When it comes to Japanese culture, there is so much to love. Take anime, for example — the funny anime jokes and interesting anime names often inspire us. Or how about the Japanese gifts for loved ones inspired by popular Japanese culture, like Hello Kitty or anime merchandise? Even our nail art is often inspired by what the young people of Japan are doing. It seems only natural, then, that we spend a bit of time learning about the Kawaii trend. Once we learned about Kawaii, we knew we needed to jump on board. And what better way to do that than with our Kawaii coloring pages that are super fun and oh-so-cute in equal measure?
Coloring pages can be used and enjoyed by kids and adults because coloring offers a ton of benefits, from learning self-regulation to simply helping you relax. We’re so devoted to coloring pages, we’ve created a whole series. If you want to stick with Japanese-inspired coloring pages, make sure to check out our anime coloring pages. But don’t feel limited, either. If you have a future world traveler in your midst, share our desert coloring pages, mountain coloring pages, or even camping coloring pages. Current and future foodies might get a kick out of coloring a variety of veggies or exploring farm coloring pages.
Whatever your kiddos are into, we have a coloring activity to keep them entertained. For now, lean into the Kawaii trend with the following free printables.
Free Printable Kawaii Coloring Pages
Kawaii Page No. 1
The Kawaii trend is related to the Harajuku girl trend. The word “kawaii” is Japanese and literally means “cute.” What does “cute” mean, though? In the Kawaii world, cute seems to represent youthful or childish, innocent, sweet, or adorable things. If a small child would like it, it’s Kawaii. There’s nothing cuter than eating food with a face on it — especially if that food is a cupcake! Did you know the largest cupcake was baked in Sterling, Virginia? The big cutie weighed 2,594 lbs.
Kawaii Page No. 2
That’s not to say that Kawaii is only for kids, though. Kawaii products often feature popular characters from Sanrio (Hello Kitty!) and Disney. While those things might have seemed childish at one time in history, I think we can all agree that simply isn’t the case anymore. Raise your hand if you have a Hello Kitty makeup palette! (Side note: Did you know Hello Kitty’s full name is Kitty White, and she was born in London?) Also, raise your other hand if you have a favorite Disney princess. Get the idea?
Kawaii Page No. 3
OK, so maybe the Kawaii concept is a little bit “childish” — but not in the way Americans think of it. In Japan, if you’re childish, you’re not seen as immature. Being youthful and innocent often represents kindness and goodness. Embracing the Kawaii trend is more about portraying yourself as full of wonder than as a child.
Kawaii Page No. 4
Of course, Kawaii is more than just cute products. It’s a style you can mimic in your own life. Kawaii fans often have colored hair (or colored wigs) and usually choose pastel shades. You’ll likely see a Kawaii girl wearing a short skirt with colored tights or ruffled socks. And, yes, she’s probably wearing a beret with animal ears attached. Your daughter’s cat-ear headband? They could totally use that to pull off Kawaii style.
Kawaii Page No. 5
People who are really into Kawaii even wear their makeup in a distinct way. They often use eyeliner under their eyes to make their eyes look bigger and cartoon-like. And blush is especially popular with Kawaii girls, as it tends to give them that “youthful glow.” It’s a whole lewk, ya know?
Kawaii Page No. 6
Kawaii also tends to focus on tiny things too. The Disney Tsum Tsum lines are one really great example of this obsession. While all things Disney are undoubtedly cute, the company designed the Tsum Tsum products to be even more precious. They’re way more rounded, first off. But more importantly, they often come in teeny, tiny sizes. For instance, we have a Tsum Tsum of Gus (the mouse from Cinderella) roughly the size of a pencil eraser. So cute! So Kawaii!
Kawaii Page No. 7
What do you do with all these cute, tiny things? Another interesting trait of the Kawaii style is intricate nails. Kawaii fingernails aren’t necessarily long; they’re just decorated and often chunky. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see that same Gus Tsum Tsum plastered onto a set of nails. A popular Kawaii character is the Gudetama, or “lazy egg.” While a newbie might paint Gudetama’s likeness on their nails (still cute!), a person more versed in Kawaii style and culture might have her acrylic nails sculpted to look like Gudetama was chilling on their pinky finger.
Kawaii Page No. 8
How did Kawaii start? Like many trends, it’s hard to lock down a specific time or person who created it. But, many believe it came about in the 1970s when girls began altering their handwriting to give it a girlier, more personal look. It became known as “fluffy hiragana.” If you’ve ever started putting a heart over the “i” in your name, you know exactly the look these girls were going for with “fluffy hiragana.” After that, their desire and work towards individuality and “cuteness” continued to evolve.
Kawaii Page No. 9
While Kawaii is an aesthetic and fashion style, it’s also a kind of art. It started, of course, with that adorable, giant-headed cat-girl named Hello Kitty, from Sanrio. But it has since spiraled into its own form of art or anime.
Kawaii Page No. 10
Kawaii characters are pretty easily recognizable. They usually have heads that look just a little too big for their bodies and eyes that look just a little too big for their heads. Kawaii style even leaked into Disney animations, best seen in newer films like Moana or Frozen. Of course, the Disney characters have tons of facial expressions, which most Kawaii characters do not have. Why? Well, it’s a lot easier to project your own personality, emotions, or feelings onto a blank slate of a character — although the wide eyes will always give Kawaii that “cute” or innocent and youthful look most Kawaii followers hope to replicate. It just makes them look trustworthy, good, and kind. Who can fault anyone for wanting that?