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I used to dismiss cuteness as kid stuff. But I found such a sophisticated aesthetic of cuteness here in Japan that I was forced to reconsider.

Take, for example, the plush toy: Few Westerners over the age of 10 would be seen in public with a stuffed Hello Kitty doll, but here I’ve seen the soft little cuties lovingly arranged on the dashboards of gangstered-up Mercedes-Benz.

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