At the time I bought these, I thought I’d better snap them up, because I’d never see another piece of tapir-themed goods as long as I lived. Haha, I thought. Seriously? Tapirs?
If there was a vote on which animal is least likely to be described as “fluffy, “winsome” and “cuddly,” I think tapirs would pretty much win the internet.
Okay, to be fair: baby exemption. Tapir babies are pretty cute. Which makes it even more inexplicable that the merch makers steadfastly ignored this fact. Unless there’s some sort of secret Challenge Accepted award I don’t know about. (Thank you, Bristol Zoo, for clarifying)
So why are tapirs suddenly everywhere? Honestly, I’ve been trying to ignore this. How can tapirs be a THING? Of course, Japan has tasted the
depths of cuteness desperation before, but this has to be a new low.
First inkling of the tapir takeover: beady tapir rice bowls ‘n teacups at last year’s Design Festa.
But when they started appearing outside Shibuya station, I realized resistance was futile
An appropriately anxious-looking tapir gracing a subway card sticker
Tapirs + coniferous trees of the far north + chartreuse = let’s design the WTFiest socks ever
Prehensile-nosed mammals snuffling about on a cosmetics bag at Shibuya Loft.
Hiding among otherwise adorable chopstick rests
The kimono obi most appropriate for tapir-viewing-in-the-rain season
And finally, my favorite: a box of what-the-whating-what animal crackers discovered by my friend and fellow writer Laurie Fellezs at DonKi. Bonus points for shape not even remotely resembling a tapir. Also, peafowl. •
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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had
13 thoughts on “The Gods Of Cuteness Anoint The Most Inexplicable Animal Yet”
Not only that, every Grateful Dead show used to have a tapir section!
A tapir section? (*_*) I’ve never heard of this! I googled, but the results failed to enlighten. Do tell!
I love the little cloth with the tapir and the crown. btw what’s the japanese for tapir?
It is apparently “baku” (I learned something new, thanks to you!) although I don’t know why they have a word for it, since no tapirs live in Japan. lol
thanks for looking …. it might have been “tapiru” since there are none in Japan ^^
bakudan no baku? je sens que ma prof de japonais va encore détester mes blagues hihi
Issues. So many issues….
What, you’re not rushing out to buy?
Well, the baby is cute!
Surprisingly cute! I had to amend that caption instantly once I saw those stripy spotty little watermelons.
Good way to describe them! 🙂
They ARE, however, the perfect example of animals one would definitely squee over as a baby, but when it grows into a beady-eyed prehensile-nosed bathtub-size mammal lurking in your swimming pool…maybe not so much.
Wow, who could have predicted this? They are pretty cute, actually. Plus I like the glimpse of a fox above the subway card sticker. Perhaps their moment is winding down.