Home / Culture / The intertwined origins of ‘kawaii’ and Japanese queer tradition

The intertwined origins of ‘kawaii’ and Japanese queer tradition

Represented with the aid of cultural icons from Sanrio’s Hello Kitty to Hasbro’s My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the Japanese concept of ‘kawaii‘, or cuteness, has end up a part of international tradition.

Cosplay, or dressing up in character, has come to be part of mainstream youngsters culture round the sector, and is frequently related to cosplay . The newest Star Wars-themed tv series, The Mandalorian, functions a ‘kawaii’ Baby Yoda character that has emerge as wildly famous for its cuteness.

While Japan is identified as the birthplace of contemporary ‘cuteness’, in a recent series of tweets, one character has diagnosed the roots of ‘kawaii’ and its reference to queer tradition.

Twitter person Patrick, who’s pursuing a doctorate in Japanese Studies that specialize in studies on modern queer Japanese literature and groups, identifies the past due Japanese designer and illustrator Rune Naito because the pioneer of “cuteness” in Japan within the Nineteen Sixties. Patrick recounts the beginnings of Naito’s profession in the late 1940s, when he launched a mag for younger ladies.

Besides paving the manner for queer way of life to be produced in Japan for queer audiences, Rune Naito additionally set the degree for queer subculture to enter mainstream culture. ‘Yaoi‘ is a style of manga that specializes in homoerotic relationships, and is normally created via ladies for a girl target audience

More currently, the famous manga My Brother’s Husband, about a homosexual guy from Canada who travels to Japan following the dying of his Japanese husband, has been became successful live-movement television show on NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster.

An exhibition of Rune Naito’s works is currently being held in Okazaki, in relevant Japan till January 13, 2020. The official Rune Naito website has more examples of his paintings. For extra heritage about the records of ‘kawaii’, Sebastian Masuda of fashion brand 6%DOKIDOKI discusses Rune Naito at a 2012 “Roots of Kawaii” exhibition in Tokyo

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