Saturday, 26 July 2014

Book Review: Kawaii! Japan's Culture of Cute

I recently got the book Kawaii!: Japan's Culture of Cute off Amazon. I've been meaning to get it for a while after seeing a couple of reviews about it. I like to get books relating to Japanese street fashion so this seemed like a sensible choice.
What a cute cover!

Whilst my last Japanese street fashion book was content heavy but lacking in the photo department, I would say that Kawaii! has a great balance of the two. There is a particularly strong focus on artwork and artists, and after looking at this book I would like to know more about them and their work.

I spent several minutes on certain pages taking in all the details of certain drawings and paintings.

It is packed full of interviews with various kawaii artists, designers, models, etc. There are explanatory title pages explaining a certain aspect of kawaii culture, before divulging into different brands or products which fit into that category.

For me, the one part where the book is lacking is talking about kawaii fashion. This was a little disappointing given that the kawaii aspects of sweets, foods and even mayonnaise was covered, but the section on lolita fashion, for example, was given a mere four pages consisting of a brief interview with two models. It did not make for an informative read, but simply presented personal opinions and experiences. However, I realise this approach might appeal to some people.

Still, there's a section on the street fashion walks which happen in Harajuku which I found interesting. I can't imagine that idea working very well where I live!

This book is visually stunning, packed with high quality photos and artwork that are a pleasure to just sit and flick through on a cloudy day. The pages are large and the book feels sturdy. I would recommend this book to those with an interest in learning about the origins of kawaii as it goes pretty in depth about this. It would make a great gift, for yourself, or someone else!

Overall (with a slight drop in score due to how it breezes through kawaii fashion), I would give this 4/5, and I would definitely recommend it!

Do you own this book? What do you think of it? 

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