Kawaisa or Kawaii - When being cute becomes a meta-cultural and political phenomenon. It is such a huge concept in Japanese popular culture that I refer you to the following links for further academic study of this odd but fascinating cultural mania:
Kawaii wiki entry
All Things Kawaii
Onatoko - Japanese street fashion
Phoophie.com - Kawaii stationary and more - online store
Kawaii is a term used, as I have seen in practice on Flickr, in appraising exclamation for something that is unbearably cute.
Americans tend to have this visceral response to baby animals. If you would like to get in touch with that feeling surf over to Cute Overload and you find yourself bent over in paroxysms of cute-agony, wailing "No, dammit, that is too cute".
One of many types of intentional kawaii products or product types that are starting to filter into the American experience is anything made by Re-Ment, a Japanese company that makes extremely small and very realistic household items like collanders and serving dishes and whole kitchens!
The Re-Ment I have been seduced by is the food items they make such as little sushi trays and bento boxes and other types of food that are alien to the American home kitchen.
I bought one (from Japan through a group called J-List - surf the under-18 section. Japanese culture is not sexually repressed when it comes to female nudity, especially if its anime and kawaii) that was cute but I had NO idea what it was. My friends at Flickr who read Japanese were able to tell me that it is a Tuna Stew. The little ladle comes out of the stew, ths stew comes out of the little red pot, the little bits of stew and rice come out of the little tupperware containers, etc. Its fascinating. It also collects dust in my funky cabinet so I thought I would take a few shots and share them here. Voila!
Enjoy Re-Ment, enjoy Kawaii, enjoy tiny food.
food, tiny, mini, re-ment, japan, japanese, kawaii, kawaisa, cute, hello kitty, popular, culture, otaku, sushi, tuna, bento, infantile.