Doraemon is a cute, male robotic cat and part of the Japanese culture concerned with cuteness which is a form of escapism.
Rarely do I dip into Japanese culture. When I do it is like visiting another planet. In this instance we can do it through a robotic cat whose name is Doraemon. He is a male cat who travels back in time from the 22nd century to help a boy whose name is Nobita.
Doraemon is a “fictional character in the Japanese manga and anime series”. Japanese manga is also alien to me. Anime series is also alien to me! I’m lost. Maybe it’s a good thing to have a look at it to learn a bit about another culture. I wonder whether it tells us something about the attitude of Japanese towards domestic cats?
They certainly like to anthropomorphise them. And cuteness seems to play a very big part in Japanese life. The Japanese even have a name for cuteness: Kawaii. The word means lovable, cute or adorable. Is the apparent obsession for cuteness a way of distancing oneself from the realities of the harshness of life? Or is a reversion to childhood and innocence; another way to escape the realities of the real world.
Cuteness is important in Japanese pop culture and it seems to play a big role in many aspects of Japanese life including entertainment, clothing, food, toys, mannerisms and personal appearance.
There seems to be a sexual connection to cuteness in young preteen girls in short skirts with soft teddy bear bags on their backs, white socks and cuddly toys on their person. It looks as if men are objectifying young female schoolgirls into some sort of sexual fantasy.
I don’t know whether it’s a good assessment but it seems that the robotic cat from the 22nd century is an extension of this cuteness culture combined with a little bit of technology which Japan is also famous for.
Another cute Japanese manga creation, fictional character is Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty as a permanent third-grade student. It’s cuteness overload and the cat has been anthropomorphised but her creators say that she is not a cat but a cartoon character. There is a huge amount of commercial value in cute cats and cuteness in general in Japan.
The Hello Kitty character has earned as at 2018 and estimated US$50 billion! Selling cuteness is like selling alcohol; it’s escapism and as a lot of people need and want to escape the realities of living the creators of cute characters make a lot of money.
Is this good for the real domestic cat?
Is this portrayal of the cat a good thing in the human to cat relationship?
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