Archive for June 10, 2008
I’ve always been drawn to cute things. In college, I carried around what little money I had in a plastic Keroppi wallet. I was in my early twenties then, and I probably figured that it was something I would, or should, grow out of.
While living in Japan in my mid-twenties, I was introduced to a culture in which it is very common and completely acceptable for grown adults to revel in a level of cuteness previously reserved for the toddler set. In Japan, cuteness is absolutely everywhere you look. A sign on a subway train may inform you that you are in a non-smoking car, but chances are it will be a gentle reminder coming from a cartoon cat. Check out the mascot for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police:
“Obey the laws, or I’ll wink at you and giggle!”
In the picture below I am posing with the Onibaba, an evil witch rumored to inhabit the mountains in the town where I lived. When she gets hungry, she lures children into caves and eats them alive. If you can look past the horns and the sharp teeth, she’s pretty cute, don’t you think? That’s how she gets you.
Cute is definitely in, and it’s not just for the Japanese any more! The article above discusses the trend in Australia, but I certainly see it here in the US as well, and I’m all for it. The next time I blog, I’ll show you what happens when the new cute makes its way into your lunchbox. Come hungry.