“Kawaii Culture” and soft power (PART II)


(Photo from YouTube.)

In the Session 4 of series program “Let’s talk about PAX JAPONICA”, Mr. Harada and I talked about the “Kawaii Culture” which has been a continuous trend in Asian countries for many years and created huge economic values.

The young generation of China born after 1990 have been deeply influenced by Kawaii Culture which extensively covers a wide range of categories including fashionable clothing, popular characters of animations and games, and the teenaged idol groups.

It is interesting that in Chinese the word “Kawaii” has the same Chinese characters with Japanese, and a little bit similar in pronunciation, maybe that’s why Kawaii culture has so many followers and enthusiasts in Asia.

Kawaii Culture has been so widely spread that even people don’t speak Japanese can understand its meaning.

“How do you understand the meaning of Kawaii?” Asked by Mr. Harada.

In my opinion Kawaii is simply means cute and adorable, Japanese people use this word so often on basically everything, lovely children, animal, delicate items or designs etc.  

“Undoubtedly it is a positive word, but to some extent, it also means the opposite of powerfulness and big scale.” Talked by Mr. HARADA

That is a point of view which I have never thought about before.

Cuteness is adored in almost all parts of the world. However, it is only in Japan that extreme adoration for the kawaii culture has created an unavoidable social impact. It can be seen in people’s behavior, fashion style, a way of speech, and kawaii is in every aspect of modern Japanese culture.

Is it a positive image for Japan? One thing is sure that Kawaii will never be associated with the United States or China.

Is Kawaii Culture a kind of soft power?

How to explain the popularity of Kawaii Culture all over the world?

Will Japan change the image from Kawaii to leadership?  

Watch the program to find the more interesting views and deep thoughts.

(11) “ Kawaii Culture” and Soft Power (Series “Let’s Talk about Pax Japonica Together”. Session 4) – YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJA97fdmB5A