Definition of Kawaii culture and Lolita style
In modern Japanese, the word “kawaii” means “cute,” “adorable,” or “loveable,” and is associated with a huge variety of ideas and objects. Some Japanese sociologists have even suggested that “kawaii” can be used to represent pretty much everything that is acceptable and desirable in Japan. The following paragraph quoted from this article goes deep into the narrative of kawaii culture.
“To explain the Japanese adjective “kawaii”, “cute” is not a perfect translation but gives some idea of what it is about. The term emerged in the 1970s, at a time of economic prosperity in Japan when consumer goods and services expanded rapidly. It is an aesthetic that is eye-catching and infantile — pastel colours, rounded edges, cartoon baby animals, frills and ruffles are all hallmarks.
In 1995 essay Sharon Kinsella, who lectures on Japanese visual culture at the University of Manchester, wrote that people were attracted to cute design for its warm, cheering qualities. The fact that cute emerged during a time of hyper-consumerism in Japan was no coincidence. “What capitalist production processes depersonalise, the good cute design re-personalises,” she wrote. Such products could “disguise and compensate for the very alienation of individuals from other people”.
Perhaps the most outlandish incarnation of kawaii is Lolita street style. Lolita style may appear whimsical but there is a serious subtext. Though the name recalls Vladimir Nabokov’s novel about a sexually provocative 12-year-old, that is precisely not what Lolita fashion is about, it’s actually a statement of rebelliousness against what is a very male-dominated society. Girls dressed as Sweet Lolitas first appeared on the streets of Tokyo in the 1990s, and today there are many thriving subcultures including “Punk Lolita” and “Gothic Lolita” (or “Goth-Loli”).”
Nowadays, the kawaii culture lover is a group with the strong identities. Their characteristics behave on the outfits preference and lifestyle, which is diverse and fluid with the ever-changing world.