Friday, November 06, 2009

Japanamerica in VANITY FAIR: How Japanese cute conquered America

“There’s no doubt that cuteness has been a part of the Japanese aesthetic since the postwar years,” says Roland Kelts, the author of the 2006 book Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S. “One theory, which has been proposed by a lot of Japanese artists and academics, is that, after the humiliation and emasculation of Japan in the postwar years, Japan developed this quasi-queer position of ‘little brother’ or ‘little boy.’ If you become ‘little brother’ or ‘little boy,’ the only way you can get big brother’s or fat man’s attention is by being so cute or puppy-like that he has to take care of you.” [more HERE]


Jake Adelstein said...

Frightening. An entire generation of men and women saying "kawaiiii". Good god that's horrifying. Well-spoken, Mr. Kelts.

Roland Kelts said...

Agreed, Jake: KAWAII becomes KOWAII very fast. Hence Murakami Takashi's career.