Kawaii Perception of Artifacts Between Chinese and Japanese Cultures

Nan Qie, Pei Luen Patrick Rau, Michiko Ohkura, Chien Wen Tung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Chinese and Japanese culture have long been influencing each other. With the popularity of Japanese animation, comics, and game industry, Japanese kawaii culture has swept across China, especially among young Chinese people. In this chapter, we will introduce a study we conducted between Chinese and Japanese people to learn about their perceptions of kawaii designs in artifacts. This study investigates what features make an artifact kawaii, how gender and age affect kawaii perception of artifacts, and whether Chinese people perceive kawaii in artifacts in the same manner as Japanese people do. An experiment which involved both elderly and young participants from Beijing and Tokyo was conducted. Three types of artifacts were presented to the participants, and their attitudes toward different designs were recorded in the form of a questionnaire. The results indicate that culture, gender, and age can affect kawaii perception. Chinese participants and elderly Japanese participants associated kawaii closely with practical aspects. The results also show that a simple combination of kawaii elements does not necessarily contribute to the kawaii design of an artifact. Kawaii is an integrated concept and cannot be simply defined by a series of discrete elements or features.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Series on Cultural Computing
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameSpringer Series on Cultural Computing
ISSN (Print)2195-9056
ISSN (Electronic)2195-9064


  • Affective design
  • Artifacts
  • Kawaii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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