I’m Pam Kennedy, TA for “Japan’s Gross National Cool.” In fall 2008, I took Professor DiNitto’s class “Nationalism and Pop Culture in Japan,” in which we explored the intersections between new trends of Japanese nationalism and contemporary pop culture. That class solidified my interest in contemporary Japanese culture and society.
In summer 2009 I conducted research on young novelist Kanehara Hitomi and her books “Snakes and Earrings” and “Autofiction,” which display the Japan in which my generation matured — a recession-era Japan characterized by a contrast of excesses and minimalism.
I am also interested in kawaisa (cuteness). Like many Japanese and non-Japanese girls of my generation, I am drawn to that quintessentially kawaii cat Hello Kitty, and her entourage of adorable Sanrio friends. My favorite is Charmmy Kitty.
The best Sanrio character ever.