Kawaii Stuff: What Is It?

Kawaii stuff has seen an explosion of popularity in Western culture over the past decade. With so many people developing an appreciation for the intricacies and eccentricities (at least by Western standards) presented by Japanese culture, there has been a drive to introduce some of these qualities to the West. Kawaii is a term used contextually within Japanese culture to refer to the quality of being cute. As such, it can be best (but not directly) translated as “adorable”, “loveable” or “cute”. Kawaii products such as cuddly toys and accessories have become a hit with kids across the world. For us retro kids, we can probably think back to the kawaii qualities seen in 90s hits Pokémon and Hello Kitty.

A Brief History Of Kawaii For Retro Kids

Both Pokémon and Hello Kitty have seen a major resurgence over the past couple of years. While we can put some of that down to us retro kids getting nostalgic, it's also because the quality of Japanese kawaii stuff – seen in the likes of Pikachu and the eponymous Hello Kitty – is becoming popular with the kids of today too. While 1990s children didn't know that Pokémon were 'kawaii', today's do, thanks to the widespread availability of the internet. But kawaii's history goes far further back then cute characters. Kawaii actually first appeared during the Taisho period within Japan (1912-1926) as the word 'kawayushi'. The connotations here were more negative, as it had a cornucopia of meanings: loveable, embarrassed, shy, vulnerable, small and even pathetic. As such, the word kawaii in the early 20th century referred to people of a lower social status. From the 1970s onwards, Japanese women began to create manga (comics) for Japanese girls. While these characters were very much made with kawaii in mind, these characters were also imbued with inner strength and an adventurous spirit. As a result, the kawaii of today has grown to mean something very different. Kawaii means anything that can stir emotions of empathy, care, love and even protectiveness. Many of today's designs are based on cute features found on both baby humans and animals. The word kawaii today still carries many of the connotations that 'kawayushi' had, but it has also come to a mean a person who lacks any negative traits. This charm is one reason for the volume of kawaii shop UK and kawaii stuff to buy available today.

Where To Find Kawaii Stuff For Sale

Kawaii stuff for sale these days is, as noted, very different from its historical roots. Today, there is a basic formula to the design principles of kawaii items such as cuddly toys, accessories, clothing and emojis; because even emojis have their roots in the kawaii philosophy! Usually, the cute animals and people seen in kawaii have very basic features on their face – such as a small nose, a dot for a mouth and two very wide eyes. They also tend to look youthful or childlike, often made with little bodies and big heads that are more characteristic of babies and baby animals. Also, the aforementioned characteristics discussed earlier – such as vulnerability and defencelessness – are seen in kawaii characters too. Hello Kitty is perhaps the perfect example of this. But kawaii goes far beyond a few brands – it can be seen in all sorts of toys and accessories. Kawaii stuff is now worth billions worldwide, with many children eager to protect these cute, adorable and vulnerable little creatures. So where can you find quality yet cheap kawaii stuff for kids in the UK? At Retro Kids, there is a wonderfully cute selection of kawaii toys and accessories for children and older fans too.

Find Kawaii Stuff At Retro Kids

At Retro Kids, we fell in love with kawaii characters in part because they are a wonderful counterpoint to the harsher realities of modern childhood. As retro kids ourselves, we have a fondness for simpler times, when children were satisfied with traditional toys. While kawaii stuff may still be relatively new to the shores of the UK, it also encapsulates the magic of older playthings. To see our wonderful range of delightful kawaii toys and accessories, just visit us at https://www.retrokids.com. Alternatively, if you'd like to talk to our support team about our products, just call us on 0333 3583 228 or email info@retrokids.com today!