Japan is the country of the cute and the adorable. A notable sub-category of adorable things sold all over the country in an infinite variety are little charms and phone straps. They come in all imaginable materials, such as paper, sea shells, metal, textiles, ceramics, wood, glass, leather, and nowadays obviously also a lot of plastic. Many are adorned with a small bell or are even bells themselves. Every self-respecting temple or shrine sells them, and so does every souvenir shop. While in the former case, the function of good luck charm is probably the more important one, in the latter case cuteness and local craft are the defining attributes. They make indeed a lovely souvenir since they are both small and lightweight and characteristic of the place. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘cute’
Everyone knows that Japan is the cradle of many a cute character, such as the iconic Hello Kitty for example. The cell phone of every child, woman or man is adorned by at least one (but often even a bunch of) cute phone straps featuring them. But cuteness is not confined to private life, in Japan it also plays an important role in public life. (more…)
Kawaii means cute, and cuteness rules Japan. Hello Kitty, in Japan referred to as Kitty-chan (-chan being an endearing suffix, used e.g. for small girls) is just the tip of the iceberg.
Everything has cute mascots in Japan, even government agencies. Even serious matters are preferably communicated by a cute character. This seems a bit surprising to us, but it is surely entertaining. Let me give a few examples I personally encountered. There’s the fish warning of earthquakes. Another example is the cat that is informing about sexual harassment at Tokyo University (every employee received a little card like this). (more…)