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Kawaii Culture’s Influence as Part of Japanese Popular Culture Trends in Turkey

Author: Ebru Duman

Source: Global Perspectives on Japan (GPJ), No.3 (2020), pp.88-106
Publisher: Forum Tauri Press
Keywords: kawaii, popular culture, cute, culture trends, anime, cosplay


Kawaii is a Japanese adjective meaning cute. The word’s meaning evolved and it has turned into a facet popular culture in the 1970s. It can be regarding anything that is cute, innocent, pure or even ugly. Kawaii has been advancing around the globe since the 2000s due to the widespread popularity of Hello Kitty, Japanese anime (animation), manga (comic books), fashion brands, celebrities and so on. Therefore, Japanese companies and government sections took action to promote this popular culture. Turkey is one of the countries that has been affected by the impact of kawaii. Hello Kitty, considered as the icon of kawaii culture, has become very trendy among Turkish children. The number of teenagers who love and watch anime has been increasing and adults who grew up watching anime are now interested in manga. There are several conventions where people share their interests in Japanese popular culture and join cosplay (costume play) contests. People wearing cute accessories or stores that sell kawaii goods and clothes are growing in number day by day. From celebrities to football teams, kawaii culture’s impact will be observed in Turkish society.