Books / Reviews

Kawaii!! Japan's Culture of Cute

by Jordan Sievers

Staff Writer

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, and includes interviews and hundreds of photos showing how kawaii characters such as cute animals and girls appear pretty much everywhere in Japan. Despite the light subject matter, the authors also provide analysis of the history and culture of kawaii, even peering into the darker effects of the phenomenon.

A must for any Japanophile, the book has enough grounded perspective for those new to Japan’s zanier aspects.

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