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It's not just Hello Kitty: Japan's character craze

3 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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"Some see Japan’s cute-craze...as a sign of immaturity, but others say it’s rooted in a harmony-centered way of life that goes back to ancient animist traditions."

I can understand the first part of that statement, but not the second. What does Funassyi or Pikachu have to do with harmony-centricity or ancient animistic traditions of an ever-present pantheon of gods in all things? Are those people trying to suggest that Doraemon is a god? Or Kitty-chan? Or anything cute? I'm not buying it.

See, it's an unconvincing assertion. I believe the reason for the popularity of "kawaii" and all of its manifestations is far more complex and environmentally/socially based than just assigning it some long-ago Shinto significance. It is by looking at such phenomena (please note that I have not labelled it "bad") and the reasons for them that allows a society to understand itself. Why is Kitty or Pikachu at the heart of pop culture (sub-culture?)? What does it suggest? These are the questions that will help us all to grow and progress.

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They forgot one - Fukuppy, my favourite!

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Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Pikachu are well known in LatinAmerica, the first one because every girl in the 80s had something, even small that was relate to Kitty, coin purses, stickers, notepads and envelopes, pencils, etc, even bedsheets (My Aunt once embroidered Kitty on a pillow-sheet) mainly because China made a lot of cheap stuff for girls to use. As for Doraemon they are hugely popular because of the anime series.

By now, I also know about Kumamon, just because I am following post for the rurouni kenshin movie so Kumamon was there and now they even have merchandise with Kumamon in it.

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