Kawaii – Cute references

Looking to learn and understand a bit more about cuteness (in general) or kawaii (in Japan), here is a list of some of the best articles found on the internet (Updated 2009-11-10 – cleaned up dead links too):

Biology/evolutionary-related theories:
Introduction (.pdf) to Evolutionary Psychology
Early Aesthetic Choices (.pdf) Infant Preferences for Attractive Premature Infant Faces
The Cute Machine
Survival of The Prettiest: The Science of Beauty
Cuteness Will Rule

Socio-cultural/Consumerism side:
Cuties in Japan by Sharon Kinsella (best source)
Addicted to CuteNEW
Cute formalism
A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse
Fifteen theses on the cute
New York Times: The Cuteness Factor
Business Week Online: In Japan, Cute Conquers All
Wired: Cute Inc.
King of Poku: Takashi Murakami
Time.com Asia: She’s a Material Girl
Time.com Asia: From We to Me
Time.com Asia: Export Machine
Japanese teenagers
Japanese street Chic
Enjo kosai: teen prostitution, a reflection of society’s ills
Kawaii food photos
“Enjo-Kosai” Sex, Schoolgirls and Consumerism in Japan
imomus – What is Cute?
London Review of Books – Cute

If you have other links, please post them in the comments.

Related books:
Women, Media and Consumption in Japan
by Lise Skov (Editor), Brian Moeran (Editor) and Sharon Kinsella, “Cuties in Japan”
Adult Manga: Culture and Power in Contemporary Japanese Society (Consumasian Book Series)
by Sharon Kinsella
Japan Pop!: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture
by Timothy J. Craig (Editor)
Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan
by Anne Allison
Contemporary Japan and Popular Culture
by John Whittier Treat (Editor)
The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture : Gender, Shifting Boundaries and Global Cultures
by Dolores Martinez (Editor)
Japan Edge: The Insider’s Guide to Japanese Pop Subculture
by Satoru Fujii (Editor)
The Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture
by Mark Schilling
Takashi Murakami: The Meaning of the Nonsense of the Meaning
by Dana Amanda/Friis-Hansen Cruz (Author)
Women on the Verge: Japanese Women, Western Dreams (Asia-Pacific)
by Karen Kelsky
So Crazy Japanese Toys!
by Jimbo Matison, Rodney Alan Greenblat (Photographer)
by Shoichi Aoki (Author)
Understanding Japanese Society (Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese Studies)
by Joy Hendry
Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club
by Anne Allison
Gambling With Virtue: Japanese Women and the Search for Self in a Changing Nation
by Nancy Ross Rosenberger
The Image Factory: Fads and Fashions in Japan
by Donald Richie, Roy Garner (Photographer)
The Material Child: Coming of Age in Japan and America
by Merry White
Japanese Mirror: Heroes and Villains of Japanese Culture
by Ian Buruma
Japan-Think, Ameri-Think: An Irreverent Guide to Understanding the Cultural Difference Between Us
by Robert J. Collins, Jane Walmsley
Hello Kitty : The Remarkable Story of Sanrio and the Billion Dollar Feline Phenomenon
by Ken Belson (Author), Brian Bremner (Author)

First published 2003-09-30

Previous Post
Next Post
Comments are closed.
  • Aka.me

    Based in Paris & Tokyo, Paul Baron is a senior product manager for hire. Ex-@AQworks. Co-founder of cultural platform Tokyo Art Beat.
    Service design, interaction design, startups, user research.
    Posts a few times a decade since 2003.

    Visit Aka.me for the full site.

  • Tags

  • Archives