Saturday, July 31, 2010

Random Weekend Picture 23


During the festival season in the summer, shops tend to put out more items directed toward children. These Anpanman chocolates, made by confectionery giant, Fujiya, were on sale during my neighborhood's Tanabata ("star") festival. They're cute, but I'm sure that the chocolate is fairly average stuff and I'd never buy it. However, this is the sort of stuff that'd make a perfect souvenir to take home from Japan and give children.

The box says "pero pero meruhen choco" (ペロペロメルヘン), which translates into "licking fairy tales chocolate", or at least that's my best guess. Sounds like a rollicking good time.

6 comments:

Nora said...

You'll see these chocolate lollipops sold separately in the kids' candy section, too. As you surmised, they're extremely average as candy/chocolate goes. They are cute, though, and popular with the (much less demanding) preschool set.

Ikkin-bot said...

When I was a kid I'm pretty sure I didn't like "good" chocolate. It was to rich and dark for me. I assume Japanese children are the same.

frannie84 said...

I have always enjoyed chocolate in Japan. Their chocolate is usually better than American quality which is good when you can't get a hold of European chocolate. The only issue was dealing with individually wrapped treats especially considering that recycling is almost law over there... or at least the cleaning ladies made it seem like it!
Though the candy seemed geared toward children, I remember it being pretty normal for girls my age to purchase that stuff considering it was considered cute to be 'childish' :).

StoryBookDreams said...

Ooh! Cute!<3
I have one of those types of Chocolate Lollipops, it's a Rilakkuma one! ;D Super cute. I'll blog about it soon, maybe. :)
(Sweets Blog)

SailorFanBerryz said...

Can you explain in a blog sometime why Japan has so much gone for a "cutesy" feel? Thank you so much.

I really enjoy this blog, it is enjoyable! Very creative of you to start~

Orchid64 said...

Thanks to everyone for commenting! I appreciate it!

In regards to your question about why Japan embraces all things cute, Lizzy, it's something which many people have theorized on. I don't think there is any one answer, but I can give you my personal opinion. I believe that it has to do with the fact that the Japanese are less self-conscious about displays of immaturity than Westerners and they mature more slowly in some ways. Westerners are in a hurry to grow up, be independent, and adopt the superficial trappings of adulthood. On the other hand, Westerners are slow to adopt the actual responsibilities of adulthood.

Japanese people are faster to adopt the actual responsibilities of adulthood, but slower to abandon the trappings of childhood. They're okay with embracing "cute" because they don't mind being seen as superficially childish when they are generally shouldering large burdens in real life.

Perhaps each culture is achieving some sort of balance between their child-like aspects and maturity. The Japanese just have the situation reversed relative to Westerners. This probably relates to the fact that many Westerners, and Americans in particular, do not have a core identity proscribed by their cultures since they have mixed cultural influences. In essence, Americans derive their identity for those superficial aspects which they embrace. Showing your affinity for "cute" things betrays a childish identity. Japanese folks derive their identity from deeper, relatively homogeneous cultural roots. They do have to worry as much about being defined by their superficial interests. They can be responsible adults, but still carry the trappings of childhood.

That's merely my opinion though. I can't assert it is factual. Wikipedia has some entries on this topic which may further be of interest to you. It's here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuteness_in_Japanese_culture