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Kawaii Or Too Much? 10 Poses From Japanese Burikko Girls

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Ever heard of Burikko? Check out this series of 10 pictures to find out what these girls are all about.

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Have you ever heard the word ‘burikko’ before? Simply put, a burikko is a type of girl that acts cute on purpose, through a series of scripted gestures, referred to by some as “faking cuteness”. There is even a verb for it in Japanese: ‘burikko suru’ (to do burikko’).

But what sorts of things do they do to play up being cute? Here are ten examples of common Burikko gestures.

1. Duck Face


This has been in fashion for a couple of years now around the world, and has become a staple of Burikko behavior. Just pucker your lips a bit and open them slightly; this kissy face look is said to be irresistible.

2. Head Tilt


If you don't understand something, express your feelings by your body. Tilt your head and point your index finger at cheek. This is the classic "I-don't-understand" face!

3. Up from Under Look


Burikko girls basically look up all the time. If they are with someone shorter than them, they sit down. If you glance up at the other person with doe-eyes, they will see your expression and think that they must help you out, or want to protect you.

4. Drink Cutely


Don't drink normally. Drink cutely. It is important to stare at your partner and drink little by little, taking dainty sips of your drink while holding your straw in a cute pose. Chugging or drinking straight from the glass are practically unheard of to a true Burikko.

5. Know Your Angles


Burikko girls are masters of cute, youthful looking selfies. They know just the right angles and poses to show off the best of the outfit, face, and even setting to make their social media posts popular.

6. Use Props Well


If you want to stay cute as possible during a meal, put your spoon near your mouth frequently. Even if you aren’t eating at that moment, playfully placing it near your mouth is said to look very cute.

7. Walk Pigeon-toed


Walking and sitting pigeon-toed gives these two actions an air of childlike cuteness according to Burikko experts. Just turn your legs slightly inward and you’ve got it.

8. Speak in Third Person


This one mainly applies to Japanese speakers, as Burikko never use the pronouns ‘watashi/atashi/uchi’ in Japanese. Instead, they use their own name, like Japanese children do. One positive point of this is that it makes it much easier for people to remember your name.

9. Keep Your Hands Near Your Face


When you are in trouble or surprised, make the most of your hand gestures. For example, when you are in trouble, put your softly closed fist near your chin. When you are surprised, open your hand widely and put it on your mouth. Burikko experts say this is most effective when combined together with the up-from-under look when listening to your partner's story.

10. Embrace Your Mistakes


Don't worry even if you make a mistake or fail at something! Rather, this is the best timing to make the most of your ability as Burikko. If you redden your cheeks and put your hand on your head (in the "Ouch" pose), you’re sure to be soon forgiven.

Let’s Give It a Try!


So what do you think of these tricks? You will probably encounter a Burikko girl or two while in Japan, so knowing these gestures could come in handy. Give them a try yourself, and see how cute you can be!
Model: Wada Samgyeopsal @gyopu_wada
Ayaman Japan Official Blog
Photos by Takuro Komatsuzaki @takurokoma

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The MATCHA editorial department. Our articles feature useful travel information for visitors to Japan, from how-to guides to recommended places to visit.

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