ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
Tea Leaves

Japan proves that 'cute' can be soothing

In unsettling times, national passion for 'kawaii' offers peace of mind

At a post office in Tokyo, Kanpokun plush toys, the mascots of Japan Post’s insurance-services department, remind customers of social-distancing rules in the waiting area. (All photos by Edward M. Gomez)

The new kawaii (cute) looks a lot like the old kawaii -- but it feels different. It's the old kawaii with a psychic-emotional twist.

This is a matter of perception, of course, just like so many other reactions to aspects of everyday life that have been subverted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more