Kawaii Catastrophe: Japanese insurance brochure depicts adorable disasters that can befall your home

Author Matt Alt, who lives in Tokyo, writes:

Kawaii. The aesthetic of Japanese cute. You love it or hate it, but you can't escape it, as Hiroko and I learned when renewing the insurance on our house. Japan being Japan, the pamphlet that explains the different levels of coverage features helpful super deformed illustrations of the catastrophes that can befall homeowners. We aren't insuring our house through Playskool. One of Japan's biggest banks gave this to us.

Check out the rest of the illustrations.


  1. What’s more puzzling, this or the North American belief that cartoons, animation and comics are art forms only good for children? 

    I wish our pamphlets had fun characters instead of douchey stock people grinning.

    1. Thank you! This is the most succinct rebuttal I’ve seen to these “Japan so Kuh-Ray-Zee” posts. 

      The North-American-Centric view of comics, animation, and humor gave us the prudish Comics Code Authority and a think-of-the-children mindset that does nothing but punish would-be creators and consumers of culture.

  2. That’s the funny thing — it ISN’T really infantile, though I can imagine why someone un-used to kawaii might think so. No Japanese in their right mind thinks tsunami are cute and cuddly. Soft, approachable illustrations like this are simply a form of visual shorthand that makes people pay attention where it needs to be paid. 

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