Not so long ago, Japanese art was confined to artistically designed temples and shrines, woodblock prints, sumi ink drawings and rock gardens. But the sense of beauty is changing fast in today’s generation in Japan. Being Cute is the norm of today – You go anywhere and everywhere and you would find girls exclaiming the word ‘Kawaii‘ meaning cute – almost hundred times a day!
Japan Inc., which was once famous for more serious products like the Sony Walkman, Nikon cameras and Toyota cars is busy exporting the cute culture - Pokemon video games, bubble-headed Hello Kitty, Tamagotchi virtual pet, and the singing duo Puffy are just to name a few. Japan’s global image is changing to cute-worshipping nation. Cute is now cool in Japan. You can see mobile phones decorated with cartoon pictures, restaurant waitresses in cute looking frilly maid outfits, bows and ribbons decorating bags.
Japan Railways is also changing its image with this craze for cute things. To keep the people happy, you can find trains decorated with cute and colorful pictures of Japanese Anime and Manga characters like Doraimon, Pokemon, Ultraman and Pikacho. Surely my kids and wife are very happy when they commuite in such trains.
Even Japanese car makers like Suzuki and Nissan recently launched cute looking cars to attract the Japanese women. Nissan’s Pino, a 660 cc mini car can be customized and decorated with stuffed animals, patterned seat covers with hearts and pink bear-shaped cushions, matching tissue covers, and handbags, cd cases etc.