Are friend interested in Japanese anime, manga, fashion, or culture? climate you’ll be sure to come across かわいい (kawaii) culture, i m sorry is anything “cute” in Japanese language and context.

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In fact, cuteness is so ingrained in Japanese society that you watch it everywhere in all kinds of forms — from guro-kawaii (“gross-cute”) come kimo-kawaii (“scary-cute”).

Mascots for most brands room designed to be kawaii. Japanese pop groups dress, talk, and also act kawaii. Harajuku has so plenty of sub-fashions the kawaii dress that it’s tackled a life that its own.

So if you’re going to learn Japanese, you need to understand Japanese cute culture — and master part cute Japanese words.


Table of contents

Cute Japanese Words

Let’s lug out our inner kawaii!

“Cute” in Japanese – Kawaii

可愛い (kawaii in kanji) way “cute” in Japanese, though its likewise often written just in hiragana together かわいい (kawaii). But the meaning of “kawaii” can change based top top context.

Sometimes it means anything “small” and “loveable”. Other times it method “lovely”, “child-like” or even “shy.” Really, the represents any cute “kawaii” persona.

There are totality genres the anime and also manga designed to fit this persona, like CardCaptor Sakura, Madoka Magica, and of course, the legendary seafarer Moon.

And besides shoujo anime kawaii vibes, there are additionally kawaii characters in most other shows too, especially for kids. Like Doraemon, Pikachu, and also Hello Kitty.

Cute Japanese Words

Besides かわいい (kawaii), there space some other cute Japanese words friend should know to sound cute in Japanese.

Keep in mind, nearly anything have the right to sound cute in Japanese, and a most the time that comes under to just how you to speak the word. Illustration out the last vowel sound, saying it in a sleep or high-pitched way, or including cute “endings” come the words room all methods to do them sound “cuter.”

Kirei – “Beautiful” or “Clean”

きれいな (kirei na) is an adjective meaning something is “beautiful” or “clean.” You have the right to drop the な (na) when using the on its own to exclaim “きれい!”

But if you’re attaching it to a noun, like to say a woman is beautiful, you’d say: きれいな女性 (kirei na josei).

Dokidoki – heart beating

ドキドキ (dokidoki) is a Japanese onomatopoeia supplied to describe the sound that a love beating fast. You’ll frequently see this in manga written next to a human being whose heart is beating fast and blushing from being close to their crush.

You can also attach the verb する (suru, “to do”) and also say ドキドキする (dokidoki suru) — “my heart’s beating fast!”

Kurakura – “Dizzy” or “Giddy”

クラクラ (kurakura) is an additional onomatopoeia definition “dizzy” or “giddy” with happiness. You can use it to express that you’re therefore happy and also excited or the your head is spinning.

You can additionally pair it with する (suru) to do it a verb.

Fuwafuwa – “Fluffy”

Another cute Japanese indigenous is フワフワ (fuwafuwa) which describes something as “fluffy”. Usage this v things choose a fluffy pillow, a soft blanket, or a fluffy cat.

Kirakira – “Sparkling” or “Glittering”

キラキラ (kirakira) way something is “sparkling” or “glittery.” So plenty of cute things are described as キラキラ.

Fun fact: If you type キラキラ through a Japanese keyboard, the emoji ✨ is said because that ~glittering~.

Pikapika – “Shiny”

Yes, prefer the Pokemon! ピカピカ (pikapika) means “shiny” choose a spark.

A lot of Japanese onomatopoeia are offered to sound cute or describe things in a cute way, so you will do it hear castle often.

Yokatta – “I’m Glad” or “Yay!”

良かった (yokatta in kanji) is previous tense that いい (ii), the irregular adjective that method “good.” for this reason 良かった can mean other “was good.”

But together an exclamation or reply, typically written just in hiragana as よかった (yokatta), it means “That’s great!” or “I’m glad!” It’s also used like “yay” when you exclaim with joy.

Tanoshii – “Enjoyable” or “Cheerful”

楽しい (tanoshii) has countless different meanings, native “pleasant” to “happy” to “enjoyable.” It’s often used to say something is or was fun.

You can likewise use the unit volume 楽しみにしてる (tanoshimi ni shiteru) or 楽しんで (tanoshinde) in casual situations. The first means “I’m looking forward to it” and the latter method “Enjoy!”

Ureshii – “Happy”

嬉しい (ureshii) is supplied to say you’re “happy” or “glad.” girl will regularly exclaim this when something good is keep going or once they’re happily surprised.

Wanwan and also Nya-nya- – “Dog” and also “Cat”

So, technically, ワンワン (wanwan) and ニャーニャー (nya-nya-) space the onomatopoeia sounds a dog and cat do respectively.

But kids often contact dogs ワンワン (wanwan) rather of 犬 (inu), and also sometimes cat ニャーニャー (nya-nya-) instead of 猫 (neko).

Even though this is commonly something youngsters say, sometimes teens and also women to speak it too to sound cute.

Ne – “Right?”

ね (ne) is a sentence-ending particle supplied to speak “right?” but it’s also used to soften a sentence and also sound cuter.

For example, かわいいね! (kawaii ne!) means “Cute, right?” You might leave off the ne but it to add extra cuteness.

Jan – “Isn’t it?”

A convulsion of じゃない (ja nai) and only used in informal situations. じゃん is provided at the end of sentences much like ne to say “isn’t it?”

For example, とってもかっこいいじゃん (tottemo kakkoii jan) method “It’s so cool, isn’t it?”

The convulsion sounds an ext casual, and also girls regularly use it come sound cuter.

Referring to yourself in 3rd Person

And lastly, if you desire to sound めっちゃかわいい (meccha kawaii, “super cute”), describe yourself in the 3rd person.

Yup, instead of saying “I”, use your name to talk about yourself! This is claimed to sound much more “child-like” and cute, and a lot of young adult women do this.

A warning though: some people find this a little bit obnoxious.

Kawaii: Cute society in Japan

There are four main themes that often tend to popular music up in Japanese culture: kawaii (“cute”), youkai (“ghosts”), mecha, and also apocalyptic themes.

There’s a bunch of factors these patterns pop increase a lot. However kawaii society is certainly one the the most prominent since it also overlaps into the various other 3 categories.

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For example, there are various levels the kawaii, such as kimo-kawaii, i beg your pardon is “scary-cute.” Think prefer cute Ghost-type Pokemon:

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There’s additionally busu-kawaii or guro-kawaii which median “ugly” or “gross” cute. J-Pop idol Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a famous example of utilizing guro-kawaii to set trends.