If there is something incredible in Japan, it’s the “souvenirs”! There are so many that you have to come back with three suitcases. Beware of excess baggage of your next stay in Japan. But we would like you to introduce you more traditional and very Japanese things! These are the “folk toys”(郷土玩具) of each region of Japan. These small items are still manufactured by craftsmen by hand and especially made in Japan! On each of our displacement and throughout our discoveries we will try to feed this post.
Let’s start our found list of Japanese folk toys with Akabeko, a red cow from Aizu in Fukushima prefecture from 16th or early 17th century. You can find it for example in the beautiful castle of Aizuwakamatsu. Akebeko are made from papier-mâché that is painted and lacquered . Story said that Akabeko born in 16th or early 17th century and made for the temple of Yanaizu.
We found Zarukaburi-Inu, A dog made from papier-mâché with a basked woven from bamboo, in Yanaka, a cute place in Tokyo (also famous to be a cat place). The basked to give good luck and a healthy upbringing of small children, but it will also let the wind pass through it, so when it is hung over the baby bed, it will protect and prevent the child from catch a cold. You can find in this shop for example.
Akai Manekineko (赤物 招き猫)
We often find the famous Japanese luck cat in white and sometime in gold, but this one have his special design. Akai means red in Japanese, so it’s simply the red Manekineko. We get it with Muji Fukubukuro Can. But you can find in Saitama where this cat come from, it’s not so far from Tokyo.