akemasite omedeto gozaimasu, A Happy New year from Japan.
This is Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No. 479
This is our previous newsletter -
we had this questionnarie and received many repond from our customers from abroad. domo arigato gozaimasu, thank you very much for joining this questinnaire.
We received approximately 100 replies.
We did not ask details of the customers, but the readers are our customers who visited Ichiroya, so they are interested in Japanese culture for some extent. Many of the people are from USA, Canada and other western countries. More women replied than men.
The result was so interesting!
We would like to introduce the `real' result of that questionnaire.
The blue shows `yes' and the red shows `no'.
(1) Do you know the meaning of 'Kawaii'?
Most people knew the word `Kawaii'!
（2）Do you really like 'Kawaii' items?
Age reall seems to matter.
（３）Do you wear 'Kawaii' fashion items?
Kawaii items are popular but wearing or having them actually seem to be another thing.
People over 50 seldome wear them- it is about the same here in Japan also.
（４）Do you like Japanese anime and manga?
（５）Do you think Japanese 'Kawaii' items are appropriate for adult?
（６）Do you love Hello Kitty?
Yes and No have a bood balance!
（7） Do you think Japanese pop culture is cool?
Even some people in their fifities -who do not have kawaii items seems to like Japanese pop culture.
（８） Do you think Japanese pop culture like 'kawaii' can be more popular in your country?
It is really encouraging result to see for us Japanese who has almost no natural resourses.
Here are the actual comment we received, the bold text are especially interesting.
（１）Commets from 10s 20s
- I like turtles, you shouldn't let them drink too much sake.
- The Lolita culture and fashion needs to be more widespread in the US.
- Harajuku is becoming really popular in stores such as Forever 21. I live in California.
- I think it has a time and place. I work as an accountant so I can't wear it at work but on the weekends or on vacation I can be kawaii. I don't go overboard with it, though. Love the stockings!
- Pop culture in japan is so different to here in Australia, it's so much more outgoing and fun ^^ and for that reason adopting Japanese Popculture and Kawaii, i can have more fun with what i wear and do with it ^^
- I am 23, I feel like there is always a time and place for different style, but, I am also a huge believer that a person can implement different items from different styles and create a unique hybrid of style that is unique to that person. I Personally LOVE Japanese pop culture, but I have introduced kawaii looks and items to friends who have no idea what Japanese culture is, and they still Love what I showed them,
- cute things in a lot of products of many types
- Hey there! I live in Canada and I think kawaii is a great look for younger people, but for anyone who is over 20 they would not be taken seriously by other adults in the west. People associate kawaii with children or immaturity in the west so it's really hard for adults to pull it off. But being a closet kawaii lover is still allowed! I think i probably fall into that category. I love kawaii things, but i don't openly display my love in public by wearing kawaii things. ^.^
- I cannot wear the "kawaii" look- I am 26 and work in an office. However, I do like cute in things I use everyday like tea cups and stationery. One of my best friends does love kawaii things- especially Rilakkuma. She wears cute shirts and likes Hello Kitty and Sailor Moon. My other best friend dresses very tom boy. All the same she loves dragons, Full Metal Alchemist, and kittens. Even not kawaii girls like my second friend and me will buy kawaii items if they are something we can use but don't have to wear.
- In Japan, it is acceptable for men to embrace kawaii culture. I like that!
（２） Commets from 30s 40s
- I tend to think of kawaii as having a feeling of innocence or untainted pleasure in happiness to it. Some of your questions are hard to answer because it may depend on the situation--some Kawaii items are more appropriate than others and in different settings. For example, I would have no problem with the head of Sony having a Hello Kitty mug for coffee at home, but would not want the person to show up at a press conference wearing Hello Kitty accessories. And what do you mean by Japanese pop culture is "cool"? Just the same, thank you for your interesting post this week, and survey!
- Didn't know that it is so widespread a trend. Seems not to have arrived in Switzerland, somehow.
- Kawaii is a great way to remain young at heart, I think.
