Anime’s cutest forest spirit works his magic with Japan’s most beautiful flower.
We’re half-way through February now, and with spring just around the corner. Pretty much everyone in Japan is starting to look ahead to cherry blossom season — little kids, working adults, senior citizens enjoying their retirement, and, yes, even Totoro.
It actually makes a lot of sense for Totoro to be a hanami (cherry blossom-viewing) fan. He’s a forest spirit, after all, and there’s no tree Japan loves more than the sakura. The plushie pictured above is part of Studio Ghibli specialty store Donguri Kyowakoku’s Sakura 2023 Spring lineup, and he’s accompanied by a Soot Sprite riding on the cherry blossom bough Totoro is carrying.
The plushie’s size makes it viable for both hugging and displaying, but it’s far from the only way to beautify your home the sakura Totoro way. Also available is this lovely tenugui.
Tenugui were originally hand towels, from the days before Japan had terrycloth textiles. In the modern era, though, they’re more commonly used as decorative tapestries, covers, or wrapping cloths, This 90-centimeter (35.4-inch) long one features both the large and medium Totoros, plus more Soot Sprites.
Where things start to get really classy, though, is with the sakura Totoro tableware.
The rustically elegant earthenware dishes are graced with stylized Totoros relaxing among the sakura, with a subtle artistic nod to the fact that depending on the exact species of flower, cherry blossoms can be anywhere from a vibrant pink to almost white.
Aside from the flat dish, there’s a Japanese-style handle-less tea cup, a Western-style coffee cup, a tonsui (small bowl traditionally used for taking a portion of food from a communal pot of food), and a spoon. Note that they’re not microwave safe, so you’ll want to heat up your food or drinks in some other container, then transfer them in order to prevent a tragic Totoro shattering.
Need utensils other than a spoon? Sakura Totoro chopsticks will do the trick.
On the other hand, if you’re heading out and want to take Totoro with you, a compact hand towel or handkerchief is just the thing.
And rounding out the collection of items currently on offer is a second tenugui with Totoro happily scattering cherry blossom petals from a sakura sack.
▼ We should point out that this isn’t something that’s commonly done at cherry blossom parties in Japan, but who’s going to argue with Totoro?
Prices for the tableware range from 550 yen (US$4.25) for the spoon to 2,750 yen for the coffee cup, and from 385 to 660 yen for the hand towels. As for the tenugui, the one where Totoro is tossing flower petals is 2,200 yen and the other 2,640, and the plushie, at 2,860 yen, is the most expensive item of the bunch.
They’re all available through the Donguri Kyowakoku online store here. And if you’re already thinking about what you’re going to drink from your sakura Totoro cup, the new Totoro tea seems like the best possible choice.
Source: Donguri Kyowakoku
Top image: Donguri Kyowakoku
Insert images: Donguri Kyowakoku (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
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