Summary of The New Science of Cute

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How do you explain the popularity of Hello Kitty? Why do people find themselves cooing at little babies? The answer may be quite simple: They’re cute. Writing for The Guardian, journalist Neil Steinberg takes a look at the fascinating – and adorable – world of kawaii, or “cuteness.” Steinberg uses the story of Kumamon, the beloved “mascot” of Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture to illustrate how cuteness can generate attention – and earnings. getAbstract recommends this charming article to marketers, pop-culture fanatics and anyone needing a happy boost.

About the Author

Neil Steinberg is a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times.



When Kumamon – the rosy-cheeked bear of Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture – disappeared after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, people took notice. Fans from around the world wrote “pray for Kumamoto and Kumamon” – using the bear as a way to reach out to and express concern for a community in distress. When he came to visit an emergency shelter three weeks later, children rejoiced at his reappearance – “squealing, hugging, taking pictures.”

In Japanese, Kumamon is known as a yuru-kyara – in English, a “mascot” – and is beloved; in 2011 he won the Yuru-kyara Grand Prix, making him the most popular character...

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