- I think the answer to some of these questions is mixed, esp. no. 7. I do not like anything too homogenised as a culture in any culture, and dislike the way it can sexualise girls inappropriately, which is ironic, as often teens are trying to avoid the stresses of adulthood and keep childhood's pleasures longer. I dislike most mass market cultures, and prefer Kawaii as a philosophy rather than a look. We should all aim to keep part of our inner child for as long as possible, but I do not think this needs to be outwardly shown.
- mens cuteness, can be nice, not age appropriate for my age, but I enjoy it none the less.
- colorfull tennagers
- I think "kawaii" is popular in America because now in America many women want to look cool or tough. Really feminine, innocent fashion doesn't really exist. So it's appealing for American girls, even cool or tough ones, to get to be pretty, beautiful girls again sometimes. :)
- My daughter and I love everything Kawaii. It is artistic, fun and happy.
- Watashi wa nihon ga daisuki desu yo.
- I like the idea of cuteness and freshness, but I don't go overboard with it. At the same time, I wear kigurumi, and my hair is blue, so I like to have a balance. I'm very young looking though, I don't look my age at all, and am mistaken for a college student often, so I think it's okay for me to wear these things. I don't want to give up wearing furisode either, even though I'm married, the sleeves are so graceful, and move so nicely.
- J-pop and K-pop saved my life, so... what more can I say?
- I think kawaii has come to not only mean cute children's items but in the UK it is used to describe lots of craft designs, and fits well. I think that kawaii fashion might not only mean the obvious pink and plasticky, but also cute woollen wear and joyful accessories.
- My understanding of "kawaii" is that it means cute and refers to cute things. In American culture this only is socially normal for young girls. Parents encourage their girls past age 18 to grow up and be responsible and put away childish things. I have noticed during my time in Japan that female fashion in Japan seems much more feminine. Women in America dress in a masculine fashion and we're expected to act like men in the business world. There is a growing sub-culture in America that has moved away from this overly mature and masculine world and more women are once again becoming more feminine. Ball jointed dolls are gaining popularity in the US, women are collecting these dolls, and more adults are watching anime. I like Asian pop-culture. I enjoy watching Korean dramas and Japanese animation and film. I employ a small amount of "cute" things in my wardrobe but because I am 36 years old I can't do much or I will look silly. American culture tells women that if you look "girly" you will look silly and nobody will take you seriously. This is what I understand 'kawaii' to be. Cute things for younger people. Personally I am older, and I prefer historical items from Japanese history. I would rather have a single elegant kimono than twenty cute things.
- Pink, fake nails, lolita fashion, sweet furisode style (like designer IKKO-san)
- It is interesting and amusing to see examples of it. In the U.S., there are some young people who are really into manga and adopt the look into their fashion. Kawaii seems only appropriate for young people.
- I've grown very fond of Tokidoki, which is a punk version of kawaii design. I've always watched anime. When I was a kid the first anime was coming to the states... Simba, Speed Racer, and many more... In college, there was Macross, and when my son was a child we had Power Rangers, the new Gamera movie. He chooses to watch anime almost exclusively. We watch Naruto and the new chibi spin off together. I LOVE the chibi versions of the characters. You guys have such an different take on life; I especially like the concept of nakama (protecting your friends, your village). My husband still puts little surprise boxes in my stocking!
- I love the aesthetic of more traditional Japanese things. Some of the colour combinations of kawaii items are great though, but it can be over the top, poorly coordinated and intense.
- more Japanese imports to US!
- Cute, fun, energetic- of course it is popular! Not appropriate for me to use such bright colors though, I am married with a little girl to take care of.
（3）Comments from 50s & Over
- I am a happy world traveler. I enjoy bright happy items.
Thank you very much for reading this newsletter. We never thought Hello Kitty costume could be worn by people abroad. It is interesting and surprising how music, fashion and culture become borderless! No approach from Ministry of Culture is needed-they just cross the border so easily.
Our office is open from today. We will be very happy if you enjoy browsing our website!
We wish you a wonderful 2013, a snake year.
with many kansha,
Ichiro & Yuka Wada
Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA
address: Asia-shoji Bldg.301
1841-1 Nishi 1 chome
Osaka 584-0025 JAPAN
TEL&FAX ( international number ) -