Kawaii as Represented in Scientific Research: The Possibilities of Kawaii Cultural Studies
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In this paper, I will analyse and classify the scientific discussion of kawaii (which means cute in English), one of the most important components of contemporary Japanese popular culture; which has been diffused throughout the world and become a transnational culture. I will identify three main discussions in kawaii studies: (1) kawaii as a Japanese proper aesthetic and its origin; (2) kawaii as making a Japanese social feature out of immaturity; and (3) kawaii as a form of globalised culture from the points of view of politics/diplomacy, globalisation, and orientalism. I will delineate further research possibilities to be carried out in Japanese popular contemporary culture, particularly kawaii culture and its relevance in the global and transnational communication age.
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