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Japan: World of cute?

- Brianna Nema

Japan! You probably just pictured massive towers in Tokyo, advanced technology with robots, and crazy game shows, but did you think about the adorable or “kawaii” fashion and chachkas?  Out of all the areas that I visited in Japan, from well known cities like Kyoto, to the less tourist-populated towns such as Inuyama, I learned that the Japanese have an obsession with cute clothing and objects, and these are everywhere!


On the streets, both little girls and adult women, have their own style of cute outfits. The school uniform for elementary children includes a bright yellow hat. Although the yellow  impermeable hats are designed mainly to prevent traffic accidents, each child looks adorable in them. The high school uniform includes a long skirt with a collared shirt and jacket for females, and long pants and a collar shirt with a jacket for males.

Just like American teenagers, when Japanese students are not in school, their favorite pastime activity is shopping. The malls are a replica of the ones here in the USA, and the vast majority of stores contain a collection of cuteness. The clothes with the most flamboyant cuteness factor  include articles with: simple frills, intricate  patterns, or colorful bows/ribbons. The Japanese style is not tight fitting but loose and sometimes  baggy. When purchasing a skirt, it will usually come with an under garment of some sort.  All the bikinis that I found had skirt bottoms and tops affixed with a padded support.

People watching in Japan is entertaining if you are interested in seeing all the creative outfits girls wear.

Cute items include:  shoes, socks, paper weights and bells, key chains, stickers, stationary, backpacks, hair accessories, even pink guitars with hearts!

Rain or shine, umbrellas can be seen daily. With the extreme heat from the summer sun, I was intent on buying an umbrella to give me shade as I traveled around town.  As I searched in different department stores, I learned the choices were far grander than I had imagined.  Some umbrellas on display looked like organized paint pallets, where  as others stood out with  bold or demure  patterns. Many of the cute, styled ones had pastel colors with frilly edges outlined in white with tiny flowers. There were durable, long umbrellas as well as  foldable umbrellas with designs matching those on the larger ones.  My personal favorite umbrella was a dusk blue color with pale, yellow stars trimming the edges.  Who knew that umbrellas could be such a big, cute hit?!

Would it surprise you that even the food is shaped to appeal to your cute eye? The sweets can be shaped like animals or something completely random like leaves. In stores, you can find something like a cookie cutter, but it cuts rice to be in the shape of stars, hearts,  bears, etc.




There will never be an end to Japan’s love for cute.




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