Eldest son played rugby yesterday for the first time. (That’s him about to score in the top image and chasing hard in the second). He wasn’t bad at all, indeed he was amazingly good: scored three tries and more importantly had a great time. Rugby is not a big sport here in Japan so it was wonderful to see it being enjoyed by quite so many kids including, most surprisingly, a large number of girls. This is a country where girls are smothered in cute from the earliest age, the “kawaii” lifestyle and image is sold and pushed upon them mercilessly. Heartened to see some girls not buying it and getting down to the rough and muddy struggles of a rugby game and sometimes being tougher than the boys. Still think that is cute though.
Indeed Japan seems less enamored of cute than I once imagined, as a recent commission to shoot various “kawaii” mascots proved to me. There are not as many cute, cuddly, often strange characters representing things and products out there as there used to be. Celebrity endorsement is all the rage now it seems.