Kawaii And Moe

Japanese pop culture inverts (even perverts) Western norms. Whilst the West panics about the sexualization and adultification of children, the Japanese have created a complex aesthetic around the 'childification' of adults. This can easily be misinterpreted by a Western culture in the midst of a panic over paedophilia and sexuality in general. The two Japanese words that define this aesthetic are kawaii and moé. Kawaii is roughly translated as 'cute' and moé as the subject/object of fascination. Whilst this can have an erotic subtext, it is often anti-erotic. If anything, the kawaii aesthetic is paradoxically asexual (it 'plays' with erotic [...]