This article examines the manifestations of sexual ambiguity in Japan and in the West. It traces the history of the juvenile style called kawaï and the shôjo, or female adolescent culture, and explores certain of its aspects as shown in the streets and in Japanese comic books, the mangas. The frontier between the kawaï and the Lolitas is vague. The girls transform their appearance, act seductively, dress as transvestites and read mangas whose wide-eyed characters have great appeal. The article advances several hypothesis for this insistence on the infantile in the search for sexual identity and on the efforts to cope with its confusions and anxieties.