Japanese Lolitas plan world domination

By Cara Clegg

Disconcerting news from the world of Japanese fashion: adherents to the cutesy subculture of Lolita fashion are organizing themselves into an official group. Their target: the whole world.

The Japan Lolita Association was formed in February to spread Japan’s special brand of "kawaii fashion" to the world. Aoki Misako, a well-known Lolita model who in 2009 was appointed "Kawaii Ambassador" by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (an absolutely real, and possibly even serious, position), will serve as chairperson, and the society’s office will be established at Fukuoka’s Omura Beauty College.

The association’s main activities will be to report lolita news, recruit and appoint Kawaii Ambassadors to support the global lolita network, host events such as tea parties and get-togethers for association members, and encourage and nominate lolita fashion-related schools and educational institutions. It all sounds perfectly innocent, but who knows what’s really going on behind those frilly petticoats and lacy parasols.

Becoming a member gets you perks such as subscription to their email newsletter and notifications of tea-parties and events. You can sign up here at their homepage. If you sign up with your smartphone, you even get a super-extra-kawaii membership image.

The association is also seeking information on Lolita-related events, so event promoters who want their event shared with Lolita fans should submit their information to the ‘Events & Tea parties’ page.

Source: ねとらぼ

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It all sounds perfectly innocent, but who knows what’s really going on behind those frilly petticoats and lacy parasols.

And the insinuation is?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Does no-one ever get bored of "kawaii" here? There never seems to be any backlash or even very much irony or sarcasm about it. It is all so seriously "kawaii" and has been going on ... well ... forever, as far as I can see. Time to kick it into the long grass and come up with something else, perhaps even something a bit more adult.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

I suspect this is a common case of improper market research. People think their product will sell because they really really HOPE it will sell, rather than identifying an actual need.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@Yubaru - Investigate the origins of this fad - 'Lolita' by Vladimir Nobokov, a book about a man's obsession for a sexually precocious 12 year old girl - hence the insinuation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolita

'Kawaii'? Try, 'creepy'.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

I think they may find the rest of the world in general can draw the disticion between a woman and a girl. The whole "fashion" is built round the unspoken suggestion that men can have sex with girls because they are so cute.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Jesus Christ, is this the best Japan can offer? No wonder Korea has been doing much better internationally, even with a fat rapper doing a funny dance.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Lord fracking help us all!

Do not let this plague escape these isles!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

can somebody please create the Japan OL Association? I would surely subscribe to their newsletter.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The women in rest of the world (well most of it, leaving out extreme backward and religious fundamentalist societies) are striving against their objectivization and breaking out of the century old image as show-pieces and breeding vessel to claim their just position in society. I am surprised to see that in Japan, most (not all) women do not want to be women...they want to remain girls, attired as showpieces, and the trend is even supported by the Govt!!!

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Cultivated helplessness. What the world needs more of.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

You don't look cute, you just look plain STUPID, especially with those ridiculous pathetic false "smiles". Grow up kiddies, fer chrissakes.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

yes yes, because women in their mid 20's - 30's walking around dressing like a child is exactly what the world needs.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

While I don't think this kind of style will ever really take off as everyday wear, I think Japanese lolita outfits are kinda cute. I reminds me of dressing up as a kid combined with runway fashion. I mean, tea parties? I may be getting older, but my inner child totally wants me to. After all, it's pretty fun.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

A lot of anti lolita hatred in this thread. Not a style that I like at all but hey what ever floats ones own boat.

Does no-one ever get bored of "kawaii" here? There never seems to be any backlash or even very much irony or sarcasm about it. It is all so seriously "kawaii" and has been going on ... well ... forever, as far as I can see. Time to kick it into the long grass and come up with something else, perhaps even something a bit more adult.

Speaking of irony, the irony in his post is that being an adult is boring. What do you propose is more adult ad a better replacement?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

being an adult is boring.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

being an adult is boring.

Ha ha. I think you might not like adult pleasures.

If you are in Japan you are in the right place then. You never have to be an adult here.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

There's a lot in the JAPANESE papers lately about how Pamyu Pamyu and the 'kawaii culture' is taking the world by storm but barely a peep about it overseas. The fact is this lolita garbage is only a niche fetish enjoyed by the same tiny percentage of weirdos overseas as here. Nobody outside Japan cares.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Oh god, please no. Please don't encourage the already too-many pedophiles on this planet

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The problem is calling it "Lolita" fashion. Since Japanese aren't exactly known of their "in your face" attitude, this name is propably just the result of poor marketing research. Call it Rokokoo fashion (which it actually is) and it would be instant hit at least in France.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The problem is calling it "Lolita" fashion.

