- 論集 (ISSN:03891658)
- vol.59, no.2, pp.63-73, 2012-12
"Kawaii", which is often translated as "cute" in English, is a word specific to Japanese modern and popular culture. In this paper, we attempted to characterize the items that female students feel to be "kawaii". First, we had female students list items that they would call "kawaii" , together with a list of terms that they would use to describe each item. From all the collected descriptive terms, we selected the twenty-seven terms that were most frequently used. Secondly, we had a separate group of female students list "kawaii" items similarly, and had them decide the degree of suitability of each of the twenty-seven descriptive terms for all the items. As a result of a cluster analysis of the data, these "kawaii" items were divided into three groups. It was observed that one group consists of items concerning the so called baby-schema, another group consists of items concerning personal adornment and the other consists of items possessing characteristics of both of the former two groups. Thirdly, we also analyzed the same data using factor analysis, and obtained three factors. One factor concerns baby-schema, another factor concerns personal adornment and the other concerns personal evaluation. We also examined the differences among the three groups in average scores of the factors using ANOVA, the results of which support former observations about the characteristics of the three groups.