Being in love with handmade cuteness?

20 Apr

Handmade Love
14/JAN/2009 on air

People are getting crazy about cute handmade goods these days.

Take Decotti for example, this is a kit that allows us to make some cute sweets decoration in 10 minutes.
The decoration is cute, but the process of making it is also fun.

Tokyo Kawaii TV introduces a knitting specialist, a felt designer, and the latest fashion doll clothing. The show refers to kawaii goods that can be produced through handmade.
Mr. Ikki & Beni-chan visit Kinako-san, queen of the sweets decoration. Kinako-san works from her house.
“This all stems from my desire that I wanna live in a candy house,” says Kinako-san. She has now become so famous as to publish several books on sweets deco, and she also teaches how to make them at school. The sweets decorations she makes look so genuine that her mom once ate them by mistake!

mii-san, a felt designer, never thought of being engaged in her current job when she started making some cute felt badges for her friends 2 years ago. Her hobby became her work.
How? By mouth communication. Especially Harajuku Handmade shop was good place to have her name/works known.

Speaking of showcase, handmade artists can rent the 50cm square shelf to display their works at Shimokitazawa Rental Box
(The Box Latte -no website-). Over there, there are as many as 350 artists making use of the showcase.
Kaito Strawberry is a unit from 2 rabbits (?) who create their works under the theme of black marchen(=fairly tale). They became popular thanks to this showcase in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo.

Now, let’s hit the streets & take a look into how people take handmade into their fashion.

Handicraft items shop in Nikotama, (Hutakotamagawa) Tokyo is introduced in the show. A lady who shops there is a famous actress in Japan, named Ryo. “I just buy whatever I find kawaii, and then after going back home I choose the items to mix with.
What I can make out of these little things…I like to make things, thinking like that,” says Ryo.

203gow-san, a famous knitting artist who scored top 1-4 at a popular amigurumi voting website, says she cannot find things she cannot make out of knitting. Her knitting is way outside the framework of general things.

She makes water faucet, mushroom, Japanese garden, daibutsu, natto soy beans and more.
Her dream is to keep her sheep so that she doesn’t have to buy wood yarn. “I cannot make sweater” she says that nevertheless she can make anything other than that.

When Blythe doll was sold in the U.S 30 years ago, it was not that popular. But in Japan, it’s hit. Blythe fan are crazy about fashion for their dolls. Junie Moon & gallery LELE in Daikanyama, Tokyo, is so hot that we cannot even take a reservation.
Hundreds of fashion items for Blythe; clothes, accessory, wig, etc. are produced by several toy makers.

Here Mr.Ikki & Beni-chan go to see Aketsun-san, a designer of Blythe handmade fashion. She lives in a doll house with dolls as many as 500! That’s because where she works is where she sleeps. (In Japan, we can do anything in 1 room. Using Futon instead of bed makes that possible. What she means here is that she can lay out the futon on the floor when she sleeps.)
“Aren’t you get scared with all these dolls looking down on you when you sleep?” asked by Mr. Ikki & Beni-chan,
Aketsun-san says it’s OK, but after watching horror movie, she’ll get scared.

She is making every single thing that Blythe dolls have or wear; from shoes, clothing, bag, and even to the magazine the dolls have in the pocket!
Sometimes she carves Blythe eyes, embeds spangles inside there, and give the doll makeup.
Her main job is an illustrater, and that can help her to create dress pattern for Blythe handmade clothes.
She spends whole 3 days to make one coordination for one Blythe doll.

Kirin’s opinion:

I’m just amazed to see how people can be obsessed or fallen in love with one particular thing.
And once they find what they are into, they become so professional in that field.
At the same time, I think they are lucky & happy people because they can make living with what they love.
Did you find your kawaii in the show? I personally want to try Decotti, a sweet decoration kit.


11 Responses to “Being in love with handmade cuteness?”

  1. Riko April 21, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    konnichiwa kirin! that is so kawaii…
    i would like to get myself one of those books to learn..:)

  2. kirin April 25, 2009 at 1:03 am #


    Hi Riko, Genki?
    One of those books, which you mean sweets deco books?
    If I am clever with my hands, and I have some extra time to make something by myself like that, I’ d looove to try to make handmade stuff like that so much. πŸ˜›

  3. Walter April 25, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    Thank you very much, Kirin, for posting this movie. πŸ˜€
    I am now suffering from a serious overdose of kawaii πŸ˜€ ,but
    I found it interesting and slightly disturbing 😯 .
    Kinako-san wants to live in a candy house ? Kinako-san, I know exactly what you want ! We’ve had those in Europe centuries ago : the witch from the (very) old Germanic fairytale ‘Hansel and Gretel’ lived in a small house built of gingerbread and candies with sugar windows ( Building regulations back then were much more relaxed than today, obviously ^_^)
    Gingerbread houses are still being made today on a smaller scale, most of them edible. If you have no idea what they are
    then go to and type ‘gingerbread house’ .

