Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day Twenty-Two -- Japanese CUTE!

It all started simply enough. I bought an Aranzi Aronzo book because the little characters were so CUTE! It progressed to another book, actually called "THE CUTE BOOK". Yes, there was no mistake with that title as to what the book would entail.
It was so CUTE and my daughter and I began crafting the little felt animals in the book.
Then we went to San Francisco and to a Japanese bookstore and my obsession grew. So many CUTE craft magazines to choose from. And CUTE books too! I could have spent hours browsing there.

I loved these craft books and magazines so much that my daughter brought me home a few from Japan the next summer.

Who wouldn't love all this Japanese cuteness? Certainly not I.

They even have instructions on how to make my favorite graphic image, polka dots! I can learn to crochet or knit polka dots! Maybe there are instructions for making polka dots in American crochet and knitting books too, but of course the Japanese would have them. The Japanese have made a culture of all things cute.
There is even a Wikipedia article on this. "As a cultural phenomenon, cuteness is increasingly accepted in Japan as a part of Japanese Culture and national identity. Tomoyuki Sugiyama, author of "Cool Japan", believes that "cuteness" is rooted in Japan's harmony-loving culture, and Nobuyoshi Kurita, a sociology professor in Tokyo, has stated that "cute" is a "magic term" that encompasses everything that's acceptable and desirable in Japan."
I like all of this Japanese cute stuff, crafts, sewing, needlework, magazines and books. Somehow the Japanese make it all look clean and precise, not only the projects but also the photography. Their style is totally different from styles in other countries. Their fabrics have always been unique and the cotton fabrics that are current in Japan have a look unlike any other fabric, tiny details, clean graphics, candy for the eyes.
The only problem for me is shown below.
It's difficult for a non-Japanese speaker to follow Japanese directions. It doesn't really matter as I'm not fooling anyone into thinking I'd ever get around to making many of these crafts but it's nice to see that the cute factor has caught on in the U.S. because I'm noticing some of these books now have an English version.

I don't buy much online but in finding these photos I realized I'd buy from one CUTE Japanese site only because they have this logo for their shopping cart.I'm a fool for cute.

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