Cute, in Japan, is part of the cultural mainstream, appealing to adults as well as children. Women in their 30’s carry Hello Kitty notebooks, and the country is blanketed in cute comic characters with big, round, baby eyes on every street corner and product imaginable.
I suppose from an anthropological point of view, part of Hello Kitty’s popularity can be explained by its extreme exaggeration of juvenile features, large head, wide spaced eyes, small chin, that are designed specifically to elicit a mothering instinct. Perhaps this is more important in Eastern cultures, with their greater emphasis on the feminine.
From the Kitty Goods Collection catalog there is merchandise for the whole home.
In Japan, street signs look like this and are usually accompanied with warning messages to be careful or dangerous or simply, NO.