A visitor to Japan may easily be struck by the ubiquity of cute decorative elements in the dense urban landscapes of Tokyo, Osaka, and beyond. Here is a little cartoon badger asking you to press a button to open a door. There is a lavender bulldozer clearing the remains of a recently demolished building. Over there is an older woman sitting primly in a commuter train with a shopping bag at her feet decorated with that endearing American comic strip beagle Snoopy. If one were able to look into the contents of her purse, one may easily find American cartoon characters Tom and Jerry decorating her checkbook, and possibly a keychain with a rubber caricature of a sumo wrestler. Sitting side by side in the same train might be a mother and daughter pair, both of whom sport some kind of Hello Kitty paraphernaliaa small pink backpack for the young girl, a more subdued brown wallet decorated with Kitty’s mouthless face for the mother.