We all know that “cuteness” is the key for many Japanese manufacturers’ huge success. Where do you think Hello Kitty came from?
However, back in the 1970s cuteness wasn’t such a good idea for school girls. With the invention of mechanical pencils, lots of teenage school girls started decorating the kanji characters in the Japanese alphabet with a variety of characters such as rainbows, hearts, stars and so on. They tried to prettify the written content and the cute handwritings soon went viral. Japanese girls all around the country were writing so cutely that their teachers were unable to distinguish the actual text from the symbols. The problem was dubbed as “Anomalous Female Teenage Handwriting” and soon the media was swarming with reports of excessively “cute” handwriting.
Schools all around Japan did their best to ban the cuteness from pupils’ handwriting, but it’s still a huge factor in toys, food, cartoons, fashion, advertising and some handwriting even nowadays. Haven’t you ever seen the “i” in a girl’s name written with a heart symbol instead of a dot?