Kawaii! Japan’s Culture of Cute

Item # 150029.

By Manami Okazaki & Geoff Johnson.

Showcasing Japan’s astonishingly varied culture of cute, this volume takes the reader on a dazzling and adorable visual journey through all things kawaii. It also provides a detailed history of some of the Japanese illustrators, artists, and fashion designers whose work shaped the kawaii culture. Much of that style is visually familiar to a Western audience, but little has ever been known about the designers themselves. This book contains numerous interviews with these designers as well as scholars of this cultural phenomenon.

Although some trace the emergence of kawaii as far back as Japan’s Taisho era, it emerged most visibly in the 1970s when schoolgirls began writing in big, bubbly letters complete with tiny hearts and stars. From cute handwriting came manga, Hello Kitty, and Harajuku, and the kawaii aesthetic now affects every aspect of Japanese life.

Paper: 224 pp.

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