Saturday, August 27, 2016

ゆめかわいい (yume kawaii)

At one of my schools, students go all out on Sports Day.  It isn't so much that we're a particularly athletic school; it has more to do with the Endan, a trilogy of musical dance interpretations.  Usually much costume design and hair coloring is involved.  The three teams--Red, White, and Blue--dress and color accordingly.

So this happened back in May.  (My apologies as always for slacking on blogging.)  In one of my classes, a couple of girls in the back row were emanating a silvery glow from their white locks.  "Kawaii deshou?" asked someone sitting next to the silvery white-haired duo.  "Yume kawaii!"  I was saying "Wh-What--?" and she went on to explain the meaning of ゆめかわいい.  ゆめ is dream, and かわいい is of course cute/pretty, so ゆめかわいい is a dreamlike cuteness/prettiness, i.e. dreamy.  "She is like unicorn," finished the explanation.

Some nights later I was drinking with some Japanese colleagues and I told them the story.  One of them begged to differ with our students' interpretation of ゆめかわいい.  He learned the term some years back in his classical Japanese studies.  Long ago, he said, ゆめかわいい simply meant "very cute/pretty."  It was written in hiragana, so there was no kanji to denote the term's meaning.  But, according to my friend and colleague, ゆめ meant very (back in the day) and かわいい had the same meaning as it does now.  So ゆめかわいい was back then today's ちょうかわいい or めちゃかわいい.

On searching for examples of the term, I must say there were a lot of videos of makeup tips.  This is an example of how to make oneself up to be ゆめかわいい. 

Photos that turned up seemed to include white, pink, light blue, and other compatible colors.
 Image result for ゆめかわいい (yume kawaii) Image result for ゆめかわいい (yume kawaii)

Searching "yume kawaii fashion" and "yume kawaii box" turns up images congruent to the above.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the yume kawaii box.  In my imagination, people who are really into are having it shipped to their homes.

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