Agreed. Looking at these girls you'd think the female character from the book Lolita dressed like a complete idiot.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Japan Lolita Association

Is there a Japan Loli-con (Lolita Complex) Association?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well, they'll stop once they enter another country and see the looks of disgust at the idea of glorifying the sexualization of little girls. Then they'll come back to Japan and wonder "what's wrong with those countries that they don't like 'lolitas'??".

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I said it before and I'll say it again... The fashion sense in Japan is notoriously lax.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

There are girls and young women in Glasgow starting to dress in Loligoth gear... not so much the normal Loli stuff, just the black and red gear with stuffed bunnies and silly little hats... oh and lots of frills. Sorry, but it IS kind of cute. (Prefer maids myself lol)

-3 ( +2 / -5 )


Is there a Japan Loli-con (Lolita Complex) Association?

Yes but they simply call them 'men'.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

No thanks.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Is there a Japan Loli-con (Lolita Complex) Association?

Loli-con means underage girls so I hope not.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"The Japan Lolita Association"

-- I can see that being a really really big hit, with everyone just lining up to join at the mere mention of the name! As if!


Check out Ian Buruma's "Wages of Guilt", it will answer your question (kawaii has been "in" since post wwii era) and more- compares Japan's and Germany's coming about after the things that happened in wwii.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If they succeed, it will only prove that an entire generation has suffered a severe decrease in IQ.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They maybe able to pass it off when they are teens, but when they are in the adulthood and still act and dress like a little girl, that is just odd or revolting.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Won't fly out here in the Rocky Mountain states...were all 'western' as in cowboy/cowgal types...how doe's 'kawaii' work w/a hunting rifle while riding a horse looking for shika?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The only men that find this "look" remotely attractive are the ones so demasculated by their childhood/work they need a small, weak-appearing cutesy girl to make them feel big strong and powerful. The fact that even I, as a woman, 5`4" and 100lbs feel big strong and powerful next to these girls seems to have escaped them.

If they want to prance around all frou-frou all day let them get on with it. The only bit that disturbs me is the link of "Lolita" to the look, which is very clearly a reference to sexual exploitation of underage girls. And I dont think that will fly with most developed countries sensitive to paedophilia either. I agree they should rename it Rokokoo. Take away the sexual innuendo and they could have a slightly wacky kooky worldwide hit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I actually fail to see the connection between Victorian-style dress and pedophilia. Hence, I fail to see how this style came to be known as "Lolita Fashion".

Lolita, a slang term for a sexually attractive, seductive or precocious young girl


You'd think the mini-skirt with thigh-high stockings would be more likely to be considered "Lolita fashion".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If this were to be researched, people might find that girls that tend to dress like this ( myself in example!) do not do it for men in the slightest, there is a large difference between little girls and grown women that happen to like dresses with cakes on. I find it ridiculous that this is thought of as encouraging pedophiles due to the fact they like actual children, not grown women in feminine dresses. It's far more of a modest style than walking around in hot pants and cropped tops like much of today's youth, so it appears if you dress in cropped tops and shorts etc your encouraging people to rape you and if you dress modestly and youthful, then your encouraging pedophiles. so what is the appropriate way to dress?

i for one like this style, its different and sweet and i dress like it to make myself happy, not to attract men.

and to be honest, children nowadays from a young age are more often seen in skinny jeans than cute dresses, so the idea of it being a child's way to dress will be rapidly decreasing over the coming years.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I think many of the people on here don't understand the difference between lolita as a fashion and lolita as 'pedophilia.' The word Lolita in fashion is NOT used in the same way Lolita is in the book "Lolita." It's the difference between 'there's a bear at the zoo' and 'please bear in mind'. I know people here get excited about fruedian subtext, but just because Japan has a weird fetishization of youth does not mean that the fashion type is geared specifically towards that. It's like saying that wearing a pleated skirt means you're trying to be a schoolgirl or wearing boho clothing means you're a hippie. Not everything is purely sexual or even intended to be sexual at all.

The idea of Lolita is LACK of sexuality. There are no low necklines, no mini-skirts, and the majority of lolitas keep skirts below the knees. It's fine if you want to discuss sexuality in Japanese culture, but don't apply a blanket statement of sexuality to an entire fashion. This is not a black and white issue.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

good lord..can you imagine. That would truly be the apocalypses

1 ( +2 / -1 )

so cute.. that i can say.. shut up and take my world!!!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@moonraker Kawii is a Japanese national addiction, ive never seen any other country that has been so infatuated over such a long period of time. dont you think it may be time to teach people about what it means to be a mature/grown up?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The only thing creepier than the girls and women who live the Lolita fantasy are the middle aged men who drool over them. Yuck.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

NeonFraction: great comment and observation. Lolita fashion is anti-sexual if anything. They wear more clothes and cover more skin than a burqa clad Wahhabi. It's just an interesting and wonderful arrangement of garments. I admire the women who do this seriously, and I sometime think of them as modernized Maiko and Geisha insofar as their pleasant visual and aesthetic impact on the urban landscape. We are fortunate to witness these dedicated and creative women here in Japan.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Kawaii jyan !