    Watching two white rabbits knit to the tune of Rossini’s overture for ” Wilhelm Tell” was disturbing O_O
    “Hando-medo” , OK, but “rabito-medo” 😯 ?

    Seeing Ryo-san sewing a flower on a mini-purse with Sara Bareilles’ “Many the miles” playing in the background was a welcome return to normality. πŸ˜€
    What is it with the background music choice anyway, so much western music ( Madonna etc..) ?

    Aha , what 203gow-san does is not knitting , which you do with two needles ,it’s crochet , which uses a hooked needle and became popular in Europe around 1800. Fascinating range of creations though.

    The dolls look a bit like manga figures ( large eyes) but not completely chibi like.
    The only other ‘person’ I know of with a large doll collection is Anju, the younger sister of Karin ( a vampire manga by Yuna Kagesaki )
    who has a large collection of creepy dolls ( in her bedroom !) and who is always carrying her favorite doll around (Boogie-kun , who comes equipped with a deba and contains the spirit of a dead serial killer). A very fun manga, really!

    I can understand people getting deeply into something they like and becoming professional about it. Doing something you love for a living must be great.
    As one mangaka put it : ” It was always my dream to draw manga as a professional. The discussions with the editors and the pressure of the weekly deadlines are tough , but I wouldn’t trade it for anything : I love it too much.”

    With the price of housing in Tokyo, I’m not surprised you’ve learned to do everything in one room πŸ˜‰ .When I started working I rented a small one room apartment for the first eleven years. I know what it’s like.

  4. kirin April 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm #


    Thanks for your long comment on the show.
    Gingerbread houses I found thru Google images as you mentioned, look so cute! They are kawaii! πŸ˜›

    In Japan, it’s quite common to play background music with TV program, just like this. Evry time the scene or topic changes, music changes accordingly. The music is picked out properly as to correspond the image of the topic. Why Western music? That’s what I’ve mentioned to you in your blog. Our life is so westernized. It’s only a new year day or next few days in the year that we can hear Koto music (Koto=Japanese traditional musical instrument). They could however choose J-pop (Japanese pop music) instead, but I don’t know why they don’t.

    Also, Japanese TV programs are editied with subtitles either to make them easier to be understood, or to make them look or sound more fun. Sometimes someone says something funny and there’s subsidiary subtitles that exaggerate what he speaks, we can laugh more. Do you get what I mean? 😳

    I like what you quoted as one manga creator says. That’s the very ideal status as a person who is engaged in his vocation! πŸ˜‰

  5. Walter April 26, 2009 at 9:20 pm #

    Kirin-san, sorry for writing a comment that’s almost longer than the post itself πŸ˜€ , but there were so many interesting things in it , I couldn’t stop myself.
    I like the J-pop music that was used for the beginning and end of anime ‘Soul Eater’ episodes ( Tommy Heavenly6 and Stance punks) and I have 2 Puffy AmiYumi CDs , which I ordered and sent from Japan via Ebay, you can’t get them here. I agree, they could also use J-pop ( except for the (electronic version of) classic music by Rossini , of course.

  6. strawberry anarchy April 30, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    wow that was brilliant1 thanks for translating. I loved the woman’s Blythe collection at the end I wished we could look around her room more there was lots of goodies to be seen there! great little program!!

    thanks πŸ™‚

  7. kirin May 1, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    @strawberry anarchy,

    Hi, it’s been a while. I’ve been to your site frequently when I dropped Entrecard everyday but since they changed their service I don’t even log in to my account until I see a bunch of people waiting for my approval on advertisement.

    Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the show. πŸ˜›

  8. strawberry anarchy May 3, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    I know what you mean I haven’t been on it as much and I am confused about all the changes too. I am still wondering if we will get paid for the paid ads I am still waiting to hear back.

  9. Nai May 15, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    Hello! I know this is quite an old post, but I just came across your blog, so I was looking through it…
    Those treats look sooo yummy, even though they're not real >.<!!
    I was wondering, if the male host for this show, was he in the movie Gokusen? He's really handsome too. lol.

    • kirin May 16, 2010 at 1:16 am #

      Sorry I didn't watch the movie Gokusen. Sometimes my blog readers know J dramas/films better than I do. I barely have any time for watching TV and cinemas for the past few years. (X _ X) It's totally no problem you leave comments at old posts, I will know that from email notification. πŸ˜‰

  10. louboutin discount June 21, 2011 at 8:37 am #

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