Sunday, November 23, 2014

Made In Japan: Kawaii

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    Kawaii (pronounced Kah-wah-ee) is known in Japan as the 'incredible cute syndrome'.  Dating as far back as the Late Shogunate Period (mid 19th century), this concept is applied to literally all aspects of Japanese culture, especially to the appearance and manner of women and girls.  However, its meaning also heavily influences industrial product design in terms of size, shape and overall appearance, and is a primary design theme in a broad range of products.

My collection of vintage Japanese ceramics includes many pieces with this Kawaii quality.  I am drawn to these ceramic creatures because of that cuteness, but I also love the colors and shapes of these adorable 'friends'.  That pup above, for example, has the cutest face, but what I really like are the paint colors used and the technique with which the paint was applied - some of it very neat, and some of it haphazard, or even Wabi, in a way.  You may agree that the other pieces below also posses this Kawaii quality as well:

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 made in Japan, Japanese ceramic, vintage Japanese ceramic, salt shaker, kawaii salt shaker, vintage Japanese kawaii salt or pepper shaker

That pig is actually a piggy bank.  On the top, where the money slot is, it says "Cash Only - No Refunds".  And the whale is an ashtray - you can see the place for a cigarette to rest in the middle of that metal bar running around its mouth. That pink figure?  I think it's a flop-eared bunny.  It's a salt or pepper shaker and can you guess how much would I love to find its soul mate?  I wonder what color it is (I'm guessing baby blue!), and whether its shape is the opposite of this one?

Thank you for taking a look!  And if you love vintage, tell me about it!

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