22 Jul

Kawaii is a Japanese adjective, and is used when you feel "love sushi" in some sense, such as loveliness and interest. There is also an idea that it is related to "poor". Derivatives include the adorable "kawaii" and the verb "kawaiigaru".

The synonymous old word is "Utsukushi (love)" (example: "Utsukushikimono" ("Makurazoshi")). The old word "Kawayushi", which corresponds to the modern word "kawaii", refers to the feeling of sympathy for the misfortune of the other party, such as "loving".

The vocabulary of dialects that are synonymous with the common and standard "kawaii" includes the Tohoku and Hokkaido dialects "Menkoi" and "Megoi" (such as the Tsugaru dialect). These words are derived from the old word "Megushi". “Megushi” has both meanings of “loving” and “kawaii” in the modern language.

Etymology and its transition

The word "Kahoyushi" was formed in a shortened form of "Kahoyushi" and became "Kawayui" in colloquial terms, and "Kawayui" was further changed to "Kawaii".

Originally "kahoyushi" and "kahayushi" were "embarrassed" with the feeling that "the other person was so bright that they were superior (in terms of status etc.) and it was difficult to turn to face". Then, from the feeling of "Kahayushi" "It is difficult to emulate but I can not leave it", I changed to the feeling of "I am sorry" and "I'm sorry", and from the feeling that I was concerned about a pitiful partner, "Kawayushi" ("Kawayui" and "Kawaii") turned into the "adorable" meaning common in modern Japanese.

Although there is a theory that the word "kawaii", which is written in the kanji of "kawaii" and sentimental kana, is in the Japanese alphabet, it can be seen in documents such as literature that came from China with the word "adorable" meaning "kawaii". It seems that it is derived from [citation needed]. Since this word has the phonetic form of "conversational sound in modern Chinese," which is similar to the Japanese word "kawaii" (cf. #cute). It is also commonly used in modern Chinese with the word "adorable".

It is possible to add a word "~so" to the adjective to make it a word that represents an estimate, but in the case of "kawaii", it becomes "poor" and can be taken into the meaning of "pity," etc. Do not fit. Therefore, recently, there is a view that the expression "kawayusou", which is a form of "kawaii" in the origin of "kawaii", is added to "kawayusui".


"Cute" has a strong meaning to express affection and attachment for young and small things. Therefore, it was rude to use it as an adult, apart from thinking "loving" a lover. However, in modern times, when young people mainly describe a person as “cute”, respect for the age and social status of the target person is hardly considered, and the elderly and adult male In some cases, it can be seen that it is used for statues of Shinto and Buddhist deities and emperors. This is because the scope of application of the "lovable" object has expanded beyond the appearance to the personality and image, so that there is no hostility or intimidating element to the object and it is a beauty that calms one's heart. It is because it came to be used when it is judged to have points.

In addition to the case of objective superiority, we often see examples of use by young women, including longing for longing, based on their own values and perceived to be superior to themselves. To be Especially when the person's social status or role makes them feel unavoidable even if they are too close to each other, or when the person's sense of distance is short or is temporarily shortened (eg, cute). (When I saw a principal who talked to me kindly and a senior student who was usually very calm and calm and was down in love.) It is speculated that there was a change not only in the meaning of the words but also in the emotional norms of modern Japanese youth.

Hiroshi Iritono of Cognitive Psychophysiology considers "kawaii" not as an attribute of the object, but as an emotion of the individual that occurs when he touches an object, and has the emotional "cute" that has a biological basis and as a cultural value. I proposed a two-layer model consisting of "cute". Nittono suggested through experiments that "cuteness" has no direct correlation with childhood, and that the emotion of "cuteness" is associated with the motivation to approach the target and have a social relationship.

Diversion of meaning

In modern times, man-made objects that do not have the characteristics of humans or living things may be recognized and evaluated as "cute". For example, clothespins at an imported grocery store can be "kawaii." Kanko Engineering's Noriko Okura cites the tendency of attributes of artifacts that are evaluated as "kawaii" as follows.

It is easier to evaluate that the shape of a curve, such as a circle, sphere, or torus in both 2D and 3D, is "cute".

