Cosplayers, culture and cuteness galore! As mentioned in our tour post, Samuel & I were fortunate enough to attend the Japanese Art Festival in London this past weekend – we had a great time and can’t wait to see some of the lovely people that we met again soon!

One of the highlights of the event was the Kawaii Culture panel hosted by Akemi Solloway & 6%Dokidoki. 6%Dokidoki are currently in the middle of a world tour; to celebrate their 15th birthday, Sebastian Masuda and his crew of glittering rainbow-festooned girls are travelling from Harajuku to London, Paris, LA and San Francisco to spread the word kawaii across the globe. We’re betting on world domination sooner rather than later!

I’m sure our readers are aware that we’re no strangers to kawaii (check out the tag!), so it was refreshing to be able to listen to Masuda talk about his pet subject in person. It could be said that 6%Dokidoki exemplifies the traditional image of Harajuku in many people’s minds: key is the mix between pastel and neon shades; wild hair styles and colours; jewellery made from kids toys; bold make-up; and often mis-matched leggings & tights! Harajuku has long been a Mecca for many an aspiring fashionable teen, Japanese and foreign alike, and Masuda wondered whether Camden was London’s answer to Harajuku – we’re personally not so sure about that one (it’s just not like it was in the old days!), but with 6%Dokidoki’s fashion show in Camden market and the planned collaboration between themselves and Cyberdog (see here), I’m sure we’ll be seeing a little more kawaii brightness edging slowly but surely on to London’s grey streets.

We particularly enjoyed Masuda’s view of kawaii as a global movement, and as the new punk – we love this idea! Kawaii, although aesthetically removed from punk fashion, shares it’s rejection of societal norms and the adult world which it finds dull and restrictive. Not only this, but it can also be argued that kawaii is Japan’s indigenous version of punk. Rebellion just got a whole lot cuter! Masuda also linked kawaii to the ‘flower power’ hippy movement of the 1960s; a time when war was at the forefront of many people’s minds, and the youth turned to nature and psychedelia as a way of self-expression. Putting kawaii in a context such as this, it’s no wonder it’s taken hold in Japan with such force.

Self-expression is what it’s all about –  we think it’s about time to share kawaii with the rest of the world!

Rebecca & Samuel

} Look out for our lolita interview special tomorrow! {

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7 Responses to Exploring Kawaii with 6%Dokidoki

  1. brad-t says:

    I think to compare “kawaii” with “punk” is being very generous towards kawaii and not giving punk enough credit. The only valid comparison here is that they are both counter-culture movements that reject the society’s concept of what constitutes a “normal” aesthetic. However, pretty much every single generation has an aesthetic that goes against the grain; it seems easy to forget that the punk movement had a very political and philosophical aspect to it. “Kawaii” has none of this.

    Kawaii has been mostly created by marketing and branding experts (think: Sanrio) to encourage the mindless, compulsive consumption of useless trinkets and logos/branding. In this sense, it is about as far away from punk as you can get. I think you guys are really off the mark here.

  2. tokyotelephone says:

    Well the designer Masuda was clearly 100 percent convinced in what he was saying, I am not saying I totally agree with him – just that that is his personal ethos. I don’t think that any fashion can capture the spirit of Punk, Mods, Rockers, etc these days as it is always going to be vulnerable to accusations of commercialism and soulessness (which are often quite accurate!).

    BTW check out the designer and me in the second pic from the left on the top row.

  3. brad-t says:

    Thanks for the impossibly small picture. 😛

  4. Ed says:

    Brad-t thinks a lot of his thoughts and opinions.

  5. brad-t says:

    Yeah, I do actually. However, I promote this blog pretty much all the time even if I don’t always agree with it. What’s the point of having a comments section if you can’t offer another viewpoint?

  6. […]  The last UK event we covered was Akemi Solloway’s Japanese Art Festival – coverage here & here – however the Matsuri had a completely different vibe and captured something very […]

  7. […] If you’ve got an urge for the cute, head to 6%DokiDoki – exemplifying the Japanese kawaii aesthetic and now making it into a social movement in […]

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