••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
••••••
Introduction
Kitty Japan Global
Commodities are not just objects of economic exchange; they are
goods to think with, goods to speak with.
—John Fiske (1989:31)
Pink makes you happy.
—Yamaguchi Yūko, Hello Kitty designer (quoted in Belson and Bremner 2004:69)
This book begins and ends with headlines. And there is good
reason for this: headlines create buzz that feeds into celebrity
that helps sell products that surround people’s lives that give
those objects meanings. Many of the “goods to think with,
goods to speak with,” which Fiske notes above, come into our
possession through the buzz and celebrity generated by head-
lines. Further, headlines travel instantaneously across oceans
and national borders and by way of interpersonal networks.
Let me thus begin with a few headlines of note.
In a 2007 “mockumentary” book entitled Japanese School-
girl Inferno: Tokyo Teen Fashion Subculture Handbook, the jour-
nalists Patrick Macias and Izumi Evers chronicle girl- culture
street fashion in urban Japan from the late 1960s to 2007,
ending with what they call “Cute Overload.” There, as an ex-
ample of this overload (see figure I- 1), stand two young women
in various shades of pink (with some splashes of red) from
head to toe: shocking pink hair adorned with multiple pink
barrettes, fuzzy pink kitten earmuffs, pink empire baby- doll
dress, mismatched pink knee- high socks, and pink-laced
shoes (2007:140). Around one woman’s neck hangs that icon
Previous Page Next Page