, which emphasized the helplessness and innocence of young girls.The market for cute merchandise in Japan is driven by Japanese girls between 15 and 18 years old.
No longer limited to teenagers, however, the spread of making things as cute as possible, even common household items, was adopted by people of all ages. Now there are airplanes painted with Pokemon characters on the side, and each of Japan’s 47 prefectures, the Tokyo police, and even the public broadcaster NHK all have their own cute mascots. Currently, Sanrio’s line of more than 50 characters takes in more than $1 billion a year and it remains the most successful company to capitalize on the cute trend.
Kawaii products are seemingly gaining more popularity beyond the borders of Japan into other Asian markets and it’s seemingly becoming more popular in the US, especially among the young anime and manga fans as well as among those who are influenced by the Japanese culture. Thus, cute will continue to be a global phenomenon.
DRESS IN COMMUNIST CHINA
As in modern society we are all curious about the cloth we wear and the way we look. Here are just some information that I discovered and wanted to share with the class. Hope you will find it interesting.
For many centuries China and its clothing styles had been isolated from the rest of the world. Though some Chinese began wearing Western clothes in the early twentieth century, the vast majority of Chinese preferred traditional Chinese garb, including, among the upper classes, ornate dresses, gowns, and jewelry. By contrast the Communists who came to power in China in 1949 prided themselves on wearing standardized uniforms that showed no differences in rank or sex. Photographs of Communist leaders from the early 1940s show them wearing military-style tunics (simple shirts), trousers, and cloth peaked caps, which were essentially the same styles they would usher in upon taking control of the country at the end of the decade.
The Chinese Revolution led by the Communists in 1949 was a widespread social as well as political upheaval. Almost overnight it changed the lifestyle and clothing of people in even the most remote villages of China. Once Communist troops were established in cities, they sent in administrators to issue uniforms to workers in various industries. Factory workers and technicians were issued dark blue cotton cloth uniforms that were almost identical to the standard green Communist military uniform. Administrative and clerical workers were outfitted in gray versions of the same clothes. Men and women wore exactly the same garments. Before long the Communist Party’s grip on the country and its fashions was secure.
Chinese clothing quickly became standardized. While no direct orders were issued, it became generally understood that it was not patriotic to dress fashionably. People dressed in blue or gray cotton, padded for winter wear, and clothing made of expensive fabric was discouraged. Western-style suits disappeared almost overnight, replaced by the gray Chinese tunic suit. Women put away their stylish silk stockings and high-heeled shoes and instead put on their shabbiest clothes. Cosmetics and jewelry disappeared from view. Those who refused to comply with the new style could expect a public reprimand or a lecture from one of the local Communist Party officials.
Chinese dress was also influenced by the other major Communist nation, the Soviet Union. Women wore the fashionable Lenin suit worn by Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924), a jacket-and-trouser combination featuring a large turned-down collar, side buttons, and side pocket. The greatest single influence on dress in Communist China, however, was Communist Party head and supreme leader Mao Tse-tung (1893–1976; also known as Mao Zedong). From his earliest days in power, he recognized the power of dress to present a shared national identity. The shapeless four-pocketed worker’s jacket he favored became the dominant dress for Chinese men and women from the 1950s to the 1970s. Dubbed the “Mao suit” in the West, it briefly found favor among political radicals in Europe and the United States.
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.
Cuteness can be seen everywhere in Japan. It can be defined as lovable, adorable and represented as soft, round, tiny. Many companies used lovely mascots to buy and sell goods and provide customer service. For examples, Resona Bank, one Japan’s largest banks decorated ATMs with the image of the white rabbit, Miffy. The various lovely images have also been applied to the postal system. The lovely image has penetrated into various fields in Japan.
Japanese pursue cuteness can be understood as Japan’s unique aesthetic and social cultural. Traditional Japanese aesthetics advocate humility, delication and childlike innocence. Cute clothing and decorations shape was compact, simple designed, soft colors, and they happen to be the best interpretations of the traditional Japanese aesthetic concept.
Advocating lovely social tendencies in Japan has at least been going on for 20 years, and this trend still does seem to stop yet. Cuteness has been integrated into the modern culture of Japan. In recent years, Japanese young women frequently use the word “Kawaii”. In addition to it has original meaning which is “small and worthy of love” there are also meanings like “good” and “like”. It also can be expressed in a particular object of various media such as animation or game dumping persistent feelings. Girls often make almost stupid moves, preferences screaming or pouting, often angry stomping to express their cuteness. Japanese women like to be surrounded by lovely things, eager to become cute, is not unrelated to the concept of “patriarchal” still exists in Japanese society. Lovely women tended to look weak and helpless, which can produce a huge contrast with the muscular and dominant male figure.
India government controls the medium, so the country can modifies the content to broadcast to the public, in order to present the good image of the country. The religious soap opera is a tool that to create the “contemporary Indian cultural.”
The earliest television system in India was used to educate “schoolchildren and farmers.” After 30 years development, the television broadcasted entertainment programs as well and attracted the private sponsors to invest in the advertisement business. The investment led the files, religious soap opera and the other genres to appear in the television, then, the operas became a critical part in Indian popular culture.
The soap operas in India are produced as many episodes and have no a true ending of each episodes until the end of the story. The operas turned many actors and actresses who present fluently in TV to be famous, in addition, the sections which are repeated all the time to be the well-known one. They even had a specific rule to choose the actors and actresses to play the famous roles in the shows. The serials with the certain credits set up a limit for the stories, so the stories will not beyond “a Hindu India.” The serials with the same theme created a very strong image in people’s minds.
Everything shows in the television was chosen in purpose, so the programs could build a intense image related to the Indian religion. The location and the dresses that present in the stories were chosen as the conventional Indian dresses. The costumes of the main roles were designed base on the traditional North Indian, the place was considered as “the birthplace of other prominent Indian religious personalities.” The language that was used in the programs is a specific type of Hindi that represents the area of Krishna’s playground. The music also created base on the Indian religious song to establish the relationship between the serials and religion. Plus, the dance was not surprisingly used the Hindu temple dances. All the content of the serials were linked to the religion in order to emphasis it to the audience.
The image that shows in the religious soap operas is based on the major religious and cultural practices in India. The first result of the image is the other religions that not from India will only be the minor one. In addition, more and more people will tend to follow the fundamentalism. The television made the Hindu practices as a major religion by shaping the popular culture. The Hindu language that mainly use in soap operas strengthens the idea that Hindi is Indian national language, the link between the language and region is no longer disconnect.
The religious soap operas were only presented in a short time, the National Network still dominates most of the time. Moreover, the foreign programs brought the challenges to the soap operas and its importance reduced. The Hindu rightist parties supposed to reconsider the strategy of election, instead of using the stars from the soap operas, or they will not that successful as the past.