Okay, I thought the stuffed animal wizards were pretty much scraping the bottom of the vertebrate barrel when they came up with Kapybara-san a few years ago. I mean, how many of your childhood friends were really dying to invite the world’s largest rodent into bed with them? I rest my case.
And I thought they’d outdone themselves when they turned to the vegetable bins for Ao-kubi Daikon. (Yes, Blue-Necked Radish was a somewhat disgruntled, giant, white vegetable character. But endearing, in a surly kind of way.)
But what could they possibly do after exhausting the entire universe of living things? The only thing left was: meat. Yes, meat. Raw meat. Meet “Kirimi-chan,” a slice of raw salmon. (You can tell he’s cuter and more snuggly than a piece of raw meat though, because he has little pink arms and legs.)
And of course he has friends! Mackerel Dude, Mr. Cod Man, Red Snapper Boy, Teenage Tuna Kid, Fishcake Girl, and Other Kind Of Fishcake Girl. Oh yeah, and not to be xenophobic, the foreign friend: Roast Boy. (Yes, there’s actually a stuffed toy in this series that looks like a beef roast.)
Thank you to 3yen.com for the Aokubi Daikon photo – my own extensive collection of stuffed radish characters is back in San Francisco, and they refused to take selfies for me.
Read a novel set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!