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Rune Naito

ルネ 内藤

Japanese illustrator Rune Naito (1932-2007) is one whom I consider an original pioneer who defined the Japanese kawaii (cute) culture.  My mom’s adoration of his work is how I first became so familiar.  

Rune asserted his identity from childhood experiences, frequently being taunted for playing with dolls and wearing girls clothing (which he liked because it had colors and patterns; something boys clothing at the time did not).  “I was a self-reliant child who didn’t care what anyone thought of me,” is a translated quote from his autobiography.  

Rune loved color and made everything bright. He was able to express his distinctly style by transforming every day objects and animals into a creation of irresistible cuteness that is “kawaii”. 

 Explore more on Instagram @runenaito_official

Rune Naito