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CAPITALIZING ON "CUTENESS": THE AESTHETICS OF SOCIAL RELATIONS IN A NEW POSTWAR JAPANESE ORDER Essay Example

  • Category:
    Sociology
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
    1
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    610

4Capitalizing on Cuteness

CAPITALIZING ON CUTENESS

The transformation of the banking sector in Japan brought many issues both good and bad. One of those issues is the changing of the name San’yo Sago Bank by its president Yoshida Kenji. The change of the name from San’yo Sago Bank to Tomato Bank was brought as a result of changing in the activities of the bank from saving and loan association to commercial bank. The name Tomato bank was simply chosen because of the massage it was to deliver among the Japanese as kawaii which simply means hot or cute. Though its application at that point in the banking industry was not kawaii and even not newsworthy, but the bank president decided to use it has it could bring a different look and perception in the banking industry (Buruma, 1984).

The development of kawaii goods can be traced back in the 1970s, and in order to understand it fully, there is need to first understand changes in economic, cultural and social in postwar Japan so that we can have full understanding and proliferation of kawaii goods. Kawaii behavior, goods, and services seem at the outset to belong in the domain of women, it is therefore necessary to focus particularly on women as they assume new roles and statuses in modern Japanese society after the war. It is argued that proliferation of kawaii goods came as a result of three main social phenomenal. They include;

  • Ryosai kenbo and

  • Consumption ability of girls

During the same time, the usage of the term kawaii implies the ideal notion of femininity which is sexual innocence and obedience. The word kawaisa was also incorporated within the storyline among companies in Europe and United State simply because it was perceived to be romantic as most goods and services were being labeled kawaii. The story writers, movie actors and many sectors within postwar Japan were using the word in different perspectives.

Girls desired to escape from their lots in Japanese society and both the old and the young girls alike argued that they and their behaviors are kawaii. The girl used the word «loveability» as the main reason for the acceptabilityof her character and behavior. This implies that the girl in the movie was able to circumvent the power relation which would portray her as more inferior character in the society (Mari, 1991).

If a movie character has failed to present herself or himself as obedient and her actions as kawii, then she gets some space to exercise her freedom. It brings a lot of emotions to demand the right to escape the giri and on one’s family.

Buruma (1984) noted that attractions of world of fantasy are far-off places in the comic girls. The world themselves are called kawaii is as a feelings of akogare
The kawii images in most cases repudiate with withgiri and on and this normally leads to disregard the status and usually represent democratization and egalitarianism. Most writers and advertisers use the word kawaii and if that word lacks in most storylines, then the massage do appeared neither relevant nor true so the word gives a lot of impact to the audience whenever it is used in the movie.

The story writer also admits that kawaii brings a lot of anxiety with them as it hides the true oneself in the movie. Though kawii images and goods to attract people, they also at the same time prevent others from inquiring true self of others. The word kawaii is hot, cute and romantic.

Reference

BURUMA, Ian (1984): A Japanese Mirror. London: Jonathan Cape

SHIMAMURA, Mari (1991): Fanshi no kenkya [Research on the «Fancy»]’ Tokyo: BungeiShunshu