Kawai'i (可愛い) is a Japanese term which means cute or (literally) adorable. It can be used to describe animals and people, especially of the younger variety. Typically, a sexy adult person would not be called kawai'i except playfully. Things like Hello Kitty (and kittens) fall under this term. In contrast to the west, it is considered healthy even for men to enjoy this sort of cuteness without any threat to their masculinity.
Kawai'i is considered to be a female-led youth movement, while critics argue it creates an obsession with youth and cuteness instead of appreciating mature beauty. Some think it also contributes to the acceptance of lolicon fandom.
The term is also widely used in Hong Kong and Taiwan, though many people use the original Chinese term, 可愛. In Mandarin reading, this would be (py) kě'ài.
Anomalous Female Teenage Handwriting is an application of kawai'i to Japanese handwriting . The term is also used among the huge anime fan base of America in the same context (used by both males and females).
Kawaii can be also used to describe a street fashion, which is characterized by clothing that appears to be made for children, typically with lots of pink and ruffles. Accessories often include toys or bags that have representations of cartoon characters on them. However, it is not simply fashion that represents this new trend, but also the physical attitude and posture. Almost all will stand like little children (pigeon-toed, shoulders back with fingers laced behind them, tilting their heads down slightly so that they are looking up towards you).