The Disney experience
Kawaii the Japanese word for “cute” or “adorable”. Everyone loves cute things don’t they?
I first stumbled upon the term Kawaii in the summer of 2016 and was instantly fascinated. I was inspired how it has become engrained in Japanese culture and how fast it spread throughout the world. My first experience of Kawaii wasn’t by strolling the streets of downtown Tokyo. I discovered Kawaii in an exhibition hall in Epcot Disney USA.
As I walked around that exhibition seeking a haven from the hot Florida sun, I learnt how important Kawaii as a cultural movement is to Japanese society. The Japanese love cute things, many aspects of their culture including entertainment, clothing, food, toys and even road signs demonstrate this. From cute electric toasters to road sign cones made to look like a fluffy rabbits. The Japanese Prime Minister dressed as Super Mario at the Rio Olympic Games or teenagers dressed up as their favorite Anime characters. In Japanese culture everything has the potential to become cute.
The exhibition included many Anime and Kawaii characters. Some I knew about such as Pokémon and Hello Kitty but many others were new to me. Rilakkuma, Iiwaken, Totoro, My Melody, Pom Pom Purin and so many more. These characters were everywhere, on clothing, stationery and accessories but also everyday objects we would normally not associate with the word “cute”.
I left the exhibition inspired to learn more and actually buy some of this merchandise from Japan.
Creating a Kawaii Store
When I landed back in the UK I got straight to work and got myself a Kawaii haul. I bought Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma and Hello Kitty goodies. I loved my purchases so much I thought, hey, I should help spread Kawaii culture in the UK and actually start an online store. So my journey began.
First a store needs a name, it needs to sell not only very cute items but also rare items which are not readily available outside Japan. Unicorns are cute, we all love Unicorns and so I named my shop Kawaii Unicorn. Next, it was so important to sell only authentic goods from big Kawaii brands such as San-X, Sanrio and AMUSE. I absolutely will not sell fakes. They have to be perfectly cute.
I researched what types of items to sell. Plush, accessories and stationery. All must meet the right cute standard. And so, I started to build my online store to begin the Kawaii Unicorn shopping experience.
My shop is relatively new and I look forward to sourcing super cute and hard to find stuff! Please be part of my story and visit my shop.