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 of Japan’s emerging soft power, but also as a cultural revolution in its own right.
Now that today’s youth in Japan are set to be recorded in history as the “kawaii generation,” Masuda, as one of the most important architects of the phenomenon, discusses the future of what he says has been an oft-misunderstood facet of Japan’s culture.
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