Posts Tagged ‘kawaii’

Pulsations (02.08.13)

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Here are the latest Pulsations, links to fresh stories and visuals about Japan, shout-outs to fellow bloggers, and highly clickable stuff that we think you might enjoy.

In no particular order, they are . . .

  • Send in the Clowns (from throwoutyourbooks) Seemingly for the first time in Japan, petitions are being signed online and off, angry protests are being voiced on the streets of Tokyo, and even respected celebrities are occasionally wading waist-deep into the debate. William Andrews takes a studied look at Japan’s protest culture past and present.
Katachi means “shape.”  Shugo Tokumaru’s latest video is a time lapse made with approximately 2000 PVC silhouettes. With well over a quarter of a million views, it is getting attention in Japan and abroad.

Cheburashka set to topple Kitty-chan?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Doutor Cheburashka original coffee set

Doutor Cheburashka original coffee set

From Dec. 3 visitors to Doutor coffee shop can get their mitts on limited-edition Cheburashka items unavailable elsewhere. Each week the free gift changes: in the first week free stickers are available, from Dec. 10 you can receive a clear A5 file and from the Dec. 17 customers get two free postcards. Stocks are limited so visitors to the store best get there early.

In addition you can buy a Cheburashka mug for ¥630, a Cheburashka original coffee set including mug, bag of drip coffee and tote bag for ¥1,800 and a 200-gram bag of premium mild blend coffee for ¥850.

It should be no surprise that despite being a Russian character, Cheburashka has connected with the Japanese and in early last month, a Japanese anime version of Cheburashka debuted on Japanese TV. Small childlike  (chibi) characters with large heads such as Rilakkuma or Hello Kitty are extremely popular in Japan, so diminutive Cheburashka with his cute voice and giant bonce ticks all the right boxes for entry into Japan’s kawaii (cute) hall of fame.

Originally a character in a Russian storybook, Cheburashka became a popular Russian stop-motion animation in in the late ’60s. The furry homunculus has a number of comical friends such as Gena, a kind of gentleman crocodile, and an enemy called old lady Shapoklyak who plays pranks on him.

The original stop-motion animation first aired on Japanese television in 2006, and the ensuing popularity soon turned the original Russian Cheburashka products into must-have collectibles. This toy is now on sale on Yahoo Auctions for a hefty buy-it-now price of ¥55,000. As the Dotour campaign attests, the merchandising of Cheburashka is no doubt generating a mountains of rubles.

The copyright to the character has been fiercely debated in court between Eduard Uspenskiy, the writer of the original books, and Leonid Shvartsman, the art director of the animated films. Uspenskiy won a recent ruling in 2007. Given the proven money-making record of Hello Kitty, Shvartsman is no doubt feeling extremely put out right now.

RSS

Recent Posts

  • 100 years of Japanese beauty in one minute

    Cut is setting its lens on Japan as it shows the dramatic changes Japanese women have gone through in the past century.

  • Studio Ghibli on a roll with licenses for new toys

    Nibariki has new wind-up toys inspired by Studio Ghibli’s “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.”

  • ‘Japan Sumo Cup’ is possibly the most Japanese thing ever

    In this rhythm game, players choose a real sumo player, ride an actual race horse and compete against characters from “Street Fighter.”

  • YouTubers in Japan with 100,000 fans and counting

    YouTube threw a big celebration for more than 20 YouTubers living in Japan who have over 100,000 subscribers.

  • Finding laughs in translations that have lost the plot

    The Orikaeshi Honyaku Dictionary site, which boasts the catchphrase “from Japanese to Japanese,” roughly translates as “Chinese whispers.”

  • Japan tricks out the Halloween treats

    Halloween is a time to carve pumpkins, enjoy a few scares and, most importantly, shovel as much candy as humanly possible into one’s own mouth. While the practice of door-to-door trick-or-treating may not be a thing in Japan, the custom of eating special Halloween snacks certainly translates. Plenty of companies, both overseas and domestic, are […]

  • Ginza Cozy Corner takes dessert into hyperdrive with ‘Star Wars’ cakes

    One Japanese confectionary vendor is about to find the Force deep within a sweet tie-up. Ahead of the December release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Ginza Cozy Corner, which has outlets nationwide, has made a line of “Star Wars” sweets that are truly out of this world. The treats themselves are all based on people […]

  • Warning: This viral video of high school girls might make you blush

    Cosmetic company Shiseido has recently uploaded a YouTube video that is blowing viewers’ minds with a bona fide twist. In the promo video, titled “High School Girl? — The Makeup Secrets of High School Girls,” the camera weaves through a classroom full of drop-dead cute young women who pout and wink like true pop idols. […]

  • Sharp dials up the fan service to celebrate 20 years of ‘Evangelion’

    For those who have always dreamed of owning an Evangelion robot, this might be the closest you get. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the popular “Neon Genesis Evangelion” animated series, Sharp is releasing a special smartphone that pays homage to the show both in the device’s hardware and software. The phone itself is detailed […]

  • Tokyo plugs into Google Play Music

    If you haven’t heard the latest news from Google Play, you may have missed your opportunity to tune into a Google Play Billboard. From Oct. 8-24, music lovers can head over to Shibuya to, literally, plug into a selection of over 3,500 songs. The Google Play Billboard is meant to give visitors a much-needed chance […]