Earlier this year, researchers discovered that our ability to perform critical tasks is heightened when we’ve been “primed” by exposure to cuteness. That’s because we experience significant psychobiological changes when we encounter cute things — our heartrate drops, we become more attentive, more focused. Cuteness is addictive. And therapeutic.
Naturally, the authors of the study — Hiroshi Nittono, Michiko Fukushima, Akihiro Yano, Hiroki Moriya — are residents of the global capital of cute: Japan. No place in the world is more obsessed with cute, and no culture has woven cuteness more deeply into its social fabric. Cute images and mascots are everywhere, from police kiosks and public libraries to bathrooms and ballparks. The standard of female beauty (and, it must be said, male good looks too) is focused on “cute” rather than “sexy” or “beautiful,” with most top idols being small, slender, round-faced and wide-eyed; they look like schoolgirls, and many of them are.
Cute and Japan are synonymous, which is why the Japanese business and government establishment has also chosen cuteness as a key tool its attempts to boost tourism and exports. In June, Japan’s Diet approved the creation of a 50 billion yen grants fund dedicated to investing in the promotion of everything from anime to cosplay to Gothic Lolita fashion. All Nippon Airways, Japan’s biggest airline, just renewed its sponsorship of a massive marketing campaign, “Cool Japan,” that highlights Japan’s multifaceted pop culture attractions — with an entire tab devoted to “kawaii,” the Japanese word for cute.
If you click into that tab, and it’s almost impossible to resist doing so, the first thing you’re likely to see is the smiling visage of the officially designated “Kawaii Ambassador of Harajuku,” a waifish young woman with an impossible name: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. (“To tell the truth, even Japanese people can’t pronounce it,” says Chika Anyoji, a representative from Kyary’s record label, Warner Music Japan.) ( Collapse )Source
.It's nice to read an article that takes Kyary seriously for once. She's so much smarter than she gets credit for. And LOL! at her shark obsession~ if they take Sharknado to Japan, Kyary should do a song for the soundtrack.