AKB48 turns to an American studio

| Aug 15, 2015

AKB48 turns to an American studio

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AKB48’s  commercial success in Japan is often derided as a sign of the culture’s patriarchal infantilization of women, and the girl group’s inability to appeal to Western audiences a sign of Japan’s increasingly isolated ideas about femininity, sexuality and pop music. Put simply: outside ...

Project Anime asks the right questions

| Jul 18, 2015

Project Anime asks the right questions

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More than 90,000 attended the 24th annual Anime Expo (AX), North America’s largest Japanese pop culture convention, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 2 to 5. The four-day event featured a concert by idol group Momoiro Clover Z, who were joined ...

Can #socialmedia boost music sales in Japan?

| Jun 20, 2015

Can #socialmedia boost music sales in Japan?

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Last week, Line Corp.’s, the operators of Japan’s most popular messaging app, launched an in-app music streaming service called Line Music. Japan is the second-largest music market in the world after the United States, but its consumers have so far been global outliers, clinging ...

'Kawaii: Cute Girls in Ukiyo-e'

Feb 19, 2015

'Kawaii: Cute Girls in Ukiyo-e'

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March 1-26 Girl’s fashion in Tokyo’s Harajuku district has become a notable symbol of contemporary Japanese kawaii (cute) culture. However, it may come as a surprise to find out that the roots of kawaii trends are far older. On show at Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial ...

Retailer gets 'cute' with Singapore

Feb 18, 2014

Retailer gets 'cute' with Singapore

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Japanese fashion brand and retailer Satisfaction Guaranteed has launched the sale of “kawaii,” or cute, merchandise usually associated with Japan, through high-tech digital vending machines in Singapore. “Singapore will . . . be the first country outside of Japan to have this intelligent digital ...

Kawaii!! Japan's Culture of Cute

Nov 16, 2013

Kawaii!! Japan's Culture of Cute

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Kawaii!! Japan’s Culture of Cute; Manami Okazaki & Geoff Johnson; PRESTEL Providing an in-depth overview of all things kawaii (cute), this book traces the cute aesthetic from its inception in the 1970s as a schoolgirl trend to its position as a leading cultural norm, ...

Let's talk 100 percent <em>kawaii!</em>

Jul 2, 2013

Let's talk 100 percent kawaii!

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Long before the mayor of Shibuya announced pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu as an official ambassador of kawaii culture, Sebastian Masuda, her art director, had been on a mission to spread “kawaii culture” across the world, advocating it as not only a potent source ...