According to Google Trends, the world's view of Japanese culture is getting a whole lot cuter. In 2007, "Hello Kitty" rocketed above phrases like "samurai" and "geisha" for the most searched Japanese phrases — that is, until "kawaii" came along. The term, often described as a "delicate cuteness," may bring to mind a slew of pleasant images: emoticons, anime, smiling anthropomorphic creatures. In 2010, it started rising on the charts and, in recent years, even surpassed "Hello Kitty" itself. Once its commodification followed suit, the phrase turned into a staple of pop culture.