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

yuck creepy grown women in children clothing....grown up

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mirai Hayashi LOLOLOL so true! xD

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Will we all be subservient to a world full of Japanese Lolita Dominatrixes then?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To each their own. They themselves are neither little underage girls or paedophiles, so exactly who are they harming? It's simply a fashion choice. Nobody's asking YOU to do it..............

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe these lolipops could go and work in a brothel in Okinawa to stop the Septics raping all the locals.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I support this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Typical, they see a few otaku foreigners doing cosplay and think that means all foreigners will like it. I guess since most Japanese people act the same, they assume foreigners are all the same too.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maybe this will help the world learn how to dress modestly, especially in cases where someone needs to dress modestly. I would rather see this promoted than belly shirts and mini skirts personally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow, the ignorance here is appalling.

As someone who wears lolita fashion on occasion, you people got the whole thing wrong. Totally wrong. It's NOT about being a dainty little show piece for men. It's NOT about trying to be a little girl again. It's NOT oppressing me, you, or anyone. As outsiders to the fashion, you all have no right to assume things about it without even knowing the facts. I see all of you voting down the comments from lolitas and people who know about the fashion thinking we're a bunch of delusional kooks. But seriously, whatever happened to the freedom to dress however we want?

Lolita may not be for everyone. Yes the name has struck controversy but the name isn't going anywhere unfortunately. Not everything with the same name has the same meanings. What pisses me off the most is all the women here going about how we're going backwards trying to be helpless male arm candy...well TO HELL WITH THAT. I wear lolita fashion because I think it's beautiful, end of story. I'm a woman, I do what I want. Isn't that really what feminism is all about? If you want to be rough and tumble, do it. If you want to wear tons of makeup, do it. You want to dress like a rococo queen? JUST DO IT.

Everyone here is completely missing the point. Kudos however to my fellow supporters of lolita fashion for speaking out. We're in the minority here, but whatever. We don't care what anyone thinks about how we dress, just leave us alone while we do so.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wait, so let me get this straight… you guys are insulting and judging a fashion community you know nothing about and calling it childish and immature for not conforming to your narrow perception of beauty? Wow. That’s irony.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you're going to assume that someone dressed in Lolita is a pedophile, I guess I should assume that anyone wearing a lot of revealing clothing is a whore. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Had a few too many, Frills san? Hic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All readers back on topic and please keep the discussion civil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@moonraker don't you ever get bored of the ugly, plain things from your country? things are whatever you make them. there is nothing wrong with something being popular within a culture unless it is doing harm to someone. "adult' is a made-up word that can mean whatever you want it to. it has meant many different things throughout the ages, and in different cultures. as long as you're getting your bills paid, you are an adult. from your perspective, "kawaii" things are childish. from my perspective, a lot of things that are considered "adult" in the western world are childish. neither view is correct. I don't go around bashing people for what they want to do with their lives or what they like. none of it matters anyways. people just live. why is everything such a big deal?

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Seriously. Please explain what being an "adult" is. Isn't the whole point of being an adult to be responsible and get your bills paid so that you can use what's leftover on things that make you happy? Being a lolita is about doing what makes you happy, and defying society. We are far from "submissive." A big allure of wearing lolita is to /not/ have creepy men's attention on our bodies. And we are far from "children." Many of us have several other hobbies, including politics, drinking, smoking, and partying; and wear many different fashions, including "slutty" clothing. Because we like clothing! If we have to wear it, we may as well be artistic and creative with it! Life is short. Much too short to worry about what other people might think about you, or to limit yourself to one small variety of experience, or to hate and judge other people, for that matter!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

On the topic of Lolita Fashion in Australia. Here's a detailed thesis on Lolita & Lolitas http://intersections.anu.edu.au/issue32/staite.htm I own a lolita fashion label and I am active in my community. It's an inclusive subculture that is very accepting of a races, religions, sexes and has a diverse following. I do suggest you read up on it before attacking those who are part or or follow the culture. You are entitled your opinion of course, this fashion may not be your cup of tea. We Lolita's are used to ignoring negative comments and abuse. I enjoy this fashion and I believe it's a lot of fun, even in my thirties with a family it's something I won't be giving up because of my age or other's negative opinions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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