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You wrote "the American created (Dick Bruna) character 'Miffy' the bunny". Of course, me being as Dutch as Dick Bruna, this hurts. Miffy was born as Nijntje, which is short for Konijntje, Dutch for Little Rabbit. The international success of Nijntje/Miffy does show that kawaii characters do appeal to an international audience. Cute breaks language barriers.

Ray Kinnane

You are absolutely correct, marlof, so please accept my apologies for that - and any other Dutch people I offended with this result of poor research on my part. I have amended the copy. Sorry! Thank you for the correction.
It just shows I should be more careful with the writing and less distracted by the production of the photographs.

Ray Kinnane


No offense taken, of course. It's just that Nijntje/Miffy is one of our biggest export products. And one that can actually be found in many Dutch households, instead of the ubiquitous tulips, wooden shoes and windmills. I loved seeing the different kawaii images in your post. A friend of mine was totally crazy about Japan, and suddenly went into "Hello Kitty" craze. I couldn't really understand how a grown up would be that enthusiastic about an -in my eyes- cute image targeted at children. I see now that this is part of regular life in Japan. Very interesting.


Hello, I just wanted to say that this article has helped me so much! I am currently writing my third year dissertation on Hello Kitty and what inspired her designer Yuko Shimuzu to draw her for Sanrio. I was really struggling finding other Kawaii characters that pre-dated her.

So thank you very much

Lizzie x

Edward Harrison

Hi Ray, great article and excellent pictures. I'm currently writing a book on Japanese mascots and you have three photos I'd really like to use, if you're interested please contact me and I'll explain more.

Dissertation Writing

it's good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

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