KAWAII 101

Lesson #2

The meaning of KAWAII:

Today’s lesson is about the meaning of KAWAII and how to distinguish between KAWAII and cute.

KAWAII is a Japanese word. It means cute.

Because it is in another language many believe that the translation is 100% correct and it just means cute. But they are wrong!!! KAWAII is a particular style that is severely cute. Lots of people use the word KAWAII when something is very cute but when I google KAWAII it doesn’t just come up with regular cute things like puppies and kittens. It comes up with drawings of KAWAII things like we drew in our last lesson. The dinosaur below is KAWAII and it is the first thing that popped up for KAWAII. However the cat down below may look KAWAII but it is an imposter. It does not have any cheeks so therefore in my definition of KAWAII it is not KAWAII. It is very cute though maybe even adorable.

My definition of KAWAII:

Something KAWAII has to meet this criteria:

  1. Pleasing to the eye.
  2. 2. Has a form of cheeks
  3. 3. Have a disproportionate body to head.
  4. If it meets all of that yes it is KAWAII. KAWAII can be anything a person, an animal or an inanimate object.

Wikipedia’s definition of KAWAII:

Kawaii (かわいい. [kaw͍aiꜜi], “lovable”, “cute”, or “adorable”) is the quality of cuteness in the context of Japanese culture. It has become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance, behavior, and mannerisms.

The word kawaii originally derives from the phrase 顔映し kao hayushi, which literally means “(one’s) face (is) aglow,” commonly used to refer to flushing or blushing of the face. The second morpheme is cognate with -bayu in mabayui (眩い or 目映い) “dazzling; glaring, blinding, too bright” (ma- is from 目 me “eye”). Over time, the meaning changed into the modern meaning of “cute”, and the pronunciation changed to かわゆい and then to the modern かわいい. It is most commonly written in hiragana, かわいい, but the ateji, 可愛い, has also been appended. The kanji in the ateji literally translates to “able to be loved, can/may love, lovable.”

POP QUIZ!!!

Can you tell the difference between KAWAII and cute in these pictures????

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Now scroll down and compare your results with the real answers.

Real Answers:

Ticked= KAWAII

  • [ ] 1.
  • - [x] 2.
  • - [ ] 3.
  • - [ ] 4.
  • - [x] 5.
  • - [x] 6.
  • - [ ] 7.
  • Did you get all of them correct???
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