'kimo' is a shorten word for 'kimoi' or 'kimochi warui', literally means wired, grotesque, and disgusting. 'kawaii' is widely known as cute, charming, fluffy and adorable looking.
Ugly but cute. Pretty but wired.
The contradicted sense is overtaking the Japanese 'kawaii' (cute) culture especially among young people.
Lately, Japanese children are crazy about some 'ugly-cute' characters.
One is called 'kobito zukan' (the Dwarf Encyclopedia)
(The official website: http://kobito-dukan.com/ , Japanese language only) .
'They are neither bugs nor plants. Have you ever seen the living creature like this? The Dwarf Encyclopedia,'
One day, a boy found a mysterious creature. He borrowed the Dwarf Encyclopedia from his grandpa and he went for searching the human-looking dwarfs. It is an unique story with colourful pictures that encourages children to experience the exploration, discovery and gaining knowledge in the book.
It ends with a phrase: 'the secret fantasy in the Mather Nature.'
Another funny-looking popular character is 'nameko' (Funghi Mushroom) that is fast widespreading to the world.
(The official website: http://namepara.com/en/about/)
There are varieties of gadgets for those ugly-cute characters such as toys, stationery, accessories, books, DVDs, etc.
Online-shopping: http://shop.kobito-dukan.com/ (Japanese language only)
iPhone App: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/introduction-to-observing/id408371819?mt=8
Nintendo DS: http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/3DS/Kobito+Dukan/news.asp?c=40845
Funghi Mushroom -
Official goods: http://namepara.com/goods/ (Japanese language only)
iPhone App: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mushroom-garden-a.k.a.-funghi/id438171814?mt=8
Nintendo DS: http://www.amazon.co.uk/505-Games-Mystery-Detective-Nintendo/dp/B000MMUW86
'kobito' and 'nameko' are equally cute and they are both the winners!