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Japanese Cafe Culture Examined by Asso. Prof. William Gardner

Japanese Cafe Culture Discussed by 
Associate Professor William Gardner   

by Stacey Kutish

William Gardner

William Gardner


Associate Professor of Japanese William Gardner discusses a new addition to Japan's expanding service industry - the "maid cafe" - in a recent issue of Kansai Scene, an English-language culture magazine in Japan:

"In Japanese, the adjective kawaii is related to the verb kawaigaru, or to love and take care of something that is dependent on you," says Gardner, who teaches a course on Japanese popular culture and contemprary media. "To present yourself to the world as kawaii (as these maid- waitresses do, for example) is to try and appeal to this kind of feeling. Perhaps because human relationships in Japan can be difficult to navigate, the feeling of closeness, nurturing, and ownership has a special appeal." more