The members of Chai aren't content with "kawaii." That word — meaning "cute," but in a kind of pitiable way — gets tossed around a lot in Japan and by people overseas, who use it to refer to almost anything Japanese.

"The media defines it as a very specific attitude and look," bassist Yuuki tells The Japan Times from the Shibuya O-nest venue, several hours before her band is scheduled to play. Vocalist and keyboard player Mana chimes in: "We were never really called 'kawaii' while we were growing up. We think people define it as something that's quite uniform: skinny, big eyes, whiter skin. If you don't have that, you can't be kawaii. You immediately go to being ugly."

"We want to change that," Yuuki adds.