Kawaii/Archive 2 - History - Cute Fashion

Cute Fashion

Tomoyuki Sugiyama 杉山奉文 (Sugiyama Tomoyuki?), author of Cool Japan, claims cute fashion in Japan can be traced back to the Edo Period with the popularity of netsuke.

Because of this growing trend, companies such as 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. The 1980s also saw the rise of cute idols, such as Seiko Matsuda, who is largely credited with popularizing 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 embraced by people of all ages. Now there are airplanes painted with Pokémon 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. Domokun, the unique-looking and widely recognized NHK mascot, was introduced in 1998 and quickly took on a life of its own, appearing in Internet memes and fan art around the world. 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.

Read more about this topic:  Kawaii/Archive 2, History

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Kawaii/Archive 2 - Influence On Other Cultures
... Cute merchandise and products are especially popular in some other parts of East Asia, such as China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and South-East Asian countries like Vietnam, Philippines ... modern art, audio visual and written media and the fashion trends of Japanese youth, especially in high-school girls ... productions and consumer products "cute" ...

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