Friday, May 22, 2009

Kawaii for a price

I will admit that I have not fully gotten over my kawaii stage.... and I'm almost 20. But after reading "Cuties in Japan" by Sharon Kinsella, I don't feel so awkward anymore. I have associated concept of kawaii with being youthful and very innocent (which is true) but I also thought that kawaii was exclusive to pre-teens and teenagers. However, according to Kinsella "71 percent of young people between eighteen and 30 years of age either liked or love kawaii-looking people" (188). Ironically, there have been an increasing number of products that have kawaii aspects but are targeted toward the older generation.

WHY?! As the target consumer age seems to get older, the prices of these "kawaii" things are skyrocketing! Though the wasn't originally founded by business, it is now a multi-million dollar business. The owners of these businesses are pretty damn smart. For example, Sanrio has widen range from stuffed animals to.... digital cameras! The company based in Japan did a very smart move by collaborating with the Queen of Japanese pop Hamasaki Ayumi. Just like Seiko Matsuda, a cute idol singer between 1980 and 1988, Ayumi Hamasaki is known for being very cute (but a little more mature than Seiko's flat chest and bow legs) as shown through her figurine in collaboration with Sanrio's Hello Kitty. But this figurine collection is on the relatively cheap end and will cost you about ¥600 (about $6).

Remember that digital camera I mentioned? Well, this Ayu x Hello Kitty camera will set you back a pretty penny, approximately ¥54,600 (about $576). I admit it's nice and wanted to buy one when it first came out... but found it ridiculous to buy something so luxurious when I know I'd never use it since it is so damn expensive.

So I've decided on not buying anymore Sanrio things. Though they are coming with cute and new characters, I don't think it is worth the money to spend because they'll just keep on coming out with cuter things. Let's bring it back old school! I know many people still have their old Sanrio collection stashed somewhere (I've seen the blogs). Like sneaker heads who have been in the game for years, let the Sanrio/Hello Kitty heads show off their more valuable accessories than the new stuff that's out now. YES, LET'S SAVE MONEY!

Christine Erfe blog #4

Kinsella, Sharon. "Cuties in Japan." Class Reader.

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