According to an evaluation experiment of "cute colors" for men and women in their twenties, all 10 basic Munsell colors can be "cute", but hues other than the basic 5 hues are slightly evaluated. Tended to be vulnerable. In addition, the higher the lightness and saturation, the more likely it was to be evaluated as "cute", but there was also a tendency to depend on the hue, for example, males evaluated slightly dark yellow.

Regarding the size, when the color and the shape were the same, the smaller one was evaluated as “cute” than the larger one.

As for the texture, those having a soft texture were evaluated as “cute” rather than being hard.

"Cute" is sometimes used as an expression of attachment. For example, an example in which a trailer driver describes his/her trailer as “cute” indicates the attachment that the driver feels to the appearance, function, and usability of the trailer. Although such usage may be difficult for others to understand, it is often easy for other people in the same hobby or industry to understand.

In addition to the original "I think it's cute", the verbized expression "kawaiii" refers to the so-called "eye contact" in which people underneath and care for them are also used. In the sports world, including the beginning, it is used in the antonym of "sighing" and "bullying".

Derivative concept

Since the 1990s, the usage of different adjectives such as "Ero-kawaii" and "Kimo-kawaii" has been developed to indicate how cute you are. This regards derogatory or sloppy expressions such as "erotic" and "feeling" as "kawaii" and softens the negative impression.

Erotic cute

"Erotic cute" is a compound word of "erotic" and "cute", and is a concept showing cuteness including sexy and sexual attraction. The origin of the word is unknown, but it is confirmed in the one corner "Chinkame" of "smart" in 2002. Around March 2003, a thread called “SO3 Sophia-tan is erotic cute” is standing by 2 channel characters who found Moe in the character “Sofia” that appeared in the game software “Star Ocean 3”. A person who was inspired by the novel phrase "Erokawaii" stirs up the thread "(Character name) in ((work name)) is erotic", and "Erokawaii" became a buzzword in 2 channels for a while.

Around 2004, the singer Kumi Koda described her sexy fashion as "erotically cute", so in the fashion world, "erotically cute" was recognized as a general term, and the abbreviation "erotic cute" was also born. .. In fashion magazines, the headline of "Erotic Kawa" has become popular, and expressions such as "Erotic cool" and "Erotic cool" have been created.

The tendency of clothes to be called "erotic" is based on a combination of sexy and cute elements.

Sexy elements include a lot of exposed skin, a lingerie-like design, the use of see-through, and the use of black. Conversely, cute elements include the use of ruffles, ribbons, lace, polka dots, and pink.


“Busa cute” is a compound word of “unclean” and “cute”. In rare cases, it is also called "Bus cute" or "Bus cute". Mainly used for pets and women.

For women, it refers to a woman who is charming and cute, even if she looks clunky at first glance. Also, when using the word "busa cute" for pets, it expresses the cuteness of cute faces such as pugs and bulldogs. It's a little clumsy, but it's also used in the sense that it's cute.

"Kimo cute" is a compound word of "feeling (unpleasant)" and "cute", and it has a feeling of discomfort and eerie, but it is also cute. Also called "Kimokawa".

It is a youth language that has been used since the end of the 1990s, and has come to be used to refer to characters such as dancing baby. Initially never used by humans, when the Manzai master Ungirls breaks in the 2000s, their surreal appearance was described as "kimo-kawaii."

"Kimoai" and "kawaii" are contradictory adjectives, but there have been many cases where a "monster" like Godzilla has been deformed into a "kawaii" figure and turned into a character product. Even outside Japan, there were creatures that appeared in the American movie "Gremlin" in 1984, such as Mogwai, that expressed eerieness and cuteness at the same time.

Due to the loose character boom from the 2000s onwards, there are many characters that have gained popularity as "deep cute." Examples are the mascot of the Chunichi Dragons, Doara, and the mascot Sento-kun, a sponge bob, Usavich, Kobittokan, and the platypus's Iko-chan, which is a commemorative project for the 1300th anniversary of the relocation of Heijo, Nara Prefecture.

The characteristic (or signature) that a baby's morphology and behavior should show as "protected" and "loved" is inseparable from human instincts, but the concept of "kawaii" is also closely related. ing.

In addition, it is not rare that they are not limited to the species of human beings and are the same for the juveniles of other animals.




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