Friday, May 31, 2013

Getting to the Core of Cute Japan

Researching kawaii is exhausting.

Kawaii means "cute" and in Japan, this word is (over) used for everything ranging from human beings, pets, clothes, home appliances and colours to food, interior design, and well, practically anything you can think of. The word is increasingly being understood and used outside of Japan, as the rest of the world is going bananas over Japanese music and fashion.

Throughout my work, I had the chance to interview the editors-in-chief of two prominent magazines in youth Harajuku fashion, to get a deeper insight into this whole concept. I found out kawaii means more than cute: it's about individual expression, sexuality, general lifestyle, and that certain envy we get wanting to find out everything about how people live their lives, beyond what they wear. It was not exactly what I had expected when I prepared my interview, and I was pleasantly surprised- turns out it's less superficial than I thought.

Not only was it a fun topic to tackle, but I also enjoyed translating their answers afterwards- which much, much-needed help from my trusty partner.

Read the full article here.

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